Music

Coronavirus lockdown: Nagaland’s Alobo Naga takes to online concerts to spread cheer

The pandemic has derailed many of Alobo’s plans but the music hasn’t stopped

Alobo Naga’s a well-known name now in Indian independent music -- the Best Indian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2012, a triple win at the Artist Aloud Music Awards in 2018 among other accolades testify this. And, 2020 was supposed to be an important year for him — he had planned several things to make his music reach more people. He was working on his new album. He wanted to make his music school, MUSiK-A, bigger. And, there were numerous bookings for live concerts -- which, he says, continues to be his bread and butter.

Four months into the year: album stopped; school shut; and shows cancelled. Life, like it has been for most people in the world, has ground to a halt for Alobo.

From his hometown, Dimapur, he says over the phone, “We are in absolute lockdown. Very few people in the city were allowed to step out for the last two weeks. But the last two days, even that has reduced.”

Despite his disrupted routines, scrapped plans and the general uncertainty, Alobo’s spirit hasn’t diminished.

“In some ways, I am actually liking it. This is an opportunity for me to polish my skills, spend more time with my family and reflect on myself.”

Coronavirus lockdown: Nagaland’s Alobo Naga takes to online concerts to spread cheer

    The pandemic might have confined him to his home. But it hasn’t stopped his music. He’s a part of a long line-up of independent artists (of varied genres and languages) in Hungama Artist Aloud’s online concert series, #StayAtHome #StayEntertained. From April 1 to 14, everyday at 4 pm, the artists will perform and interact with their fans on Hungama Music’s official Facebook page. Alobo’s slated to perform on April 4.

    Alobo’s collaborating with other Naga musicians via his social media to have more local online concerts. “I also want to use this time to look out for good talents in my State who are not popular yet.”

    He released a music video of ‘Chasing Ghosts’, a song from his album Kini, featuring fellow Naga musician Moto on March 27.

    Online concerts, all over the world, are getting increasingly popular. International stars such as Chris Martin, John Legend, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan among others have also performed for their fans on social media. These concerts could continue to be in vogue even after normalcy returns as they let artists reach their fans across the world. Of this, Alobo says, “I am a little old school. I still think live music is the best. To see the crowds and perform in front of them has a different energy. But I see online concerts as a positive thing. It can reach so many people locked in their homes.”

    Alobo gives a few names as his inspiration -- Green Day, Eminem, Nirvana, AR Rahman -- but says the place where he grew up is the biggest reason for him to be a musician. For, music has always been in the air of Nagaland. And, especially in such a precarious time, he wants to keep it going.

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    Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 4:30:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/nagalands-alobo-naga-takes-to-online-concerts-to-spread-cheer/article31255862.ece

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