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Prayer for Peace

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Born in William Nagar East Garo Hill in Meghalaya to Mr. Nolinstone Marak and Smt. Manju Marak, Mikhail was introduced to the world of music by Fr. Benedict Lyngdoh when he was admitted in Boys’ Home Hostel of Don Bosco School in the 6th standard. His peace anthem ‘Jakgitel’ featuring 16 music personalities became the first Garo song to get telecast on national television. Jadeed Hussain interviewed Mikhail to know more about the song.

How did you get interested in music?

Fr. Benedict Lyngdoh would give us music lessons and we would learn the instruments of our choice. When I passed 8th standard, I got my first guitar as a gift from my mom for securing good marks. I started, playing in small school events, hostel daily masses and prayer meets. I did my first composition at the age of 13.

You did your studies in music and filmmaking? So what plans for future?

I want to learn recording. The desire to make something of my own made me join Satyajit Ray Film & television Institute, Kolkata where I did specialisation in Audiography (Sound Design & Recording). Having finished my Post Graduation from the institute, I am currently developing a script for a feature film and composing some new music as well.

How did ‘Jakgitel’ happen?

Meghalaya has been witnessing turbulent times for quite some time now, specially the Garo Hills. The region has been going through rough times with militancy, kidnapping, extortion and killings making headlines almost every day. But what deeply hurt me personally was the brutal killing of Josbina Sangma in front of her children and husband. Also, there was the inhumane killing of the petrol pump worker in Bokmagre, Tura. Following this, I picked up a song which I had written quite some time back and came up with the concept of getting well-known artists of the region to appeal for peace through music.

What were the hurdles that you faced to make the music video?

The concept of getting all the best singers from the region sounded good but with limited resources and no money, it was difficult. I am a student myself and didn’t have much apart from my daily pocket money. So, I pitched the idea to my close friends. They were all excited about the idea. Each of us contributed in any way we could and sorted the budget out. Then we started to approach the singers and all of them responded positively. They all understood what we were trying to do and did everything for free. Now, with audio recording done, I called upon my friend and batch mates Mr. Kishor Kumar (cinematographer) & Mr. Saptarsi Mondal (editor) to help me with the video. My crew cum friends provided me all the help I needed.

Are you working on any new projects?

I am currently working on my next single for which I have finished recording the audio and now am looking for interested producers to fund the music video. An idea which is still at an infant stage is to fuse western Indian folk with Northeastern Folk. Apart from that, I am also developing two scripts, one for a short-film and the other a feature film.

Did You Know?

The 16 musicians who were part of the song were Waldhiem Sangma (Hi-Fi Stereo), Silsang D Marak (Titans), Enbie Do·po Sangma (Curious Heart),Tengnang Dawa Sangma (Ahowee),Fame N Sangma (Fame Band),Jakrim D Sangma, Chezel Ch Marak, Jackie Sangma, Tarin C. Marak (Haystack Ladies), Abba Tenny Momin, Jabong Maurice Ch. Sangma (Nokpante), Sanjeev N Marak, Z.Jagame, Mikkimra D. Shira (Fame Band), Browny Marak (Riprap) & Cinda Guri Sangma (Haystack Ladies).

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