Abdoun Mish can be described as a shining star in music. He changed his career from an aspiring professional footballer in his early twenties. When listening to his music, one could easily assume otherwise. The rebellious musician in Abdoun began to peek into the shadows when Denia began practicing music and writing songs. His release back in 2020 made waves in the music scene.
Now, the Nagaland-based singer-songwriter has come out with his latest single ‘Always Be’, an amazing folk duet featuring singer Zuchobeni Tungoe. It is a new look against the idea of homogeneous love. “Love is multidimensional, and it is experienced and interpreted completely differently by different people. There is no one absolute meaning of love,” Abdoun said, while talking about the idea behind this new song.
Abdoun’s velvety voice with soft guitars, accompanied by Zuchobeni’s captivating vocals, makes the song feel like a warm hug. The track is produced by Kevi Pucho of Nagaland’s Element Indie Records. When composing the single, Abdoun instinctively realized that it had to be a duet with Zuchobeni. “I had a belief that Zochobini’s voice was perfect for what we were trying to do phonetically, and I heard it on the first surgery,” Abdoun says.
On the other hand, Zochobini says she was drawn to the collaboration because she was able to connect with Abdoun’s song from the start. “It was a very easy task for me because the song was so emotional, and I had an instant feeling of connection to it.” For Zuchobeni, the collaboration was easy but powerful, resonating deeply with the concept behind the song.
The music video for ‘Always Be’ appears to have been created with the same spirit as the song, with aesthetic frameworks that raise the bar for songwriting. The video for the song was filmed by Sanen Kichu at San Productions, who has collaborated with Abdoun on other projects as well.
As Abdoun recalls, “Saanen immediately caught the thread of what we were trying to say, and weaved a visually expressive story using it. Love is multidimensional, and everyone experiences it differently, in different moments and abilities. Sanin suggested that we depict these different moments and viewpoints of love using multiple characters. So, while we’ve shown love blossoming between a young couple, we’ve also shown grief over a lost love, or the love of family and friends for someone on their deathbed.”
Abdoun is a self-taught musician, and EP from the bamboo room, released in 2021, was intended as a workgroup that represented his character. The album was a DIY production, recorded and produced during the difficult months of the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He transformed his home into a Slapdash studio using cheap microphones and a 13-year-old computer. “So, basically, I had to record everything on my own at my place, and it was mixed and mastered by someone in Delhi. It was investing myself in producing folk music primarily getting to know the commercial side of the music,” says Abdoun. For “Always Be,” however, Abdoun refused to compromise on anything, and thus, the quality of the music, he says, is very different from his EP.
Time has failed to tame the rebel in Abdoun, who says he “lives life, loves it and enjoys it”. On the other hand, he admits that being a full-time artist has its own set of challenges, the biggest of which is finances. “Look, I jumped straight into music when I finished school, and I don’t have a day job or anything, so finances can get tight sometimes,” Abdoun says. However, he values his freedom, which is probably an integral part of his expression, and he doesn’t want anyone or anything to limit that.
What drives me to go is listening to all the new artists coming from the Northeast. The music scene is finally thriving here.
While Abdoun’s dynamic singing and songwriting has made the audience stand up and take notice, he shares that what excites him most are the diverse sounds that come from Northeast India. Abdoun says, “When I think about my music and the people who love it here in Nagaland, I get very excited. But more than that, what drives me to go is to listen to all the new artists coming from the Northeast. The music scene is finally thriving here.”
Abdoun believes that in a year or two, India will be listening to a lot of northeastern musicians, and he is looking for some of his favorite musicians, such as Jonathan Yomi, Nurhi Khati Emotional Strings Project, Emlicom Air, Trans Effect and Timso Clover.
Talking about his plans, Abdoun says that although he doesn’t think much of a collaboration, he’ll gladly be with the hugely popular multi-lingual band from Kochi, When Chai Meat Toast. “I missed an open opportunity for them a couple of months ago since I’ve been performing elsewhere, but yeah, I hope to collaborate with them sometime in the future,” Abdoun says.
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