World Music Day: Show must go on, say Nagaland musicians amid COVID-19
A few musical maestros from the Northeast of India

Kohima: While the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on almost everything, including the world of music, musicians in Nagaland are undeterred in their quest to share their love for music.

On World Music Day, several musicians from the state are taking to online platforms due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. While some are partaking in virtual concerts, others are just utilising the time to introspect on their music and life in general.

In a conversation with EastMojo, noted Naga musician Nise Meruno said: “I feel that another way to celebrate World Music Day is not to be on your feet and jumping but to be on your knees and worshipping the one who gave us this beautiful gift of music – God.”

In the past few years, on this day, Meruno said he used to spend time worshiping at the Town Baptist Church (Youth Dept) in Dimapur, which unfortunately did not take place this year.

“One can use this day for musicians to introspect their purpose on this earth enabling us to use it in the best way possible. This gift is not borrowed, bought or acquired but gifted to us and it is our responsibility to take good care of it and be a blessing to others through it,” said Meruno.

“I also hope that on this day, the walls dividing the music fraternity will come down and we support one another. Everyone will all have their preferences or forte as music is subjective, but one can always look or hear beyond that and embrace one another with warmth and appreciation,” the piano maestro added.

Last year, on World Music Day, Meruno released a cover of the song, ‘My Tribute’, collaborating with classical guitarist Joey Woch. “Each and every word has so much meaning and depth. I hope this will be my prayer every day of my life and especially on this day,” he said, recalling about the music.

On the occasion, Mercy Tetseo of Tetseo sisters fame said she is listening and singing to her favourite songs. She told EastMojo that she will also be catching up on some virtual concerts happening around the world to mark the day.

Rapper Moko Koza also said he is celebrating the day virtually for the second time in a row. “It’s not as thrilled as it was in the previous years but given the circumstances, hopefully we’d be able to perform live on stage by next year. Hope’s up,” he said.

Noted singer NK Naga, who was recently roped in by Find Studioz Production House, Mumbai as a playback singer in Bollywood, is using the day to work on pending projects.

There is likely to be unstoppable music on World Music Day which also coincides with the summer solstice where the Northern hemisphere experiences its longest day of the year.

As reported earlier, Musicians Guild Nagaland will be celebrating the day through a concert from 6 pm onwards on YouTube to raise funds for COVID-19 relief.

The line-up for the virtual concert are: Trance Effect, Tune up channel, Mar Jamir, Rap Cypher, Elysian, KL Pamei, Abdon Mech, Imliakum, About Us, The Wishess, Papersky, Megh, Version2, Seysei, and Arenlong Longkumer.

From 8 pm onwards, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Guwahati and Task Force for Music and Arts (TaFMA), Nagaland will be hosting a one-of-its kind virtual concert called ‘One North East’ with artistes from across the region.

The concert will be live on Facebook and will feature eight artistes from Northeast India.

The event has a line-up of talented musicians, including Girish Pradhan (GATC) from Sikkim; Borkung Hrangkhawl (BK) from Tripura; Mangka from Manipur; Nourhe Khate from Nagaland; Joi Barua from Assam; Henry Varte from Mizoram; Lenzing Doming from Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya’s renowned band Soulmate.

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