In a very short span of time, Taba Chake has impressed millions of people with his beautiful voice and astounding musical sense. With more than 3 lakh listeners on music streaming platforms and over 25 Million streams on all the sites, this multi-lingual indie artist is the new sensation that is most definitely here to stay.
In an exclusive conversation with NW18, Chake shed light on the creative process that he follows, the inspirations behind the kind of music he makes, the indie scene in the country and much more.
Your music has always been very uplifting and relaxing. Is there a particular reason behind maintaining that tonality? Can you tell also shed light on your creative process?
Ohh such a deep question! I don’t know. There’s no secret or anything like that. It just depends on person to person, how you take life, and how you understand life, right? Everyone has their own way of looking at life or people and places. It could be anything in general, right? So that’s the only difference that makes music or any other person different.
And inspiration, I think I used to listen to a lot of music from various genres and different – different bands and artists from all over the world. Different languages of course.
I love listening to Mandarin pop, of course, K-pop and songs from Indonesia Thailand, Spain mix of all. It is mixed up all in all like, but nowadays just it’s not like before what happens like we used to go to cyber cafes or we used to download any artist’s whole album and listen so now things have changed you just type pop music so the pop music will come.
All the rock music will come so it’s completely different now but I listen to a mix of everything. Mixed up everything and I think that you can have I think that shows in my songs as well. If you listen to my songs, some songs. These songs are very folk where I’m putting my tribal traditional only dialects you know like it’s mixed on all and I get inspiration I get it from everything. Family members, friends, and even if I even know I’m getting inspiration but you guys just talking like this because this equation is something different to me.
Any particular person who inspires you with the music that you create?
I don’t have as such, but when I’m writing something new, I will give it a try. I play the song to my mom actually and she takes or she texts or she grew up listening to different kinds of music of course old Bollywood songs and also our Nishi travel folktales and folk songs. So she understands creativity in a different way. For example, if you listen to my song Shayar, she helped me in many ways. Like, if I’m shortening down cutting down the phrases you like, no, no, no, you just sustained that own. It doesn’t sound good. So just sustain that word. I think that will give good more emotions.
How have you evolved as a musician ever since you first released your music?
So the transition of my life journey was completely different when I hear other artists’ stories, the inspiration and when I think of it completely different because I come from a different background. My background means that it is different, like different parts of the world. You know, like when I was starting music that there was nothing you know, there’s no cafe or anything that time there were only a few cafes and various places. That too cyber cafes for the internet not coffee cafes. So it was different. We didn’t add any trend surveys or flight surveys or, we had to take a nine-hour journey from Arunachal to Guhawati just to take a flight you know, to reach Bombay or anything.
We Arunachalis have to travel to Guwahati to take any flight so that was a different thing. And right now Yeah, I mean, in terms of making music or anything, nothing has changed or anything it is just now I have a little bit of budget where I can put you know, make my song sound more tighter and more clear. Before I did not have any money. I used to record my whole songs for just 5000/3000 rupees or maybe just don’t pay anything and I asked my friends at the table saying that there’s my song I have.
So if you can record or it can help me like some parts for me. Or you can play the drums for me. So, so this was these were a conversation long back but now the only thing changes that I can put a little bit of my budget and make it sound more clear. And so that’s the only difference but pretty wise everything’s still the same. I’m the same old person you know like the same old person
How do you think the indie scene is evolving in India and what more can be done to make it a better space?
What I feel is that I think it’s growing. If you want to put a major mark or anything like that, I think if this is the movie people or the movie industry, they accept the indie artist more than I think that is a lot. Yeah, yes. I think that’s the only difference. I think that’s the only thing if, if this can happen everyone will be much happier.
Do you think the indie space or the music industry as a whole in India is inclusive?
Yeah, I think yes. But it’s still maybe you know, very picky, right? What I see is that the people who listen to indie songs or independent artists, the more little more than they understand the outside world inside the world, they understand city life. The one who takes more flights than bus or train, you know. I feel like that’s my experience. Okay. Don’t judge me. That space is still there. If we can do something or make that really, really makes a difference.
You have also given us a glimpse of the Nyishi tradition through your music. What was the response like?
Of course, my first understanding was different while writing. I wanted to preserve my language. Of course. Things are changing. Everything changes over time because also in a rational way when you go indie. We have our different kinds of indie that is called Arunachali indie. And we have different accents. Like how Bihari speaks Hindi how he speaks it, so in Arunachal in these completely different Yes, that’s also a wow factor for Arunachal because we can write and sing an indie as well.
Yeah, writing this song was to preserve my language. And I also wanted to tell my people through the song that you know, you also speak your language, just to preserve or just to, you know, carry forward. Of course, English and Hindi are good. We all should understand, so know how to speak. But just forgetting a language is like an identity crisis, you know, like like, for example, if you are a Gujarati and you can’t speak Gujarati there’s nothing wrong or right. It’s just, it’s better if you can speak good, it’s good for you.
So in that way, I created I wanted to give my initial first Nyschi one out. People who are listening to different kinds of songs. But I just wanted to give them something like okay, this is also a song and there’s a modern song. I think you might love it. So yeah, the audience reaction was great. And after releasing my first single. Now, if you see everyone writing songs in their own language, if you talk about for example Ritu, Indian Idol artists just came out got viral. So, it’s, it’s really nice, you know, it’s very nice when I see these and I like, things are getting changed, you know?
And also, I wanted to let people outside know that this is my language and I wanted to give them a little understanding of myself, so that was my motive. And that was my actual goal.
You will be performing at Sauce, what can fans expect from you?
Oh, my goodness. That’s a very difficult question for me. I don’t know, I don’t want to talk about live shows. I mean, because it’s a live show, right? Sometimes it’s a wow show, sometimes it’s not too good a show. I will try my best and I will give my best on the live stage. That’s all I can say.
What lies ahead of you? Do you plan on making a big Bollywood debut?
Not yet, I mean, I am not planning to but if I get a chance to do a Bollywood number I want to take control of the creative side can give me control to handle my composition, right
I’m happy to work with any director, any producer for any film.
What is your advice to all those trying to make a space for themselves in the indie music scene?
Honestly, I have no advice. Because it depends on person to person how they take things. But if you ask me, I am just happy with what I’m doing at the moment. And I don’t want more, I don’t want less, I’m happy. Whatever I’ve got at the moment because it’s like, I’m just so it just you know, I’m just flowing with it like, I don’t want more or less just, I just want to keep doing it. But I don’t have anything to give to anyone.
One thing I can say is just you know, listen to people. And believe in yourself. That’s it. I don’t have any other advice. Sometimes what happens you know, like, even sometimes what happened, like people are so creative. There are so many talented and creative people in this world. But everyone is so nervous and not ready to come outside or not to showcase their talent. So, in that way everyone you know is like this, just sit at home and do nothing. So I think if we can believe in ourselves a little bit, then I think we can do a lot.
What is your hope and dream for the Indie music scene in India?
I don’t know about the other artists but I want my voice and my composition to be in Bollywood films.
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