From his early days in Guwahati to his present in Delhi, Imon’s voice carries the emotions and experiences of his life. His songs are a reflection of his musical journey, which spans across genres and cultures. He is a vocalist, songwriter and producer who blends Hindustani classical, rock, jazz and neo-soul influences to create his own unique sound. He is also a music educator, teaching Music Theory and Composition to aspiring musicians.
Imon’s love for music started at a young age, thanks to his parents who are both educators and music enthusiasts. His father, a mathematics teacher at IIT Guwahati, has a lovely singing voice and used to perform extensively in his college days. His mother, a philosophy teacher, is always ready to burst into song in the middle of a conversation.
Imon learned Hindustani vocal music for five years and completed his Visharad in 2012. But he was also exposed to the world of rock music through the internet. He was drawn to bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and started writing his own songs at the age of 13. He recorded them on his phone and released them on Reverbnation with a fake name. He says, ‘I wouldn’t let even let my loved ones listen to my early stuff as a gesture of kindness towards them.’ He would share his songs with his classmates, but never reveal his identity, ‘This generated a sense of ownership for my art and a passion to keep writ- ing more as it became inseparable from my identity.’
He moved to Delhi in 2015 to pursue his graduation in history at Ramjas College. There, he joined the college music society and was introduced to the world of jazz and neo-soul music. He was fascinated by the sounds of art- ists like Jacob Collier, Snarky Puppy, Tigran Hamasyan, Dhaffer Youssef and Ibrahim Maalouf. He says, ‘I couldn’t understand any of it, I still don’t. But I quickly got addicted to these sounds. My music doesn’t steer towards the ter- ritory of jazz, but I owe a lot of my musical sensibilities to the giants of the genre I listened to around then.’
Imon describes his music as ‘songs for rainy days’. He says, ‘I’ve realised that it is inseparable from my aesthetic since I grew up listening to the heaviest downpours back home.’ He likes to write vocal-centric ballads in simple but powerful poetry, which are ambient and usually acoustic in tone and timbre. He plays the guitar as his primary instrument, but he also experiments with his voice as an instrument, using harmonies and effects to create atmospheric tones. ‘I love to write about time and change, and I don’t think I’ll ever run out of things to say on that front. If my music in any way evokes in my listeners a sense of hope or assurance, I’ll be a happy man.’
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Words Hansika Lohani