Rhythm of Love: In conversation with Senti and Hopong - Eastern Mirror
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Rhythm of Love: In conversation with Senti and Hopong

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Apr 16, 2021 12:22 am

Music has always been a refuge for the upcoming artistes from Kohima and siblings, Senti and Hopong.

They were into blues, gospel and contemporary music, but are now trying to adapt to one specific genre.

Eastern Mirror catches up with the talented siblings to share their musical journey in today’s Rhythm of Love.

Eastern Mirror: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and let us know the genre of music you are into?

Senti and Hopong: Hello, we are Senti and Hopong from Kohima. We sing and compose as well. We are siblings. Senti is nineteen years old and is pursuing her B.A from Sazolie College Kohima and Hopong is seventeen years old and doing his class 12 from Oriental College Kohima.

We are no near perfect with any of the (music) genres and we actually don’t stick along with one, but well for the past few years, we have been doing blues, gospel, and contemporary and yes, we are trying our best to adapt ourselves to one specific genre.

Eastern Mirror: How did you get into music? Could you share us about your musical journey?

Senti and Hopong: It all started in the four walls of our bedroom; we were about six to seven years old, and at that time, music was the only source of our happiness. When we were young, our mom through her act of kindness and interest, would always encourage and inspire us by bringing the CDs and disc of the “Hillsong” and the “Gaither Homecoming”; it was definitely a hard time for us since we had no idea about what social media was all about, and so whenever we received a CD, our hearts were filled with joy and happiness. We always loved how the people were singing and feeling the music inside them. After having a tough time listening to the their songs and copying the lyric, we spent hours and hours trying to imitate them; our love for music has grown even more and since then, music has always been a refuge for us and we strongly believe that it is the only way to connect the two of us together, and yes that’s how it all started.

Eastern Mirror: Who writes lyrics and composes music of your songs?

Senti and Hopong: We usually do it together, but most of the time, I (Senti) would work on how to go about with the lyric and my brother would assist me in doing the reviews, but as for the music, we do it together with the help of the musical instruments.

Eastern Mirror: Are you musically trained or self taught?

Senti and Hopong: Yes, we are musically trained.

Eastern Mirror: Could you give us an insight on how you record your songs and compose music.

Senti and Hopong: We do the audio recording from one of our teachers, and as for video recording, there are different videographers who have been generous enough to work with us in capturing and creating the best for us.

Writing and composing a song is never easy. Before we started doing our originals, we had no clue about what it was all about. It was because of the experience from ‘N.E. Body Can Sing’ State-level 2019 that we discovered the ability to write our own originals and winning the competition was something which was really out of the blue since we were just beginners, but fortunately, we did it and that’s how we started writing our originals; taking up such decision adapting ourselves to something new, we truly discovered the struggle of the artiste who writes their own originals, it requires a lot of time, patience, enthusiasm and also lot of hard work to make the tune as catchy as possible. For me and my brother, we first manage to finish the lyric. A lyric can be scribbled in any form, but we believe that making a lyric with an insightful meaning can be as hard as hitting a nail. For us it takes about three to four days or sometimes even a week or a month to make a complete set of song.

Eastern Mirror: Tell us one artiste or genre of music that have influenced you the most.

Senti and Hopong: There are so many artistes who influenced and inspired us to make music, but specifically, “Us The Duo” are the one who created a very big impact on our musical journey and they are the ones we have been listening to for almost a decade now.

Eastern Mirror: If you get a chance to collaborate with some international artiste, who would it be?

Senti and Hopong: If we were ever given a chance to collaborate with any of the international artiste, it would be “Jeremy Zucker & Chelsea Cutler”, and “also Us the Duo”.

Eastern Mirror: One of your songs- ‘New Start’ was the winner of best gospel song at the 12th Music Awards Nagaland. Could you share us about the experience and the journey of ‘New Start’?

Senti and Hopong: The song “New Start” is one of the originals which is really close to our hearts; it was on a cold winter we sat near the heater, on a mat discussing about what song to write and compose about and Hopong always wanted to write something different and we sat for about an hour discussing about how everyone has their own struggles and how everyday is like a battlefield longing for a new day and a new start well and that’s how “New Start” came into being. Well, after the completion of the song, we had a dream to release it as soon as possible and in reaching out to people what the song was all about and by the grace of God, one of our sirs, Veshehu reached out his helping hands for recording the audio. After the audio was done, we thought it would be impossible for us to record the music video but a big thanks to brother Neki Shüya for having our back and the video was recorded by sir Viepfukha from Chumoukedima. We never expected our song “New Start” to get nominated, but by the grace of God and with the help of many people, we were able to achieve something we always dreamt about, thanks to each one of them.

Eastern Mirror: You released an original titled ‘Dreams and Reality’ this year. Please tell us what the song is about.

Senti and Hopong: Here is a brief insight about what the song is all about…The song “Dreams and Reality” portrays the image of a person craving for all his dreams to be real. Life is all about ups and downs, goals and dreams, reality and illusions, that deceives us and makes us wonder..about why it all happens. Talking about “Dreams and Reality”, it was a real struggle to complete this particular song. There is literally so much emotion attached to this song, and well the credit goes to Anovi Shohe for creating this beautiful piece for us; Ahio Khieya, who enthusiastically recorded this music video for us, and also kudos to Teen Shades and so many other people.

Senti and Hopong
Senti and Hopong

Eastern Mirror: Are your music videos sponsored or done at your own expenses?

Senti and Hopong: We do not receive any sponsorship from anyone; all our projects are managed by our manager.

Eastern Mirror: How has your musical journey been so far and what are your expectations down the line?

Senti and Hopong: Our musical journey has never been easy. There were times when the road seemed to be rough and tough. Recalling the release of our first original, we were very nervous and unsure about whether people would like our song. We realised the fact that we cannot always expect everyone to like our songs because everyone has different taste but we always believed that there would be one among many who would listen to our song and get inspired, and so from there, we have never stopped what we love to do. We believe that it is just the beginning of our journey and we are looking forward to what’ s coming next.

Eastern Mirror: What are you into apart from music?

Senti and Hopong: There is just nothing apart from music that we love to do; whatever we are into seem to be partially connected to music. But one thing for sure that we are into, is that we love exploring new places.

Eastern Mirror: What are your thoughts on the music industry in Nagaland?

Senti and Hopong: Well, from our honest point of view, the best way to describe the Nagaland music industry would be a season. The music industry may seem to be putting efforts in the uplift of artistes who go unnoticed, but we wish they introduce more labels and more platforms, gigs to the people who deserve this kind of platforms. There are lot of critics who does not believe in making music as a full time career and who does not really appreciate what the musician toils about, off course not always, but sometimes it gets out of hand which seems to really discourage the musician. We believe that it will all get better… We also want to encourage artistes through this that, we sometime become so dependent on the promoters to offer us stage but we believe that by seeking for help, looking out for stage and by supporting one another, we can eventually make the music industry all better…we believe that we the artistes can make a great difference by helping and pushing one another.

Eastern Mirror: Are there any projects in the pipeline?

Senti and Hopong: Yes, we have been working on releasing more of our originals. Excited about what’s coming ahead of us, few months down the line; it will be out on various social platforms.

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Apr 16, 2021 12:22:05 am