Born in Nagaland and growing up in Shillong, Anungla has always been surrounded by nature, sports, books and music, which helped shape her into the person she is today – artistic and musical. Music has been a part of her life for a long time but the first time she shared her music with the world was through her single named ‘Call Me’. VNe finds out more.
Tell us a little about yourself
Writing down my thoughts and feelings grounds me and I like to sing some of the stuff I write. Even so, I don’t consider myself a singer or a musician; in fact I am quite irreverent about singing or playing. When a song wants to happen then I’d spend a lot of time in solitude finding a tuning on my guitar. This process is usually painful but it is also the healing I need. After that, the song formulates and I am humming snatches of it as I go about life. In 2011, I decided to record some of my songs which I eventually published in 2014. The process of recording was strange to me, because of having to go into a studio, sit inside an ac room and having to get on the job at the appointed hour, and then later having to handle printing CDs and designing covers and then marketing them. The whole thing was a bit of a headache. But last year I met some professional musicians in Nagaland and experimented with them on a song and found I really enjoyed it, and also realized I could simply upload the song, voila!
Who introduced you to music?
Who can say? I suppose from the beginning, music has always been around, music of nature, music at community festivals and church services. At home, we heard my parents’ LPs and, actually it was my brother’s collection of records and tapes which opened me up to the world of music and poetry. It was also my brother’s acoustic guitar that I first picked up to play.
How did ‘Call Me’ happen?
It actually came in a moment when I was feeling down, during an uninspired sitting at a window looking out. Last year, I visited Element Indie Records and showed it to Kevi Pucho of Element Indie Records, who took to it and recommended Kevi Kiso, owner of Jam Tree, a music school. Luckily, he liked the demo I sent. I’m so grateful to both of them, they skilfully transformed my humble song lines into the beauty that it is now. They just got it! Because these guys are busy doing their own thing and I was also out of station in between, it did take a while before the song could come together but it was fun, we added sound textures, dry bamboo leaves, a seed pod athih, a small clay pot, and Kevi Kiso actually got down on his knees and started thumping the studio floor with his fists (laughs). At the end, we decided on the sound of the harmonica which I think gives such a nice feel to the song.
The response has been very positive. What do you have to say about that?
First of all, thank you to everyone who listened to my song. It is heart warming to receive appreciation when you put yourself out there, and knowing that people are responding to the song somehow brings sweet meaning to things. It has taken me courage to put out a rather naive song considering all the gifted and accomplished singers here in Nagaland but I’m glad I did it. Actually, it doesn’t matter whether it is liked or not, the essential factor is that I followed my intuition and I’m happier and stronger for that. In the first place, I owe it all to my family for their unwavering love and support and again hats off to Kevi Kiso and Kevi Pucho, it’s their knowledge and excellent music sensibilities that really makes the song.
Are you working on anything new?
I usually am working on something or the other though there’s always this tussle between keeping it personal or going public with it. The process to record a song does bring pressure on me, to wrest it out from within and practice and all of that is kind of stressful because of the nature of my song writing but I really do see the good sense in playing my songs more often. Practice is always a good idea. And now after having come out with my first song I could be less reluctant to share something personal, I’ve sort of overcome something, I think. So watch out!
CALL ME was composed by Anungla. Listen here: www.soundcloud.com/anungla
Vocals: Anungla; Guitars and Harmonica: Kevi Neibulie Kiso; Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Kevi Pucho
KEVI KISO runs Jam Tree, a music school in Dimapur, Nagaland, where young artists are tutored and mentored in high level musicianship and stage performance. Contact: +91961217080.
KEVI PUCHO runs Element Indie Records, one of the best recording studios in Dimapur, Nagaland. He also sings and plays guitar in the band ‘We The Giants’. Contact: +918974158176.
As told to Jadeed Hussain