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Nokpante narratives

By Prasanta Phukon

If the name Mikhail Marak does not ring a bell then let’s just call him Nokpante. If that too sounds unfamiliar, then here is a brief introduction of the single pop artiste from Tura — his latest single Hai Chena caught the attention of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma who shared the YouTube video link on his official Facebook page and Twitter handle saying, “Beautiful composition with such amazing cinematography! Congratulations to the band and all the best to our #YouthIcons.”

The song featuring four prominent faces — director Dominic Sangma, BMX cyclist Winward Sangma, sports climber Chea Amelia Marak and marathon runner Batsrang Sangma — is making quite a wave on social media and is a “humble tribute” to the four young achievers who never stop inspiring the youth of the state. For 30-year-old Marak, it all started with the Garo song Jakgitel (Freedom) that featured in MTV Indies in 2014. The young singer has worked in several creative projects since then and those include films, advertisement, documentaries and sound design mixing. Last January, Marak’s single Walnam Ka•osara Pring (An ode to life) was nominated for VIMA Music Awards, Malaysia, becoming the first Garo song to be recognised on the global stage. VIMA is an international platform for promoting talented musicians from around the world.

“Yes, it was lovely hearing about the nomination. The song is really close to me… The song did not win but the mere fact that people outside (the country) heard it was of tremendous pleasure for an upcoming songwriter like me. It made me believe even strongly that language is no barrier when it comes to music and people understand the emotion,” said Marak, who works as freelance music composer-songwriter, sound designer and mixer and shuttles between Tura and Mumbai. He spoke to Sunday Shillong on phone from Tura. The latest song, Hai Chena, which literally means ‘let’s win’, is an ovation to the determination and perseverance that the four achievers have shown in the face of adversities. “Every person goes through ups and downs. It was at those times that I came up with this song. It is about not giving up in spite of the pain and hurdles that might come along,” said the composer and singer. The music video is well-scripted and the locations of the shooting are precise. The four youth icons who made headlines last year represent “perfection and achievement”.