At a time when youth are getting great exposure to various fields that might seem more interesting and appealing than regular academics, striking a right balance between academics and pursuing ones passion is not an easy task, but Takar Nabam, a Delhi based guitarist, singer songwriter, composer has made it happen. Born on February 20, 1991, in Doimukh, Arunachal Pradesh, at the age of 11, after having shifted his base to New Delhi to pursue his schooling and college, Takar was gifted his first guitar, on the condition that he could not let his academics take a back seat. So began his love story of fretting around regularly, something he religiously follows to this day.
After having dominated the Delhi Inter-school and inter-college scene, Takar wanted to take his music to a more professional dimension. Hence, in the year 2012-2013, he had attended two semesters at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, where he received a diploma in Music performance. Also during this time he had opened up to singing, composing and writing lyrics. Takar released his debut album, Same Sky, in early 2016, as a singer songwriter, composer.
Here is Takar Nabam in an exclusive interview with TNT-The Northeast Today
TNT- Hello Takar Nabam, a fervent welcome to you. When and how the vocal/guitar journey begin? Our readers would love to know the lamp that lit on the way of your music till here?
Hello, thank you for having me. My musical journey started in 2002 with the guitar, but I also enjoyed singing the popular songs of the 90’s era, although mostly in the bathroom. I had received my first guitar on the condition that my academics wouldn’t take a back seat, so I managed juggling between academics and music. The School days were glorifying as our school band, of which I was a part, won many competitions, and I had won several individual accolades for my performance in guitar. During this phase, my focus was primarily on instrumental music, particularly in the styles of rock, heavy metal, alternative, etc. It was only during my college days, and particularly during the end of it, when I got exposed to artists like Extreme, Derek Trucks, Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Maroon 5, among others, and I started getting slightly inclined towards writing lyrics and writing songs. The day came when I was to graduate out of college, and I had decided to dig deeper into other styles of music and to learn the fundamentals of it. I was enrolled at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, Tamil Nadu, between 2012 – 2013, for two semesters, which gave me ample information on composition, arranging, improvisation, vocal exercises, and to play in ensembles, and above all, I started practicing in a disciplined manner. During this phase, I started practicing my singing a bit and wrote some lyrics, too, along with hours of fretting on the guitar. It took a while for the information to sink in, I still work on them.
TNT- What sort of music you mostly enjoy working with and why? What are the underlying themes behind your music?
I think it varies with different phases. In one phase I like to listen to and play a lot of instrumental music, with the main focus on improvisation. In the last 3-4 years, it has primarily been Jazz standards, which were once the popular music of the early 20th century. I enjoy this phase because it makes me dig deeper into the past, but I also try and explore all the contemporary approaches to improvise over those tunes, and I try to add my own flavour to them. I’m still working on it, sky is the limit. While in the other phase, I like listening to singer songwriters, and other artists/bands who write songs with lyrics. I enjoy the simplicity with which the songs are presented, and, yet, they manage to capture the emotion of the song. As far as my music is concerned, I write songs about love, heartbreak, life and its ups and downs, etc., which, I believe, are emotions everybody can connect to.
TNT- Tell us about your debut album- ‘Same Sky’. Is there any specific message you want to pass though it?
For those of you who don’t know, ’Same sky’ was my debut album, which was released in February, 2016. The songs of this album are about my experiences, particularly during the school, college days and the times a little after that. At various points in my life, Post College, I did feel the urge to document all those memories in a proper manner. It’s all those memories, experiences all under one sky.
TNT- Who are your favorite Indian guitarists?
Floyd Fernandes: humorous, humble and a very intelligent man he is. We’re blessed to have him share his immense knowledge of the instrument on the internet, totally free of cost.
Amandeep Singh: he has a great touch on the instrument and he can sing damn well.
Abhishek Mittal: a young, very hard working, and a talented guitar player. It’s a treat to watch him play.
AayushiKarnik: I had the chance to play 2 gigs with her in 2016. She has a great touch on the instrument for the blues.
Bryden: I saw him play at Hornbill Festival, 2010, and sweep all over the neck with such clarity that the memory is still very vivid.
TNT- Do you have love for any other things apart from singing to make yourself engrossed?
I enjoy running, exercising, reading the paper, reading novels, once in a while. I’d like to mention here that I’ve also been teaching guitar since 2013.
TNT- Besides being a solo artist, what are the other projects who have indulged to?
Currently, I’m only doing gigs performing my music as a solo/duo or with a band, which consists of some of my friends who I enjoy playing with. I’ve collaborated with a few artists in the past, but only as a onetime thing or for 2-3 gigs. I do freelancing work as well.
TNT- What advice would you like to give to the upcoming guitarist of the region?
Be honest with yourself, be open to learning new ideas, work on your ideas, be humble, practice regularly. I don’t mean practice for hours each day, but even half an hour of concentrated practice can help you develop consistency in your playing. The masters who have lived and who have played their hearts out were hardworking, honest and serious about their music.
Website link : http://www.takarnabammusic.
Artist fb link: https://www.facebook.com/
–As interviewed by Ritu Raj Boruah for TNT- The Northeast Today