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Young rock singer makes a mark

Musician plans to release first solo album next year

By Prasanta Phukon

Danius Marak, aka Danny, is a young rocker from Shillong who made some noise in the music industry with Darjeeling-based band Adam’s Apple.

Danny became a professional rock singer when he was 13. He joined the local band, Dividing Dreams, in 2010 and performed in many stage gigs and competitions. “I still love those days. They were an experience for me,” said the musician, freelance singer and songwriter.

But his association with the band came to an end abruptly and Danny got a chance to audition for Adam’s Apple, the winner of Hornbill International 2014. The band gave him his first big break and his journey as a front man began.

“I toured all over India with the band. We even went to Dubai where we had a lot of fun,” says the 22-year-old singer.

In fact, Danny feels that the invitation to Dubai to play as an international band “is the biggest achievement for me and the band”.

“Adam’s Apple was more than a band to me. It was like a family. The members helped me whenever I made a mistake on stage and asked me not to repeat it. Every time they helped me improve myself,” says Danny.

Talking about his association with the other members of Adam’s Apple, Danny, an alumnus of Seven Set School, says “we even shared our emotions, helped each other to grow not just as a band but as a team and as a warrior to perform any time”.

“But I missed home and pined for my city. Also, my health would often give me trouble,” says the Shillong boy who quit Adam’s Apple in 2018 and came back home.

“I wish my friends in Darjeeling all the very best. They are doing fantastic even without me,” he adds.

Danny continues his journey as a solo performer and is planning to release a solo title As I Know by 2020. He is also planning an official video for the album.

“It has been an amazing journey with my previous bands and I will try to take my music to a higher level. I thank those who support me on social media,” he says.

But it is not always pleasant to be a musician, especially when it gives little scope to have a secured career. The singer says people would criticise him for pursuing music but he never lost heart. Instead, he continued to push himself to do better. These hurdles taught Danny the lesson that he has to help himself get a foothold in the music industry.

“Ups and downs are there in every field. So I do not feel tired of struggling. It is part of the journey,” he says.

Danny chose rock ’n’ roll as his genre because he “grew up listening to rock bands like Montley Crew, Skid Row, Guns ’n’ Roses, Van Halen, Poison and Bon Jovi, to name a few” and the international artistes “influenced me a lot”.

“I still remember the day when my elder brother got me a Guns ’n’ Roses live performance CD as a gift and that blew me away and changed my life,” he recollects.

Danny is also inspired by Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, David Coverdale of White Snake, Sabastian Bach of Skid Row, Axel Ross of GnR and Joey Tempest of Europe.

He picks Girish and The Chornicles, Still Water and Adam’s Apple as the best rock bands from India. Back home, Colours, Black Jack and Empirical Tribe are among his favourites.

On his favourite performance till date, the rock singer picks Till the End, a love ballad slow rock song originally written by Vevien and Wangden Lepcha, former vocalists of Adam’s Apple.

“I also enjoyed performing the song Mortal God. This song defines how people believe and get fooled in fake promises by God,” he says, adding that given a chance, he would again collaborate with Pragya Lama not only because of his playing style but also because “he is a humble musician and a great guitarist from a band called Mantra”.

Besides music, Danny has another passion, sports. He is a basketball player and says he would have been a sportsman or a government employee if he had not pursued music.

“It is a great thing being a musician. So if anyone wants to play or learn music with passion, love and honesty, I’ll say please don’t stop, carry on with the melodies. No one will stop you until you stop yourself. Develop your skills, practise hard. If you desire to be one of them, don’t stop believing,” says the young rock performer.



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