Updated: Dec 24, 2019
By Prasanta Phukon
How about pop with a unique blend of duitara? If Imilate comes to your mind then you are spot on.
This new band in town, comprising four teenaged musicians who bonded over music at St Jerome Higher Secondary School, is already making waves on social media. Their song Ale Ale, featuring DJ Wanshan, has already hit 1 million views on YouTube. The new song, Ngan Ym Klet, got a thousand views within an hour of release on digital platform on August 7.
“In the beginning, none of us had a particular genre in mind and we would listen to all kinds of music. But we were definitely influenced by the global pop culture. With time, we started liking electronic dance music and pop and so we decided to combine the two,” said 17-year-old Weibalajied Mawrie, the youngest in the band who is a student of Assam Downtown University.
Blackpink, a girl group, is an inspiration for the teenagers who find the songs “immensely energetic”. Imilate also wants to collaborate with Ananya Birla, who is making a splash in the digital music industry.
Banmanbha Marwein, a Class XII student of Divine Saviour Higher Secondary School, said since the band does not fit in to a particular genre, “we decided to name our genre #NEPOP”, which is tagged on all videos on YouTube.
According to the band members, their song Scotland of The East, which is getting quite a fan following after it was released on July 21, 2019, is done in a hurry. “We had no time to make it better and we had doubts (about listeners’ response) before posting it on YouTube. We came up with the song when we knew that the instrumental was not fitting a typical love song category (it was not for any particular project),” said 18-year-old Rudolf Duia, who is pursuing a diploma in polytechnic.
Their favourite song is Ngan Ym Klet that was released on August 7. It is the “perfect representation of what our music is going to be”.
Duia added that the band is not contemplating an album immediately as making music is expensive and Imilate does not have any sponsor. A career in music is difficult in Meghalaya and so the youngsters want to finish their studies to keep options open.
The band’s journey has been a bumpy one. The members have been facing financial problem as none of them has a job. But they are trying to overcome the challenge and are hopeful that one day they will collaborate with popular international artists.
“We also want to get better in music through intensive vocal training as we are self-taught and have not yet had any vocal lessons of any kind,” said Duia.
On the name of the band, Dondor Kharmuti said the members were looking for a meaningful and “cool” name. “One day I came up with ‘emulate’ that means match or surpass a person or achievement and Weibalajied came up with ‘imitate’ that means to follow. So we combined the words and came up with ‘Imilate’. It means to follow modern music style and surpass our fellow competitors in music,” explained the 19-year-old musician.
When asked about the band’s formation, the members narrated a story. “We were recently interviewed by Bah Desmond (Desmond Kharmawphlang) on Red FM. He asked us when we started the band and we were all confused and could not say anything,” recollected Kharmuti.
The teenagers consider ‘One Direction’ as their idol.
Besides music, the members have diverse hobbies. For instance, Mawrie loves DIY activities to create something productive from scratch. He also believes that he could be a good businessman and would become one if his music career fails.
Marwein is into mobile games. Duia loves studying and has always been studious. Kharmuti often experiments with tastes in the kitchen and plays football. “I would have continued my studies if music did not happen. But we are seeing some success,” Duia said.
Duia wants to pursue electronic engineering if the musical journey ends abruptly. Kharmuti was silent about an alternate career.
“But our message to all struggling musicians is ‘don’t give up even if the going gets tough’. Nurture your passion and keep making music and one day success will come,” said Kharmuti as everyone agreed.
Before signing off, the band members left a message for their fans and social media followers, “We hope you all love our latest song Ngan Ym Klet. Please continue supporting us in our journey.”