Purple Fusion was formed not so long back but they have already become a household name within the region and beyond for their ability to perfectly blend indigenous ethnic music with other genres of music. Comprising of Lamtsala H Sangtam (Lead Vocal), Imsanger Lkr (Guitar), Mhathung Odyuo (Bass) and Temsu Kichu (Drummer), this folk fusion band from Nagaland is now taking things to the next level with their debut album, Folk Reminiscence, which is set to release this week. Vibes got in touch with the band to know more about their music and the album.
Tell us a little about how the band came together?
Purple Fusion: Initially PF (Purple Fusion) was just an experimental instrumental band. Later on, we felt the need to have a female vocalist to have a more varied and interesting sound. We scouted for a female vocalist for some time but having found none finally decided to give our then Manager Lamtsa a try and viola! It was the perfect link of the broken chain
Why folk fusion? Why the decision to infuse folk elements in your music?
Purple Fusion: This is the most frequently asked question, and lo the answer goes like this, the world has seen enough rock bands come and go, people are now looking for something new, fresh and exciting and we feel that we can give the world a new taste of music by incorporation Naga Folk elements with other western genres. And yes, it is quite exciting.
Most of your songs have a mix of Naga and English; do you think that helps you reach out to more people while still having a strong connect with the locals?
Purple Fusion: Sure it does, in fact if we only did original folk music it would bore the hell out of everyone (laughs). The fusion of folk elements helps arouse the interest of the locals.
The band has playing for some time now and you are quite popular, so why did it take this long to put together an album?
Purple Fusion: Well let’s just blame it on the tours and gigs and of course because no one sponsored us (laughs).
Tell us a little about the debut album, when is it releasing?
Purple Fusion: The album is in fact available on Amazon mp3 for pre order as we write this interview. The actual date for our online worldwide release is on 28th August.
Album Reviews –
Purple Fusion’s debut album Folk Reminiscence is fantastic! It has amazing production values, outstanding musical performances and several memorable melodies. All the Naga lyrics (Wish I could get a translation!) carry a touch of the traditional yet blend perfectly with modern jazz/pop/rock arrangements on the tracks. My favourite track on the album is the dreamy Sohi Mozho. I have always been a fan of Mhathung Odoyo’s bass playing and he has validated my appreciation admirably on this album! Lamtsala Sangtam has grown tremendously as a singer in the two years that I have known her, and she changes vocal textures to perfection between songs. Temsu Kichu is a great guy to hang out with; his drumming totally holds the band together. Imsanger Lkr’s incisive guitar playing and solos keep you wanting more. I have two small cribs: The Hindi lyrics on Roko sound a bit clunky as they are sung, and Lamtsala’s Hindi pronunciation leaves much to be desired. The other is that the chorus sometimes sounds a bit ragged, and not all the choral harmonies work for me (Or are some just a bit off?)
Rahul Ram – Indian Ocean, New Delhi
I always look forward to listening to an album of new music…something I haven’t heard before. When I first heard Purple Fusion’s debut offering, I couldn’t help but smile …. The way the band has seamlessly combined their musical folk roots with modern western styles …. I am impressed to say the least! What strikes me is the simplicity in the arrangements …nothing over done… Beautiful singing, beautiful harmonies, simple melodies and good musicianship…I’m a real sucker for a good melody, I feel that this album is going to set a new standard for music coming out of Nagaland and the North East as a whole. The album is full of really good hooks and chants that make one want to sing along… reminds me of my travels in Nagaland…. The beautiful land filled with beautiful friendly people. It definitely gets me reminiscing. There is something for everyone here … Blues, Jazz, Pop, funk. Reggae, Rock …. Besides, of course, the folk strains of the Naga people that have had my ear’s flapping joyfully. My favourite songs on the album are Sohi Mozho, Ho Lo Ha, Loving You and Nakhe Nakhe … My only criticism, if I am allowed to make one, is that I find that the vocals are a little behind in the mix. This is because I don’t understand some of the English lyrics when they’re being sung. All in all… one album full of happy, groovy songs that I can listen to anytime.
Rudy Wallang – Soulmate, Shillong
Follow, Like & Listen: www.facebook.com/PurpleFusionofficial
As told to Meeta Borah