Portraying the colours of Folk fusion music from Northeast, Purple Fusion is a Folk Fusion band from Nagaland, India that delves and experiments in Naga traditional as well as other Folk music. The Band was formed officially on 28thAugust 2012 with an aim to promote the rich tradition and culture of Nagaland, India in the form of fusion music. PF incorporates indigenous ethnic music with genre of the west like Blues, Jazz, Funk, Reggae and rock to create a blend of music which is different and unique from what we usually get to listen to in this modern electronic age. Check out the band talk about their music and their debut album “Folk Reminiscence” in an exclusive interview with TNT (The Northeast Today) Magazine.
TNT: First off, congratulations on the band’s second anniversary. Remembering the band’s formation, how do you recall Purple Fusion then and now? And yes, why purple?
PF: Thanks a lot TNT, well many of us know that PF initially started as an experimental instrumental band, but seeing the need to have a female vocalist to make our songs a little different and varied we approached a couple of female vocalist but finding none we decided to try our then manager Lamtsala who had the history of being a great performer some 10 years back and viola! We got the singer we were searching for to be honest we really did not imagine that people would accept us as a band so soon but we have always believed that we could really do something big. It feels like in these two years’ time we have grown together as a band and more importantly as a family. First and foremost, Purple of Artists and in the olden days purple was resembled Royalty, Majesty and Greatness. We do not portray ourselves as royal or majestic or great, we just want to have and emulate or resemble these attributes and become better musicians.
TNT: PF delves with traditional and folk music and create a new form mixing genres. How do you incorporate different genres together particularly the western style with the traditional?
PF: Well folk songs or for that matter any other song follow a certain time signature or pattern, what we usually do is take these pattern into consideration and deliberate on what kind of genre the song will best fit to. At times things don’t work out too well but most times it just amazes us how well our folk tunes and songs fit and gels with western genres like blues, reggae, funk etc…
TNT: A year ago PF released a debut music video “Tring Tring- Marks of war” which was a success and now a debut album “”Folk Reminiscence”. How high are your hopes for this new album and what can listeners expect from it?
PF: To be honest we have put in almost a year and a half and all our possessions into making this album a reality. We are so thankful to the Editor of TNT for helping us in our first music video. We will always be indebted to you guys. As for this album having put into so much physically, emotionally, mentally and financially we have great expectation that the results will be just great. It’s like this album will either make or break us anyhow let’s see how the general public will respond to it.
TNT: As a successful band from the NorthEast, PF has achieved some major milestones in its career. Having said that, when it comes to NE bands, it may seem easier to form a band the truth is that most bands find it harder to maintain and thrive themselves. Your say?
PF: Exactly I think the music scene or rather music industry in the north east is for those few who are willing to go the distance and sacrifice every other opportunity that temptingly comes along ones way. It’s for those few who are really passionate and dedicated. And one such band is Soul Mate, we really admire the way they have made themselves successful and the way they have been inspiring the younger generation. In short it’s not so easy to survive in the north east as a full time musician.
TNT: Is there any new music video coming from the band?
PF: Yes of course we have a Music Video for one of our songs called Ho Hey! You Came Along from “Folk Reminiscence” Album which will be released on September. We will keep you guys updated.
TNT: What does sound department use (instruments) when it comes to portraying traditional or folk music?
PF: Sadly apart from a couple of traditional instruments like the Tati which is a single stringed instrument and a couple of percussions that some tribes use, Nagas don’t use much of traditional instruments apart from our voice. What we usually do to portray our traditional folk music is use our folk chants and harmonized vocals. It gives a very varied and unique essence to whatever kind of songs we compose.
TNT (To Lamtsala): All members of the band are indeed famed musicians each distinctive in its field. As a successful and self taught vocalist, what is more essential for a band’s success is it ‘innate talent’ or ‘learned skill’?
Lamtsa: Ya that’s right, “THE LEGENDS” that’s what I call them. Well for me, surely hands down it is the “innate talent” but yes if some pinches of learned skills added that will be more beautiful. Though no matter what hard work and originality matters!!
TNT: (To Imsanger and Temsu): You two have been into metal and now as part of PF working with traditional and folk elements. How has the transition worked for you?
Tem: Well, frankly it was a bit weird at first dealing with all the weird folk stuff! (I have never before sung backing vocals before even normal rock stuff seated behind the drums) which I do now overcoming a big challenge for me! N yea grown musically n individually which am sure will have positive impacts in the band!
Ims: Initially the transition has been pretty much like learning a totally different kind of song. I had to start all over again experimenting with different genres with the folk fusion elements in mind. And I think I am pretty much blended and comfortable with the stuffs we do now. And so far it has been an awesome experience.
TNT (To Mhathung): How would you juxtapose between Divine Connection and Purple Fusion?
Mhathung: Hahahaha that’s quite an interesting question lol…. In short DC was more of a mainstream rock cover band, of course we then had our original songs too, but people mostly knew DC as a very popular cover band. As oppose to DC, PF is more unique in its music style and more inclined towards making original music. In that sense I feel that down the line PF will have more opportunities in the days and years to come as we all know that the world now a days is looking for something that is fresh, new and exciting in terms of musical creativity.
TNT: Considering the level that the band is in at the moment, do you envision yourselves getting better as a band or as individuals?
Ims -I would say both. Because being in a band like this, we mess around with different genres of music which is why it’s always challenging, and ultimately improving ourselves and also the output of the band.
Mhat– Ahhh…. What’s the use of becoming a better musician individually when you do not have a band to play with? I think growing together in a band as individuals and as a musician is what counts most.
TNT: What is more gratifying to the band, money or recognition?
PF: Yes! No denying that we all need money to survive but in order to make money we need people to know us as good musicians. As of the moment we are really trying hard to be recognized even if not as a great band but at least a good band.
TNT: We would like a gear rundown from the band as well. (Equipments- guitars, effects, etc)
PF: Well actually we are a very simple lot in terms of gears, Temsu uses his Basix classic and Mapex Birchwood drums, Lamtsa usually uses her personal EV PL44 mics wherever she performs and loves in-ear monitors. Imsang has a customized LTD seven string but mostly uses his Fender Squire and uses a Boss Me75 because is quite handy while travelling and is almost as versatile as the Boss GT8 and Mhathung takes turns using his Thunder bird IV, Thunder Bird V, Charvel Jackson but mostly prefers his 5 string Fender Jazz (without any stomp box or effects).
TNT: Any shoutouts?
PF: Yes of course “People don’t take musicians for granted, we are also just normal human beings trying to make a living doing what we love” Respect musicians and pay them what is due.
Lamtsa– Albums out! So go to itunes, Amazon mp3, Spotify, Google play, Reverbnation etc and get our songs in your playlist. I am sure you’ll love it.
TNT: What is the band’s other passion apart from music?
PF: Hmmm watching movies, eating out and off course travelling and getting to see new places and experience new culture. And ohhh for some “Bikes”.
TNT: Thank you for taking your time out. We wish you luck for your new album and your future endeavours.
PF: Thanks a lot TNT again, it was fun writing for you all. We also wish you all the best for your future and hope to continue working together. You guys are superb!
Interviewed by Denis Sangma
Check out their recently released second music video “Ho Hey! You Came Along” from their new album “Folk Reminiscence” here: