In tune with life

Anjali Jhangiani
Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Singer-songwriter Takar Nabam talks about his music, inspirations and more

Two years ago, Takar Nabam released his debut album called Same Sky. Last Sunday, he launched his second, This home That home at the cookout at High Spirits, Koregaon Park. 
From singer-songwriter acoustic pieces to rock-based tracks that have influences from jazz, RnB, and Soul, Nabam’s sensibilities are certainly evolving as an artist and this makes his music unpredictable and exciting. 

“Lyrically, the first album spoke about school and college days. I had to move to Delhi from Arunachal Pradesh for education. I was there all by myself, and had no one to guide me through, well, life. There are songs about the ups and downs I faced as a teenager,” says Nabam as he continues, “In my second album, I was drawn towards rock sounds. It’s about my quarter life crisis, issues with my career as a musician, troubles with relationships and such.”

He shares that with his second album, he feels closer to his roots than ever before. This because he has finally started to identify his strengths in music. “I have a better understanding of how I can arrange the songs when I have to perform them live. It’s obviously very different from the situation in which I’m recording in a studio. When I’m facing an audience, I have to throw in live elements and create excitement by being spontaneous,” says Nabam, who not only believes that an artist has to woo his audience, but it is even more vital for an artist to find the ‘right’ audience. 

In the time of YouTube, where everyone with an internet connection has access to an audience and vice-versa, it is rather difficult to stand out in the crowd for an artist. But Nabam has got a plan that works for him. “Earlier I used to think that I will be found by the people who want to hear my music. The audience will find me. But now I go out more to make myself visible. I have been playing at more venues, more festivals, more events where I can reach out to the audiences,” he says, adding, “To hold on to your audience, you have to be consistent in releasing new music and play more shows to promote it. The rest of it depends on listeners and other factors that are not under your control. Try to go and share your music in as many cities as you can, to as many people as you can.”

Travel is a large part of his life, but wherever he goes, he goes with his guitar. He has also been teaching guitar for a few years. “The guitar is a really cool instrument. You can play it to replace the sound of the piano, make melodic sounds like the saxophone with it, or emulate the sounds of a singer. There are many pros. But the thing with guitarists is that we get carried away trying to show off using our technical skills. Guitar solos are great, and they add a lot to a song, but it isn’t required in every song. Sometimes, we might be inclined to an overkill,” chuckles Nabam, who has a diploma in Music Performance in Guitar. 

Though his study got him the confidence to have his way with the guitar, what gave him inspiration for his songs was a heartbreak. Though the music on both the albums is worlds apart, there is one thing common — both of them have a few heartbreak songs. Ask him whether having your heart broken makes you a better musician, and he laughs. “In my case, it made me vividly aware of my emotions. When I was in a relationship, the person would be a strong pillar of support, and if they went away, it had a huge impact on me and I had to let it out by writing about it. These writings then inspired me to make a few songs,” ends Nabam. 

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