Rhythm of Love: In conversation with Grace Saren - Eastern Mirror
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Music, Rhythm of Love

Rhythm of Love: In conversation with Grace Saren

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Oct 07, 2021 10:10 pm
Grace Saren
Grace Saren

Grace Saren is a performing singer/songwriter from Nagaland based in Pune. She has been a music artiste for more than a decade and has made a highly rewarding career in music while also holding a Master’s degree in Physics.

In today’s Rhythm of Love, Saren shares her knowledge and experience as a musician in this tough competitive career in an exclusive interview with Eastern Mirror.

Eastern Mirror: Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

Grace Saren: My name is Grace Saren, a performing singer/songwriter with profound love for piano from Nagaland living in Pune.

Eastern Mirror: Who was your earliest musical influence, and what did you learn from them?

Grace Saren: Many bands and artists from the 80s and 90s.  What I’ve learned from them is that ‘ego’ is not an entertainer. They inspired me to search for my own voice.

Grace Saren

Eastern Mirror: Releasing a music video and performing in a concert cannot bring much monetary value to an artiste but you have been able to move out of this traditional way of earning through music and have made a niche by performing in festivals, corporate events, art spaces and five star hotels in major cities. Please share your knowledge/experience to capitalise on this other aspect of the music industry.

Grace Saren: As a professional musician, none of what I’ve learned will matter if I don’t earn from it. Surely musicians make money through their music videos and also it leads to other additional opportunities like revenue from live performances, appearances etc. Being a professional musician requires so much more than just singing well. It demands strong presentation skills and the ability to get the audience on your side. You need to work on many aspects and also it’s important to build connections in the music scene locally. Bigger cities offer many opportunities for live music, but it is a gradual step before you would be able to command a professional stage.

Eastern Mirror: Over a period of more than a decade of performing in festivals and other events in major cities, what were the challenges you faced?

Grace Saren: Networking was a big one and initially I had a hard time finding the right venue to showcase my talent and yes, not getting a fair amount of money for my effort.

Grace Saren

Eastern Mirror: What are the advantages and disadvantages of a musician as an event entertainer?

Grace Saren: The greatest advantage of being a professional musician is that you get to enjoy your art and earn from it, meet and interact with great people. Disadvantages would be difficult keeping up with friends and family because writing and practicing music takes a good deal of alone time and also sometimes dealing with weird situations while performing.

Eastern Mirror: How do you get the opportunity to perform at various events? Do you have to register with an agency?

 Approaching various event organisers with my updated profile, which includes my performance videos and social media links. This gives them an understanding to decide which venue/occasion my performance would fit. Also it’s word of mouth from people who see me performing at different venues. One event books the next and so on.

Eastern Mirror: What advice would you give someone who wants to be a performing artiste at events and earn a living out of it?

Grace Saren: The music scene is extremely competitive. One needs to be dedicated. Remember, there will be immensely busy months and also very slow months. Be wise with your finances and save up for the future and it is important to take advantage of the slower months and utilise that time to do something that you otherwise would not find the time to do like collaborating with other musicians or trying to build contacts with event organisers,  talent buyers etc.

Grace Saren

Eastern Mirror: Do you have any funny or interesting stories while performing at an event?

Grace Saren: Once I had to abort my performance mid-way in a club because a drunken guest who was dancing away accidentally spilled his drink on my Yamaha keyboard and it conked off.

Eastern Mirror: Which is your favourite original song you’ve released so far and why?

Grace Saren: “Chances We Take” because it illustrates my struggling days and I know just how appropriately it is titled!

Eastern Mirror: Even though you have a Master’s degree in Physics, you gravitated towards music full time. What is the reason behind this decision?

Grace Saren: Nothing happened overnight. Education is very important to me and music is my passion. I knew I had to take this step someday and experiment with song writing. With a day time job and musical performances in the evenings, I didn’t have time for my experiments and initially no one pays you well for gigs. I needed to invest in music and also needed financial back up. It was a lot of sacrifices and hard work, the constant searching for gigs through calling and visiting music venues, meetings with promoters/agents. Eventually people did notice my effort and talent. I started getting back to back shows and could pay my bills and that is when I decided to go full time in music.

Eastern Mirror: If you had a chance to do it all over again, would you still make the same choice?

Grace Saren: Absolutely Yes.

Grace Saren

Eastern Mirror: Do you think upcoming independent musicians in Nagaland can grow without help from any established music company?

Grace Saren: Yeah….even if you’re signed by a label, much of the responsibility will fall on your shoulder to produce results. It’s not easy but absolutely possible.

Eastern Mirror: What’s your message for musicians who are just beginning in this industry?

Grace Saren: Plan carefully and honestly evaluate the situation. If making the move independently, look into all aspects before you make your decision. Initial days won’t be that easy. Don’t waste your time imitating what makes someone else special. Be yourself. Good luck my good people!

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Oct 07, 2021 10:10:11 pm