Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy (fourth from right) along with TaFMA adviser Theja Meru (extreme left), project director Hovithal Sothu (extreme right) and the guest speakers on the first day of ‘ThinkFest’ in Kohima

Kohima: In a bid to boost the music industry in the state, Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy recently launched the two-day-long ‘ThinkFest’, aimed at unraveling the business of music, at Regional Centre of Excellence for Music & Performing Arts (RCEMPA) in Jotsoma.

Organised by Task Force for Music & Arts (TaFMA) in association with Epiphone, over 150 music and arts enthusiasts attended the session.

Speaking at the launch, Toy said, “The aim of the government is to ensure that every part of the state and every young talent should get the opportunity and the possibility to achieve their aspirations”. Highlighting the discontinuation of the competitive Hornbill Rock contest, he expressed how the newly introduced Hornbill Music Festival will provide equal platform for local musicians to perform along with national musicians.

“Now big bands, international names and upcoming talents will all get ‘Tickets to Hornbill’ and make this event one of the biggest music festivals on an international scale,” he added.

Toy further stressed on the government’s seriousness to create an inclusive policy for music and arts by “engaging the real stakeholders of the music and arts fraternity in elevating this industry…..reaching out to each and every part of the state, especially the backward districts with programmes and initiatives.”

Toy urged the need for a professional approach by Nagas to “achieve recognition at the highest levels and to make successful careers in today’s competitive environment”. “That is why TaFMA has been made to step up its activities and formulate policies that will be game changers. That’s why ThinkFest; and other linkages with music academies and institutions that that will partner us as knowledge partners, conduct exchange programmes, residencies, etc,” he added.

He further expressed the state government’s “committed mission with this task force to support the youth towards reaching their ambitions”.

TaFMA adviser Theja Meru told media persons that the ‘ThinkFest’ was organised to train all stakeholders of the music and arts industry to further turn the ecosystem into an economic one.

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Meru revealed that most case studies have shown that the stakeholders of the industry are talented but lacks the knowledge. The ‘ThinkFest’ is one approach to train the Nagas “so that they are best at par with the others”.

“We are very excited as we have big names from the different industries present here today, but yes! This is just the beginning. There will be many more ThinkFests to help our industry stakeholders in the days to come,” he added.

When asked about his opinion on the music industry in the state, he said: “Well, it’s good but we are not the best yet, it is not good enough. The competitive industry from my discovery or say experience I feel you have to be best of best and that is what TaFMA aims towards.”

Prominent personalities from the industry — Luke Kenny, Viveick Rajagopalan, Arpito Cope, Ashwin Sharma, Jishnu Dasgupta and Nirmika Singh — were the speakers at the two-day event.

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