Updated: Jun 7
By Prasanta Phukon
Zonunmawia Fanai is the ‘G’nie’ from Mizoram who has made a name for himself as one of the most talented rappers from the North East. The 33-year-old Hip Hop rapper, who goes by the stage name G’nie, started his journey in the regional music industry in 2015. Born and brought up in Aizawl, Fanai spent most of his childhood and young adolescence years listening to the Gangsta Rap of the nineties. “All I ever wanted to be was a rapper and you can say that in some ways, I am living my dream,” says the young rapper.
G’nie’s last single UNI exceeded his expectations because “it received fantastic reception from my fans though it was a non-Mizo song”. “The trend in my state is that Mizo songs get better views and more fanfare. But UNI was in English and yet it got an overwhelming response,” said Fanai. His single, Dawt, was the fastest to reach a million views as well on YouTube. But according to the artiste, his biggest achievements are still ahead of him. He is a hardcore rapper at heart but he composes what the target audience demands.
One of his recent hit music videos, Thinlung a sernung, is also a hit. “My brother Joexx (who is a professional music composer and is well-known by his stage name Joexx) produced the beat and I wrote the melody after feeling the beat to create the final music composition. The music video took almost a year to be completed. At present, I am working on a mixtape (an alternatively mix-tape or mix tape is a compilation of music, typically from multiple sources, recorded onto a medium. With its origin in the 1980s, the term usually describes a homemade compilation of music onto a cassette tape, CD, or digital playlist),” Fanai informed.
From performing at The Humming Tree in Bengaluru, Marriott Hotel in Hyderabad to an open basketball stadium in Mizoram’s Hawla Indoor Stadium on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Mizoram Super League, Fanai has always been successful in charming his audience with the G’nie magic. “I am an introvert with very little social skills but it all changes when I get on stage. I transform into a social butterfly,” said the G’nie, adding that his stage name is an apt choice and “symbolises my life”.
Fanai also runs a firm called Volts N Volume (VnV) in Mizoram along with his friends. VnV is a public relation, digital marketing, multi-platform media, music production and entertainment group with a vision to help, empower and promote local businesses, start-ups and young artistes. Powered by its own proprietary technology, VnV is a go-to-source for brand promotion, endorsement, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience all over the country. On the music scene in Mizoram, Fanai said it has always been big and is burgeoning with the advent of better technology and various social media platforms. “But Shillong is the music hub of the North East so there is a lot of expectations. My fan base here has expanded after my earlier performances. I am excited to perform live in Shillong on March 21,” he informed. Fanai will perform at Tango along with rapper Don Kam from Arunachal Pradesh. The event will be hosted by Shillong-based DJ Knack. As for now Fanai’s future plan is to make more music or record songs and promote them. “Big things are in store,” he assured. Photo courtesy: G’nie