Interview: Takar Nabam

Takar Nabam

Andrew of Rogue PR interviewed Takar Nabam, an indie artist from India. They spoke about Nabam’s latest single, writing and recording process, but also many other things along the way. Enjoy!

When did you realize that your project/band had the potential to be a career, or long-lasting idea?

Ever since I got out of college, I couldn’t see myself doing a desk job, so I did get more seriously into music. I had to teach, play sessions and also work on my music, which has been the primary focus all these years. Honestly, I still haven’t gotten to a point where I can fully rely on music to pay all my bills. I still have to do a lot of other dry and stressful work that are outside of the realm of music inorder to sustain myself and my family. I’m ok with it, because then I don’t pressurised to sell myself. I feel more creatively free and powerful. It’s definitely more satisfying to see myself inching closer to my creative vision with every single release. 

When did the first glimpses of your latest release come together?

I recently released a single called ‘Scarlet Skies’ in collaboration with a really talented singer songwriter, Swati Bhatt from New Delhi, India. I remember coming up with a basic instrumental idea back in 2020 during the first wave of covid. It was only in 2021, I reached out to Swati to lay down some vocals over this initial piece of idea. From there on, we took it forward and finally managed to put the song out after a year of email exchanges, dozen zoom calls! 

What really inspires your music?

I think it’s a mix of a lot of things. The people I meet, the music I listen to, the places I visit. The initial part of the song may start with me penning down my thoughts while travelling to different parts of the country. 

When it comes down to working on the song structures, I’ve arranged songs in my bedroom and also while jamming with a group of musicians I usually enjoy playing with. The best example is my second album, This Home That Home.

Can you tell us a bit about the lyrical process for a song? How does it normally work?

Emotionally, the inspiration for most of the songs stem from a low, sad and even from an introspective space. It’s liberating to vent out my emotions through my songs. 

One of the songs that’s closest to my heart is Ashes, which came out of a tragedy that me and my family has gone through, back in 2019, when our house was set on fire by an angry mob. It was one of most turbulent time of my life. 

What’s the most rewarding moment in your creative process as a band, and why?

To see an idea bloom into a full fledged song and to eventually perform in front of people, who can connect with it. When people tell you how much they could connect to it, or if the song gave them solace in their most difficult times or it brought a smile on their face. It’s moments like these that matter the most to me. It inspires me to continue doing my thing. 

The best example of song that I’ve worked on from my mini home studio is one of my latest singles – Further.

Who produces your music, and what are they like to work with? (If you produce the music yourself, what do you love the most about working that way?)

I produce most of my music in my mini home setup these days, at least till the arrangement bit. I prefer getting it mixed and mastered by other experts in the industry. The best part about producing your own most at home is that I don’t feel pressurised by any time constraint, and you’re all by yourself. You can make the song sound just the way you hear it, which ends up being different while working with other producers. 

I love the creative freedom and the luxury of time producing my own music. 

Can you give us a couple of personal highlights from your live show? Particular memories that stand out to you?

Here’s from a recent show in Aizawl, Mizoram, India, where I performed a song in my native dialect, Nyishi (a tribal dialect from Arunachal Pradesh, India) and people stood up from their seats, stood together joined their hands and started to dance to the song. The most surprising is that they didn’t know the meaning of even a single word! It was so moving to see the connection they had for the music we played. 

What advice would you give to another upcoming band/act?

If you love it enough, you’ll find a way to make it work. Everyone’s got to hustle at their respective levels, and it’s never going to be easy for anyone. Believe in yourself and enjoy the journey. 

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