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Alobo Naga highlights plight of musicians during pandemic; says no one has come to their aid

By Chirasmrita Devi

Just like every other sector across the globe, the music industry, too, has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic. Driven by the COVID protocols, artists are using the digital platform to perform as well as connect with their audience. There is no doubt that online performances have brought the artists closer to their audience to a certain extent. You can enjoy there performances amid the luxury of your bedroom. But can it capture the essence of a live performance? Is that enough for an artist for survival?

In an exclusive interview with InsideNE, award-winning musician from Nagaland Alobo Naga delves deeper into the plight of the music industry of the Northeast, pros and cons of performing online and lot more.

InsideNE: What do you have to say about the impact of the pandemic on the music industry?

Alobo Naga: There is no doubt that the music industry everywhere in the world has been adversely affected by the pandemic. Most of our income used to be generated from live gigs which are a distant dream now.

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To be honest,the musicians hadn’t been doing too well even before the pandemic. We were struggling even then. Only a few were doing good, the rest were just doing it out of passion.

InsideNE: What do you think is the reason behind the plight of the musicians?

Alobo Naga: People see just our ‘glamorous’ side. We go and perform on the stage with all that they see. When it comes to paid gigs, people are not very supportive. And the pandemic has added to our misery.

And I am not talking only about the performing artists but think about the people in the studio, the people who do background music, behind the stage people, production company etc.. everybody is severely affected.

The saddest part is that one has come to our aid. Just as I said, everyone sees our glamorous side. Nobody feels our struggle. We don’t even know when the situation is going to be back to normal.

For a year or two our work is going to be badly affected and we have to look for other means for income.

InsideNE: As performing online is in trend according to you how effective and impactful it is?

Alobo Naga: Digital platform is like online shopping. When you see the product online it looks amazing but reality is different sometimes. People see us coming on the stage performing online making people smile. But sometimes people are not too supportive when it comes to paid gigs.

On the positive side, the digital platform is helping us in meeting or connecting new audience. This is the only positive thing about performing online as of now.

InsideNE: How much do you miss performing live?

Alobo Naga: Nothing can match the beauty of a live performance! We go and play for people. The joy and excitement in their eyes. Seeing them enjoying the music. Nothing can beat that feeling. We live for that.

InsideNE: Can music help in spreading awareness about racism?

Alobo Naga: Music has been playing its role. There are lots of artists who have come together to spread awareness on racism through their songs. Music can do wonders. So of course why not!

InsideNE: What are your upcoming projects?

Alobo Naga: I am working on a song to address the issue of unemployment among the youth. Apart from that my solo album is also in the pipeline.

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