For Nagaland born Nourhe Khate, music isn’t just a way of life. It instead is life itself for this talented strummer whose arena of dabbling strikes also a non singular chord across the musical narrative. Guitar and violin are both his passions and for someone whose identity as an artist is ingrained in his very being harboured through a childhood penchant for music, Khate’s skillful pursuing of either is only expectedly sublime.
He ‘started out’ with a dustpan- obviously an anecdote stemming from the early years of his life but that which did all it needed to, to thrust him in this world of the musical. Graduating from this cleaning implement to a toy guitar first and an actual violin next with a real guitar following some years later, Nourhevilie Khate’s mastery over the instruments has only grown to become better and better.
But while his interest in music had already been evident early on, his taking to the violin wasn’t something exactly derived out of pure passion. As uncharacteristic as it might seem for a musician to not take naturally to, in all dreamy dedication and soulful profusion of what stirs the senses, Nourhe’s tryst with the violin emerged out of the consciousness of his parents.
An eight year old Nourhe had no specific interest in trying his hands on the violin but when presented with this prospect in learning something new, he did not deny as well the curious excitement that this exploration of music held. And while that speaks volumes of the kind of artist Khate currently identifies as with all his heart and soul immersed in the sensibilities of which only the creative faculties can lend, the dynamics of what awaited for him in exploring this facet of himself would prove to be even exemplary.
It indeed is something of much excellence that has catered to this affinity for the new, once yielded in as a young child to continue through the years in more spectacularness. Having learnt the violin under numerous accomplished names in the field, Khate went on to win the David Menezes National violin competition in 2014. And while he was also the best guitarist in the Rockville: Battle of the Bands at NIT-Nagaland’s annual cultural fest Ekarikthin 2015, it has been his affair with the violin that has spun a different tale of accomplishment.
Recipient of the prestigious Rumi Foundation Great Indian Scholarship to pursue his Master’s in Violin performance from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, Nourhe Khate’s journey in not just making but also learning music has been one immensely enriching. That encompasses as well his other equally precious achievements of what testifies further the talent he possesses and the dedication with which he pursues this gift from God. Khate went on to complete his master’s at the Trinity Laban after receiving also the GREAT India Scholar and Leverhume Arts Scholar in his succeeding year. Prior to that it was the Fewkes Memorial Trophy for best ABRSM grade exam candidate, the Thumboochetty Violin Prize and Bangalore’s ABRSM high achiever award that have graced the cabinets and waxed eloquent about the unparalleled fore of what this proud musician is blessed indeed to conquer.
What strikes as interesting here is that Nourhe Khate had already released his debut original before laying claim to any of these impressive accolades. The 2013 release Inside Out that he worked on with two other artists marked the first professional musical expression that emerged out of his repertoire. And ever since there has been no looking back for this northeasterner who has gone on to mesmerise national as well as global audiences with his extensive collection of performances all steeped in the nuances that curates each trove of the many melodious medleys.
With such extensive understanding of the music he specifically does, it is no wonder that Khate has gone to be a part of numerous orchestras. Be it playing for the India National Youth Orchestra, the Canada-India Youth Orchestra, the Indo- German Youth Orchestra,
the BSM Chamber Orchestra, the South Asian Symphony Orchestra or for bands like Purple Fusion, Papersky, and productions like Emotive Strings, the still young violist and guitar has more than enough feathers on his decorated cap.
His ‘celebrity encounters’ too validate the identity brought about by his musical genius. So while playing at the Isha Ambani- Anand Piramal wedding with fellow Naga musician Nise Meruno definitely stands out, no less celebratory as well would be a performance put up as member of the Shillong Chamber Choir at the 2023 G20 Ministerial Conference.
For all his ample busyness and amplified achievements, it might be easy to regard Nourhe Khate as a celebrity himself. And while there’s no denying indeed the special status he enjoys as being an immensely gifted musician, it also is the nature of his person rooted in humility and gratitude that has led Khate to spread also the goodness of his craft through his other happy passion of teaching.
Music lessons helmed by Nourhe Khate have been cherished experiences of students at the Hope Centre of Excellence, Bangalore School of Music, Symphony School of Music and the Sunshine Orchestra. He even performs as a solo artist and with bands at concerts and musicals while collaborating with other artists on different projects and venture that he equally enjoys. In fact as someone who began as a curious child venturing into a world he did not yet knew the extent of then, it only is obvious that the challenges residing in the unexplored continue to excite the now established musician.
Khate firmly believes that constantly experiencing and experimenting with unknown of avenues is key for every artist to expand their caliber and not let monotony ruin the magic residing in their artistic character. The preciousness of his own artisticness is never lost on him and specifically since his personal style of playing is influenced by the magic spun through his childhood experiences of being an active performer at the church choir. His ardent belief in it all being a divine connection leads Nourhe Khate to lend himself even more wholeheartedly to music. His own musical spirit for one is definitely a gift from God and that he wants therefore to spread cheer and hope and love through. For someone as dedicated to this pursuit in goodness as he is of his musicality, Khate sure is an artist as soulful as one could possibly be.