Smita, Priyanki, Tripti, Moitreyee and Prangana took a brave and bold step when they decided to form an all girl Assamese folk fusion band this year. Yes, there were countless challenges but their hard work seems to have paid off as their new music video ‘Holou Uthil Tokou Gosot’ is being well received by music lovers across Assam. VNe talks to the ambitious young band about their struggles, the recently released music video and future plans.
Tell us a little about the band, how was the band formed?
The band was actually formed with a different name but, later the band went through a lot of obstacles that led us to make some changes in the band and consequently we named it as ‘Rhythm-East’.
Priyanki, the first female ‘oja’ to play 15 dhols at a time, came up with the idea of forming an all girls band with Moitreyee, a keyboardist whom she knew well. Priyanki’s uncle used to mention about Prangana often as she passed the six grade drum exam from Rock School of Music. Tripti was from Guwahati who joined us but we still lacked a vocalist who suited our band and finally through Prangana, we found the perfect vocalist in Smita.
What were the challenges you faced while forming the band?
In the Northeast, it is not that easy to find female musicians. We don’t say that there are no good female musicians, but they are less motivated to come out, and showcase their talent. It’s an ugly truth, but it seems most parents don’t allow their daughters to enter into the professional field of music. So the band had to face many hurdles from the initial stage itself. It is very disheartening to say that the mindset of our people are still narrow and there were times when they ridiculed us when we performed on stage making us feel discouraged but we are here to stay.
Tell us about the song ‘Holou Uthil Tokou Gosot’
Holou Uthil Tokou Gosot is our debut song which is inspired from an Assamese poem. The song is composed by Anuraag Saikia, written by Sameer, choreographed by renowned Pankaj Ingti, mixed and mastered by Bhaskar Sarma. As a folk based band we concentrate more on bringing out the folk elements. Because of that we got inspired to take the hook line from an Assamese poem. In the other parts of the song, we describe a story about a lean and thin boy, who has been fallen in love with the girl and how he keeps trying to impress her. Holou Uthil Tokou Gosot, literally means a monkey on a tree which is very restless, which has been characterized as a boy in the song.
How was the experience of shooting the video?
As it was our first video, we had lots of wonderful memories and experiences with renowned personalities. As three of us maintain a tomboy look, one of the make-up artists even playfully named Moitreyee as Manas, Tripti as Tridip and Pranganna as Pranjal which lead to a lot of laughs. Another fun element was shooting on a moving truck with all our instruments, it was difficult to maintain our balance so we kept falling in between shots. Another thing we enjoyed was the delicious food we had during the shoots, it made us feel like we were on a picnic.
Can people expect new songs from the band anytime soon?
Obviously! ‘Yeh Toh Sirf Shuruwat Hai’. We have lots to explore. So keep enjoying the beauty of folk music with Rhythm–East. We just need your blessings and support.
Follow & Like: www.facebook.com/pages/Rhythm-East/453733954761964
As told to Jadeed Hussain