North eastern names of an Indian identity: the music musing Taba Chake

taba chake

Stirred by the lusciousness of human emotions striking a chord in every note, struck by the display of sheer versatility in setting down upon hearts as words strung in not one language and driven to serendipitous experience of such realisations universal enough even in their stemming from very personal accounts- such is the magnificence of what Taba Chake renders out from the repertoire of his artistic richness that has one inevitably fawning over the young musician’s impeccable sense of sound and sentiments. And for someone hailing for a land as pure in its evoking of the identity of being The Land of the Rising Sun, the Arunachal born Nyishi Chake chases indeed to perfection the exact extents of what it takes to create soulful music out of such influences of the natural that has been shaping the human sensibility ever since.

Finding himself drawn to the medley of musings that music dwells in all its melody had been a rather young Chake, all of six who attempted even back then to make this fore of expression his very own. By as early as the age of 11, the still school going child was already penning his own songs. That might itself be quite a revelation in creativity for someone so young but such was the extent of Chake’s awareness of his musical dream harbouring within a potential in being indeed the universal language that music has eternally proven to be that the Nyishi lad decide to prioritise the use of his native language as the medium for him to pour his heart out as honestly as he could. Call it the calling of his destiny or instead, his assuming for himself an identity that stood out as being a true musician indeed, unafraid of the possible limiting of scope that the choice of a regional language- dialect more accurately- might entail and Taba Chake stands out every bit as the musician that he has always wanted to be- unrestrained in the power of what he holds as someone poring very deep indeed into the hearts and souls of the human with his narrative in much heartwarmingness.

Lend an ear to any of the musical pieces that Chake has poured his heart and soul into and one would decipher with much awe the immense command that this man has over the intriguing complexities of what shapes up the most poignant of human understandings. There exists of course also the charms of nature around which he so often hums or the fascinating fore of folklore to draw upon but across all such influences that bathes his music in a beauty unparalleled is the manner in which the now 28 year old singer- songwriter fosters the intimacy that he enjoys with each of these assertions. The premise of his compositions need not be always residing in cases of his own, as he freely incorporates also the greater life experiences of those around him into his creations. But in every single delivery of what entails as pleasing always plays upon the senses is embedded a certain character that allows Chake to make the audience a part of his intimate confession.

The assertion of the charming might dictate the terms of Taba Chake’s music every time he lends his voice and vision to his distinctly definite numbers but even within this mode in profoundness of identifying as a true indeed artiste, it is the sheer diversity of his range that enthralls in as much potency. From the mellifluous and the melancholic to the hip and the happy, the now Mumbai based guitarist’s music is mimicking of a reality that is multifarious indeed.

Consider for instance his 2016 debut album Bond with Nature that very evidently gives away the basis of its being as deriving from the harmonious harps of nature- something that Chake has had first hand witness to in his roots in the hamlet of Rono in Arunachal Pradesh. Cut to three years later and his second album Bombay Dreams is a massive departure away from the theme of what his beginnings had seen him in. But even in the midst of this diversity, there continued to flow a parallel still that Chake perhaps brings into as part of his very nature. Because while Bombay Dreams might have been a mix of the numerous expressions of the human emotions, rendered by the singer in much depth indeed whether it be in eloquently elocuting the highs of love and the hopes in happiness or in dwelling instead on loneliness while seeking succour once again in nature but aspiring to and exuding indeed positivity all throughout, it indeed is deriving upon an experience more revealing than arousing. That of course has to do much with the influence from which Bombay Dreams stems, based on the singer’s own journey through the dream city of Mumbai when he first moved there. And yet, delve into the essence of what emanates from both Bond with Nature and Bombay Dreams and the the vibe that permeates each of these pieces of music is identical in the manner in which they feed into the inner confines of the soul.

taba chake arunachal guitarist
Source: StarsUnfolded

Even then, Bombay Dreams surely is different and in a way that best establishes the allure embedded in Chake’s uniqueness. A trilingual venture that has its ten tracks explore musical nuances in English, Hindi and Nyishi, some of them spanning over a eight year period of development, the album marks a win for the young artiste in a way perhaps even his maiden release had not. Because while the album might have been commendable in its success, managing to amount to some 12.2 million streams across all platforms, even making it to No 12 on the All Genre Charts of Apple Music, it endowed upon Chake, or rather upon his musical credibilities a recognition in exactly the way he wanted. With each of the three Nyishi tracks No Doma Lo, Hugulo and Ngo Akin receiving widespread acclaim and fame, it seems as if half the musical battle has been already won by Taba Chake in just his second overall and first full length offering.

It though isn’t in asserting the prowess of his vocals or the simplistic poignancy of the lyrics that this Arunachal musician has managed to eke out his own distinctive identity as one truly encompassing within himself the nature of music as a bonding element in all universality. A phenomenal guitarist as well, particularly known for his intricate play in fingerpicking, the dynamics of music plays out through Chake from the core of his heart. In fact, so real has been the love that music commands out of him that saw Taba even dropping out from one of the prestigious music schools of the country for which he had been granted a scholarship due to the less heartfelt and more technical nature of the course. It again is this true love for music indeed that has led Chake to tread numerous genres of music and find his pace through each one of them and to his own artistic satisfaction as well, so much so that he chooses to chart out self identity as a mix indie over the independent musician classification.

Influenced by and imbibing as well different styles of music in his own to emerge as a uniquely conversant musician more than fluent in every aspect of his craft is Chabe whose range of inspiration encompasses jazz and rock and metal and pop and pretty much everything that sums up the true feel of what music is.

For all his dabbling in different languages though, much like his drawing upon different genres, and finding most resonance perhaps in his rendition in the Nyishi tongue even when he himself finds it rather difficult a medium in elocuting the emotions, Taba started out as part of a Hindi band for which he performed from 2009 tp 2011. Even prior to that, Chake had been playing the guitar and composing music for a metal band while even having performed technical metal. Evolving indeed considerably therefore across every area of his interest within the musical spectrum has been this still young musician whose present day expertise in singing and songwriting and guitaring stems out of a penchant for this art, the basis of which can be seen as resting in some sort of curious incitation.

Born into a family never having experienced the feel of a school, let alone perhaps explore the prospect of an unconventional career in music, Taba Chake’s strides upon the music world though availed out of the particular fondness his mother displayed for different types of songs. From Bollywood numbers to old folk songs that he witnessed his mother enjoying, as well as in the musical inclinations of his uncle, Taba found himself fostering a love for this definite something that appealed to one and all, irrespective of what determined their social and economic status or even their overall state of existence. It might have been in the company of his school friends that Taba realised what music truly meant to him and accurately enough to know of it as being his life but it still had been his family whose support made the journey possible for the Arunachali lad.

Soft and gentle in his musical approach, something that is characteristic of his music in vocals as well in the guitar chops, exuding forever love and positivity reminiscent therefore of a dream that manifests as reality, conjuring always of images vividly beautiful drawing indeed upon his fortunate brush with the most exuberant of nature’s riches courtesy his identity being ingrained within the picturesque verdancy of the north east Indian alluding, the extent of emotional enrichment that entails out of the music occurring under Taba Chake’s name- and fame- is such that elevates only further the enigmatic eclecticism upon which this proudly Nyishi singer seeks to establish his entire recognition.