Abdon Mech is a singer-songwriter from a musical family, whose roots are deep in Nagaland. His first flirtation with the strings was in the corridors of his school, trying to teach himself how to play Fort Minor’s, ‘Where’d You Go’. In between, there was a point when Abdon wanted football to be the highlight of his life but the power of music just soaked him in. An unassuming boy from the hills he does not appear like your average looking musician with glaring outfits and grand social following. What is most remarkable about him is his delightful voice. A voice that has carved a nook for him in the Indie music scene with his heart-warming lyrics but was facing a challenge echoing into people’s homes from the hills. “Realistically, my biggest challenge has been monetising my craft. Nagaland is not an easy place to make a livelihood out of music. It was definitely harder when I started but I am finding it easier to navigate my way around it now. It is all down to making connections and pitching yourself as much as possible really, which I feel a lot of people are hesitant to do here. This of course, goes side by side with endless self-doubts and the only way I have been able to cope with that is to take breaks in between and slow things down.”
Abdon’s recent track is called ‘Again’. Controlled but vulnerable vocals; qualities that are slowly becoming his identity can be heard. “‘Again’ came as an aftermath of two months of a writer’s block, something which I had never experienced before and so when the song came it was both exciting and also a relief. It’s fairly easy to see how the pandemic has affected multiple sections of the society and so the song is written from these multiple perspectives as I try to put myself in their shoes and tell their stories for them, particularly in the second stanza where I sing in the voices of different frontline workers. When the song came, it felt completely honest both lyrically and melodically and I wrote it in about twenty minutes.” Another track by Abdon, called ‘Carpe Diem’, has this innate capacity to draw pain and boredom out, making one sway to its beats. “I’m someone that is driven a lot by authenticity in my work. It’s the primary principle that drives my work. Regardless of what type or genre of music I make, as long as the entire experience feels honest in that moment, I make the push. I am primarily a songwriter first more than anything and the fact that a lot of my heroes have set a very high standard of writing, I make it a point to not compromise when it comes to that subject. Over the years, I have grown as a musician. From a singer/songwriter writing songs with three to four chords to challenging myself to understand and learn the higher technicalities of music and add them, not forcibly but authentically, to my material, I have grown to make the best of both worlds.”
ON SONG WRITING
“I have no shame in admitting that it was my failure in singing covers that pushed me to write my own material. I am not the most technically sound vocalist and so it was always a struggle singing covers, at the same time it didn’t feel genuine to me. These two factors pushed me to start writing my own material. Although I remember writing a few songs in high school, my consistent writing habit started early 2017. I could write and arrange my songs to suit my vocal strengths and capabilities while also having the complete luxury to tell my own story.”
“My new EP is set for release soon. It’s called ‘From A Bamboo Room’. It’s set for release early spring. These songs stem from my early days of writing music in my small bamboo room so they are pretty much stripped down to an acoustic sound supported by a slight touch of modern production elements. They are reflective of life, love and the subject of being human. Our flaws, inhibitions, strengths, the everyday life. Nothing out of the ordinary but hopefully they make the listeners see and feel how beautiful the ordinary is. They also represent that period of time in my life when the first batch of songs started coming out of me through a single acoustic guitar. I wanted to document that phase in the form of an album before I moved onto the next phase of my life/musicality."
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Text Hansika Lohani Mehtani