The music scene in Nagaland has totally gone up a notch to deliver a tough competition to the rest of the world. Talk about raw talents, trained professionals, creative as well as hardworking musicians – we’ve got it all. Today, we have one such talented musician, Meyinungsang Longkumer from Nagaland, who is as great a singer as he is a song-writer. Read on to know more!
In depth chat with Meyinungsang Longkumer to talk about his journey with music, his new song release, future plans and more!
Hello there, please give us a little introduction about you.
Hello, I am Meyinungsang Longkumer, I prefer to go by Meyu, which is also my stage name. But don’t be mistaken I love my real name; it means ‘Thousand Praises’. I am from Mokokchung, Nagaland and I currently live in New Delhi.
Tell us what got you into music?
Like most musicians from Nagaland, my first tryst with any kind of music was in the church. I think it is a good platform to start for any budding musician (at least in Nagaland) and it keeps us grounded.
I cannot claim that I started out early in life with music, as for the most part I only remember wanting to be an engineer. I was 13 already when I first sang a solo in Sunday school, after which I was swiftly recruited in a band (Jaunty Boys) and then a Choir (Psalmodic Ensemble) in our Church. Every notion of me wanting to become something else other than a Musician was gone after that.
Meyu performing on the stage – doing what he does best!
Your favorite bands or artists that have inspired you?
Now, I’d be wasting the whole column if I start naming all the artists/bands that have influenced me. I haven’t figured out the “Who is your favorite singer?” or “What is your favorite song?” question till now. But if I closed my eyes and blurted out some names, it would be Eric Martin, Freddy Mercury, Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley, James Brown, Louis Armstrong, Bruno Mars, Adele, Sigrid, Ryan Tedder (One Republic), Ed Sheeran, Cornor Mason (Nothing but Thieves), Gabe Dixon, and many more.. Honestly, I can do this whole day.
Can you share your journey as a singer-songwriter?
I made my first original song when I was in the 9th grade (15 years old) and boy, was it cheesy to the core! Lol (sic). With the four chords I half-learned in the band and the handful of words in my teeny vocabulary bank, I cooked up a song and it was nothing but underwhelming, unimpressive and immature. But I was fortunate enough to be presented with opportunities to compose songs, sometimes even unwillingly. My songwriting had its genesis from the competitions organized by the Youth Ministry and winning several competitions with the songs I made encouraged me even more.
I also won the 2013 Naga Orpheus (formerly known as Naga Idol) competition (with the help of many people of course). It was here that I was able to experiment my voice with different genres and style of music.
Meyu covers Ed Sheeran’s “Supermarket flower”
View this post on Instagram
#supermarketflowers #edsheeran #mother #love #loss I can't imagine how painful it will be to lose a mother or a parent. This song is dedicated to anyone who has experienced such great loss. #cover #Naga #ao #Meyu @akum__p_o_n_g_e_n_ Thanks for the video. 👌✌️ Took the supermarket flowers from the windowsill Threw the day-old tea from the cup Packed up the photo album Matthew had made Memories of a life that's been loved Took the "Get Well Soon" cards and stuffed animals Poured the old ginger beer down the sink Dad always told me, "Don't you cry when you're down." But, mum, there's a tear every time that I blink Oh, I'm in pieces. It's tearing me up but I know A heart that's broke is a heart that's been loved So, I'll sing Hallelujah, You were an angel in the shape of my mum When I fell down you'd be there holding me up Spread your wings as you go And when God takes you back He'll say, "Hallelujah, you're home."
What are your dreams and goals for the future?
In another reality, I would have been a professor, you know. I graduated majoring in Physics and with the right motivation, I am positive I would have made it although it is sickeningly difficult. I abandoned it all for the love of this pretty thing called Music and there are people who – some silently and some not so silently – think and say that I am quite a fool. But my heart and mind gravitates only towards this and I’d be a bigger fool to ignore it. So, I am going to make music whether anybody likes it or not. Because I want to be remembered this way.
What is the message you want to spread through your new song ‘Seasons’?
The song ‘Seasons’ that I just recently released has the neutrality of gender and as a result the interpretation of the song is left in quite an ambiguous state. I have been told by people that the song made them remember a dearly loved deceased grandmother, or that it felt like a cool dark lullaby. There are some songs that are very literal and they mean every word it says but my current song is subject to various interpretations.
A little back-story about the song?
Contrary to what the make believe cinematic universe tries to portray, I wrote ‘Seasons’ on a very boring Sunday afternoon. It didn’t happen magically with the stars aligning, wind chiming and rain drizzling like we all want to believe. So, dare I say boredom; a state of mind where you have a chance to be bombarded with profound thoughts, because when you are bored you are not distracted, there is no device, no phone for you to look at every 10 second. The song did take a long time to mature and be refined; hence, the present form.
Meyu with the choir team outside the famous Musikverein Golden Hall, Vienna
Meyu making the most of the trip at Vienna, Austria
Your personal message to people?
If you are reading this, then know that every single individual in this world is suffering and dealing with their equal share of problems. Your distress is not heavier than mine nor is mine heavier than yours. The sooner we understand this the sooner will we be able to live a happier life. Believe in your abilities with all your heart . The world as we know it, has been shaped by people who stuck to their own beliefs. Only you will decide what is to become of yourself.
Apart from singing and songwriting, what are the other hobbies that you have?
I like to fancy myself that I love reading; nothing is as juicy and indulging as a good Sci-fi or a fantasy novel. Physics never really left me even if I did: on my free days I’d be listening to 2-3 hour-long podcasts about Astro-physics or Quantum Mechanics. Dr .Neil deGrasse Tyson and Michio Kaku are my heroes of Science.
Any new song coming up in the future?
Yes, most definitely! I have a few songs to run by my producer, we’ll start recording as soon as he gives the green signal.
To know more about Meyinungsang Longkumer, follow him on Instagram. Here’s his new song release, “Seasons”. Enjoy!
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