Music or Mumbai

[ Author: Jutika Mahanta ]

Any one for Music??? Or Mumbai??? As if I have added both tea and sugar in a cup to sip…….If you want to make your career in music…then pack your bag and come to Mumbai. It seems to be the mantra of all Assamese youngsters who are crowding the city with their aspirations. More than 500 guys come out of Assam every year to explore new dimension in their musical career. Fortunately they could mark their contribution in creating ‘Brand Assam’ here in the hub of Music. These budding musicians are using the native land as practice ground for gaining hands on experience only to excel in the competitive sphere. In fact Gen next is smarter, they are step further, coming out as soon as they finish their school and getting themselves trained in Mumbai to bloom further. Finally we North Eastern are leading the league and illuminating the world with new flavors. Even though our film and music is as old as Hindi Cinema (Joimati-1st Assamese film was made in 1935) but we started showing our presence in the national platform only through the popularity of legendary Dr Bhupen Hazarika.

Music maestro Dr Bhupen Hazarika is the pioneer who introduced Assam and its culture to the global interface. Later the flag has been hosted by many new talents like – Jitu-Tapan, Jatin Sharma, Jayanta Pathak, Kalyan Baruah, Anshuman Dewan, Jonquie etc. Trend continues and followed by Dhrubajyoti Phukan, Abani Tanti, Zubeen Garg, Angarag Papon Mahanta, Gautam Chakraborty, Pawan Russeily, Ranjan Gogoi(Papu),Nabo,Anil Doley, Dudul Alaap Saikia, Nipu Khaund, Utpal Sharma, Madhav Deka, Ibson Lal Baruah, Joi Barua, Raaj Konwar, Manas Chowdhary and many more.

Jatin Sharma, popularly known as  ‘Maina da’ set up “Geet Audiocraft Studio in Andheri East and took all the hardship for making a flourishing road for the future progenies.

Mumbai allows musician to indulge into their passion with career prospect, one can expect enough to earn bread and butter for their family .On the more ‘Mumbai is the Mecca’ for music hence all have a dream to come here and try out luck. It is in 90s when our multifaceted musicians dared to break the wall of hesitation and fear and landed in Mumbai to usher a new path.

Rich cultural heritage and folk treasure of the Assam are mainly responsible in giving birth to so many top notch musicians. Assam is the treasure house of talent and its inhabitants are blessed with good taste of music. Music is in the air; in fact our religion is based on Music. Shrimanta Shankardeva has spread his Vaishnabite religion through naam-kirtan, borgeet etc. Similarly our up bringing is enthused by music: people around us like koka- aaita, maa – deuta ,khura-khuri, pehi-mahi etc all inject music into our blood stream in the form of nisukoni geet, borgeet, bihu geet, naam etc.

Thanks to our rich folk heritage, enriched with end numbers of varieties, Assamese musicians could bring a fresh air to the national level and offering a different flavor to the audience. New taste of music is getting widespread applause and encouraging our guys to invest more and more folk ingredients into mainstream music. Credit goes to Bihu as well; because of Bihu our rhythms are great.

While talking about rich folk songs and music I cannot ignore our folk instruments. Dagor’, ‘taal’,’ ‘bor taal’, ‘nagada’,’dhol’,’ pepa’, ‘beena’, etc have the power to create magic ,its mesmerizing sound has create the waved  across the globe, even though our folk heritage are yet to be discovered fully .Few of our musicians are endeavoring to bring it to the national and international level. Mentioned can be made of Jonqui, who is a popular name in the world club circuit and Angarag Papon Mahanta.

Being emotional is our strength as we tend to be more sensitive to music than rest of the country. Music simply flows in our heart, not in the brain. Similarly we north eastern have the capability to blend well with others which ultimately resulted in a unique fusion. We do have got Mongolian elements rightly blend  in our music  and also have western effect(like gospel etc) due to Christian Missionary spread in the region. Apart from that we have verities of folks available and the influence of western music resulted in creating a special form of music altogether which is appreciated by the world

Scenario is so encouraging that we may end up finding one Assamese musician in almost every studio in Mumbai. If you are an Assamese you will have to be good in music. It stands true for live bands as well. All major bands of Mumbai have to possess an Assamese Guitarist. Mentioned can be made of Kalyan Baruah. Pawan Russeily, Abhilash Phukan  who are among few sought after names. Similarly when it comes to Live Bands neighboring state Meghalaya and Nagaland are hosting the flag.

Our guys are mainly engaged as Programmer, arranger, guitarist, recordist, percussionist etc and successfully contributed in creating ‘brand Assam’ in Mayanagar.

While implementing our folk in mainstream music, Dhrubajyotri Phukan has done a remarkable job. He has fused Assemese folk in various successful Hindi films and gave it wings to spread. Usage of folk must be appropriate it shall not sound alien to others; hence one shall be very careful while doing the same. Similarly while using folk in commercial work one must be sensible enough to implement it rightly. It shall not hurt the sentiments of the region.

Music Industry operates through reference as it doesn’t follow any standard system of recruitment. Hundreds of  musicians from Assam, NE land in Mumbai every year through some or the other connection from existing musicians which ultimately resulted into engagement. It’s a closely knit community who helps each other in residing by all means. Thanks to the community who didn’t allow anyone to go back without work, of course they are few who have to go back due to personal constrain.

Assamese musician could successfully create a huge impact on all by now. Bollywood knows that our boys have got enormous potentiality. They are also influencing the generation next back home. By seeing their success young stares are getting motivated to work hard back home  which is resulting in  overall upliftment.

Let’s raise the toast for rising and shining Assam across the nation.



Jutika Mahanta
B 202. Shiv Ratan. Plot No-6
Hardevi CHS. Caves Road.
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