Our contributor and music aficionado Jungio has shared another list of his top seven songs from Naga artists. He also adds a personal commentary about each of the tunes, and why he thinks we should give them a listen. Over to Jungio!
“Despite the paltry infrastructures and less-than-ideal circumstances, musical talents from the region have been able to put Nagaland on the map for something worth writing about and beyond. So without much further ado, let’s shine a spotlight on these stars and their tunes that deserves your attention and your listening ears.” ~ Jungio
Here’s the Top 7 tunes curated from the hills of Nagaland.
“See” by Tuden Jamir
There are songs with piercing lyrics, there are songs with evocative melodies and then there is this song from the songwriter extraordinaire, Tuden, who effortlessly brings together both these elements in this outstanding track – with the finesse and showmanship of a musical alchemist.
“This song is the de-facto anthem of any twenty-something-someone swimming against the tempestuous tides of conventionalism and conformity, a love letter to the struggle of many – the square pegs in a round hole.”
“Await” by Tokaholi Chishi
This song like the character Sam in “The Perk of Being a Wallflower” said “It’s the perfect (tunnel) song” – an experience to be felt with the wind blowing against your face, at the backseat of the car doing 60 on the highway with the stereo turned up all the way up to eleven.
“Murder Machine” by Polar Lights
I still remember the time when this song was doing the rounds on social media and me asking a friend “Are they really from Nagaland?” Not that Nagaland has not produced class act musicians but the time then was not a very fertile ground for bands with unadulterated lyricism ribbon tied over catchy hooks.
“‘Murder Machine’ will always be that epochal track that got heads turning of the masses recovering from a sore hangover of scene rock of the early 2000s and got a generation into the scintillating kaleidoscope of indie music. My only complaint is if only they would reshoot the video of the track, which seems rushed and below par.”
“Build A Story” by Pelenuo Yhome
“There is something inexplicably naïve and heartwarming about this song that catches you off guard every time you listen. The song is an immaculate orchestration of winsome lyrics, minimalist zen production, and imprinting vocals. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming this tune while you are sitting nonchalantly on the bus or doing your chores.”
“Dancing In The Capital” by Imliakum Aier
In my opinion, this song is to the present Naga zeitgeist what Dylan’s ‘Blowing In The Wind’ was to the American Civil Rights Movement. It is evocative to the point of provocation while subtly and sarcastically parading the follies in all its unapologetically humdrum, of the stockpiling you-know-whos.
“With this stellar track, this artist has put himself at the helm of the creative Naga political commentary movement and hopefully, he will inspire many more to push it forward with increased intensity and frequency.”
“Charade” by Alobo Naga ft. Andrea Tariang
Inspite of all the memes and unparliamentary language comments, Alobo is undeniably one of the few musicians from the hills with career longevity rivaling Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible sequels, of course without the depreciation in quality.
“‘Charade’ captures the quintessential Alobo-esque vibe- boyish charm vocals and catchy hooks.”
“Something New” by Jonathan Yhome
The equally talented brother of Pelenuo (above), this pensive singer-songwriter has been turning quite a number of heads ever since he burst into the scene. This particular track from his first releases exudes a sense of luxury without being ostentatious and the well crafted lyrics give it an added dimension to its already profound richness.
Honourable Mentions: Alobo’s Mistry Gaana and Moko Koza’s Puisa.
For a state where Nagamese is the unofficial language, it is sad that it is given a step motherly treatment when it comes to creative arts so these recent step forward by these artists is a colossal impetus for the ‘Made In Nagaland’ movement. If you think any Naga artist should be in vol. 2 of this edition, let us know in the comments!
Check out Moko Koza “Puiss” (Nagamese rap song)
Check out Alobo Naga ft MOTO & Dreamz Unlimited “Mistry Gaana”