By Kaushik Baruah | Feb 28, 2019
Indian-Indie's new conscience
More than a week ago, Arunachal's Taba Chake released his new single 'Walk with me' on YouTube and only a day after he got right back to the studio which means he is writing new singles for his future releases, amongst which a single in the Arunachali language is still in works.
"I don't think I write a lot of love songs- most of my inspiration comes from Nature." he talks of his themes "but 'Walk with me' was special and stirred by an almost personal emotion I felt when I was taking the ride back home in a Metro one day. I got back home and wrote the song with a special friend. It was almost conversational- the writing process. I was so inspired I completed writing and recording the song within the next day."
Wearing long hair that somewhat cover his vintage nude frame glasses, Chake sits in the backyard of a small performance venue in Delhi as he speaks to The Northeast Today. He wrote the new song, he says "from the perspective of a person in love. It could be any one's story really."
This is the sort of talk that is unique to Chake noticeable in the course of a conversation with him: His otherwise straight-forward acoustic singer-songwriter persona is disproved by a thought process that likes to look at the competitive side of things as far as his music is concerned. "The real reason why I moved out of Doimukh (Arunachal Pradesh) to live in other parts of the country, especially in cities like Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and now Bombay is the sense of competition it gives me. I've always been the kind of artist who likes to challenge himself." To that end, he has made quite the name for himself, notching lakhs of views on his YouTube channel organically. "I still cannot look at my music from the numbers game perspective like everyone else is doing today. YouTube came to Arunachal Pradesh in 2006- I have never really given it enough importance to care about how many likes and views my songs get."
It has been a sizeably long journey for Chake, demanding to say the very least. "I moved out of my state at a time when there were no avenues for a musician like me to even share my music with an audience- there wasn't a Ziro Festival of Music or an Orange Festival in Dambuk at the time- so those times called for a certain kind of measure. And I don't regret it, moving out helped me grow as a musician. It feels like a great thing to me."
A server from the venue brings us glasses of water from the kitchen. Meanwhile, some fans want to click selfies with Chake- he points and smiles- "Each one of them is important to me. I feel like everybody who listens to my music has a bond with me."- then gives his humility a diagnosis- "It's very important to identify and recognize your base, your community as a musician." Chake is as offhandedly simple as he is reflectively deep about his ideas. His devotion to competing with himself manifests not as some naive resilience but as a logical reaction to the sudden outburst of singer- songwriters in the region today, as he puts it, " we all need to find our own space". With a few compiled releases and standalone singles to his name, he's now putting finishing touches on several upcoming releases which he says constitutes a metamorphosis as far as his fans will receive them, even as the new music continues in the vein of his previous releases, showcasing a very laid back outlook towards genre, an emotional atmosphere and a literary approach to lyrics.
'Walk with me' will be aired on Vh1 throughout the month of March.
The writer can be reached at email@example.com / Follow him @kaushikjaibarua
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