North eastern names of an Indian identity: singer-songwriter Takar Nabam

takar nabam

Starry is the vibe emanating indeed from an experience of the music flowing out of the medley that composes up the identity of Takar Nabam. For in his dreamy, romantic belting of the tunes, even when they might not be representing always of the heartiness in ardor, Nabam’s music still manages to lead one to float about in that enticing range of the twinkles summing up the limitless expanse of the skies. That perhaps is only an extension of his character- one that expresses itself in as exclusive an experiencing of the emotions that has shaped up his being. Even without such evolution though through this aspect in living, the Takar evocation in his native language as one tending to the sparkles of the stars seems to have eked out for the Nyishi boy already a destiny resplendent in the recognised arches of romanticism.

So devoted is Nabam to this pursuance in innateness almost that even in the more profound narratives of his musical identity there exists essentially a tone of delight. Haunting would be one of the last attributes of the music evidently steeped in his personal essence but that does not in any way rob Takar Nabam of the geniosity in his artistic residing. For in all the dynamics of his exploring as a guitarist-singer-songwriter-composer and even as a music teacher, this is a youngster gifted indeed in the virtuosic kind of his celebration.

Fluent in his deft delivery of the vocals even when his emergence as a guitarist rather early on in life is what fanned the present unfurling of his musical identity, the symphony that Nabam curates by virtue of drawing upon his storytelling abilities is one of definite vividness. In his meandering through the trails of what has constituted life for him, the Arunachali born musician has chanced upon a course of rather charming connotations. In his music, one gets to live indeed the blissful, comforting experience expected out of such renditions in art. But delved deeper into the exact spot upon which Nabam bases at least part of his music and one would be surprised at the cunningness of the artistic that he bears as testimony to his impeccably carved identity.

Carving though his path through the alleys of the musical would be as natural a process, as something that he set on indeed due to his sheer love for strumming the strings of the guitar. The premise was also one conducive, even necessary, to his coping with the dynamics of existence that he was subject to in what would be then a faraway land indeed in having to live his childhood through.

Born on February 20, 1991 at Doimukh in Arunachal Pradesh to a family partially inclined to the arts, this domain of the creative would be the outlet of choice for a young Nabam sent away already to Delhi as early as sometime in 1997 or 98 to pursue his schooling. In the roughly two decades of his life that he has spent there since then, it was the guitar that has been particularly intertwined with his being. From being his personal seeking in solace to scripting also his professional identity and his career, it is music indeed that resonates with the entire person that Takar Nabam has come to be over the years.

Music did indeed serve as succour to a very young Nabam who struggled to cope with the reality of having to live away from family so early on in life. Luckily indeed for it was this experiencing of the emotions that brought upon Takar Nabam a character in inherently expressive artisticness. This journey in curating the cadence of his creative chords though would not occur the lyrical liaison yet for someone whose first love resonated through the tunes of the guitar.

It took some amount of convincing for Nabam to be gifted with his first guitar by his father when he was 11. The condition though was that academics would not be compromised on any account in this pursuing the passionate high indeed of first love. But it would strike as quite surprising that even for all his fancying the guitar after a first hand experience of a jamming session, it would not be at least a decade after this tryst with the instrument that Takar would finally learn how to tune it!

For all his ‘naivety’ though in this strand of expression, Nabam had still managed to assert his musical acumen across many a different narratives spinning around through this diverse realm of the arts. It would be only in the following decade unfurling as an identity in the 2010s that Takar Nabam would discover for himself such scope of the prospective soul soothing ‘setup’ of music that would lead him to find expression as a full fledged artist indeed.

Romance might be the most prominent strand in vibing with the kind of music that Takar Nabam creates as extension of his very personality. Whether it be his voice itself or the feel imbued in his compositions, the character entailing out of Nabam’s mode in expression is one of a definitely decipherable aura. That though does not seem to substantiate the free flowing mode of musicing that he had been experimenting with through all these times of liberal unfurling.

The dynamics of discovering that Takar Nabam availed for himself started out indeed upon that most expected of premises of a schooled specification. A part of the school band that won quite a few competitions and coursing along similar a route through his college days, the multidimensional talent occurring as characteristic for Nabam meant that he dabbled in different genres of music. It would dawn as breakthrough a realisation for the north easterner then dwelling in the heartland of the Indian geographic identity chancing upon what occurred as destiny indeed for him.

Having opened for Metallica as part of the metal band Guillotine at the Rock ‘N India show in 2011, the highlight of such global interaction in musical terms did dictate pretty much the course of his career. Since then the occurring has been one of more prominent professionalism, even when Nabam himself would not quite allude to the careered call of his musical musings.

For all his immersion in this medley of what constitutes the magical manifestation that music is in all universality, Takar Nabam’s foray into the world of professional music would be a 2015 arising. His very definite ‘introduction’ as well to music in a formalised setting would be a happening of this very decade, as the exciting prospect of a musical career did indeed as well his disinterest in a regular day job. And thus it would be after graduation that he would go on to study music at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music. This phase of learning indulged in between 2012- 2013 would prove to be the definer of Takar Nabam’s current standing in numerous distinctions.

Source: EastMojo

Having acquired information about everything from harmony and rhythm to arrangement and improvisation and composition, Nabam found himself in a more refined space of the creative. Singing and songwriting too would occur as part of his repertoire in delivering during this span of the time, making him blossom as a wholesome musician- an identity that he has lived up to indeed in the roughly one decade of time that has passed since then.

By 2016, Nabam had already released his debut album Same Sky that was wrote and recorded entirely by him. His second musical offering followed a couple of years later with the 2018 album This Home, That Home, spanning a very different arena altogether of music that what he did with his maiden venture. But there still would be a common thread binding both these productions and that is what appeals still as the soul of Nabam’s music, necessarily finding expression in whatever he does. This simplistic strand in running of a certain very trancing quality, upon which emerges the romantic nature of the singer, innately flows through even such songs of Takar Nabam that might not be exactly created in that softness of intention. And that indeed is what steeps him in a identity of his own, one that is never not assertive enough to decipher the uniqueness of his artisticness.

Nabam’s continuous embrace of the comfort that music had forever afforded to him might not have occurred in such endearingness if it wasn’t for his eking out of life in Delhi. In fact he dominated indeed the inter-school and inter-college scene in music of the national capital, claiming therefore all right indeed to further his advances of that accord. But for all his years in calling the city home, Nabam could not be cut off still from his north eastern roots.

Explore therefore the essence of such music that emerges as more recent a representation of his creative faculties and there runs very evidently a spirit of what life closer home lives through. That perhaps would not have been so palpable though had Nabam not made the move to Arunachal Pradesh, ushering in therefore also an additional dimension in reflecting through his musical medleys. The emotion is one of bittersweetness since having spent the greater part of his life outside his place of origin, Nabam had to deal with the angst of feeling out of place in his native land. But the skill of his identity in relaying the emotions of personal experience to such exactness that acquires therefore a general character means that Nabam’s creative process would build up further as well upon this not so favourable reality.

Consider for instance his EP Red and Yellow that released in 2021 and nowhere would be this contradicting nature of the feels manifest as more apparent. The very title of the album is a play upon this duality, with red representing the sense of a loss of identity and yellow being a longed for luxury of nostalgic inclination. This merging of two very differing awarenesses would be complemented by a similar fusion of more musical occurring. With Himalayan folk music influences made to seep into the western vibes of the blues-pop, employing specifically the dramyin to definite effect, Red and Yellow proved to be the expansive expression of Nabam’s creativity.

Painting also for himself an image in rootedness in the nativeness of his being would be this seamless transition that Nabam made as part of his innate character itself. Since in his many proud projectings of the Arunachali identity in the years that have followed, the musician has also chosen to croon in his native Nyishi dialect as well. It has been an existence in such consciousness assuming of responsibility out of which has streamed numbers like Buya and Sang Be Yu Rey and Nyokum Sokhi To. Nabam’s narrative in such native plays through the Nyishi dialect marks also another instance of diversifying his musical journey. Unlike his delving into personal emotions and experiences to deliver soulful symphonies in global singing, the locally pervasive accounts of his doing incorporates also many an elements of social representation.

In constantly resetting his own premises and priorities in music, Takar Nabam has evolved to emerge as an artist of unique rendition. His distinctions too stand testament to the range of his artistic prowess as he finds himself identifying with many a exaltations of his creative character. Named one of Guitar Player Magazine’s ‘Top Five Guitar Players in India’ in 2020 and similarly nominated in 2021 as Top 5 Guitarists by The Indies, India, Nabam scouts also the more distinctive identity in being the first Arunachali artist to perform in the United States.

Source: SoundCloud

His album This Home, That Home had featured extensively on multiple playlists, including “Top Ten Indian Releases” on Apple Music and the “Top 10 Summer Songs” playlist of Rolling Stone India. Sang Be Yurey (Shall I live) also found nomination for the Best Music Video by Indian Music Diaries in 2021. Nabam’s song Good Night was one of the Top 10 Music Videos released by Indian Indie Artists in 2021 while Red and Yellow made it as well to the Top 20 EP/Album releases by Indian Indie Artist in 2021.

Even outside such recognition holding up the appeal of his artisticness, it also is Takar Nabam’s performances at many prestigious festivals nationally as well as internationally that stands up for his greater geniusness. Having toured across the country exclusively to enthrall live audiences at grand musical extravaganzas like NH7 weekender, Ziro Festival of Music, Orange Festival, Chandigarh Jazz Festival, Jaipur Literature Festival, and Hornbill Festival among others, the Nyishi musician has also unfurled the magic of his music in countries like Myanmar, Singapore and Bhutan. The soulfulness of what prevails throughout as marker of his kind of music is undoubtedly what has steeped Takar Nabam so profusely in the esteemed identity of the artistic that truly is a dreamy, romantic ride of fancy to sing along through.

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