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Alobo Naga Writes on Relationships on New Album ‘Kini’

One of Nagaland’s top singers on why he turned to elelctro-pop on his second record

Anurag Tagat Oct 25, 2017

Dimapur-based artist Alobo Naga. Photo: Imcha Jamir; concept and styling: Tonikali Sema, Kaka Sumi

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Right from 2012, when Alobo Naga and the Band were nominated at the MTV Europe Music Awards, its frontman knew he had to make inroads beyond just the North East (where he was already a star) and the rest of India. Prior to the launch of his second album Kini, Alobo was in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore to promote the album. He adds, “Next I have Goa, Gujarat, Assam, Delhi, Kuwait and more. The list goes on till December.”

For Kini, Alobo has rounded up some of the most promising and prominent names representing music in the North East, from rappers Borkung Hrangkhawl and Big Deal to singer-actor Andrea Tariang, Germany-based pop producer Moa Toshi a.k.a. MOTO and songwriting from Tuden Jamir (from pop rockers Polar Lights), among others. Alobo says, “It took me more than a year to complete the whole production process.” He also got production help on one song from his rock band’s guitarist Lima Mongro, completing the spectrum of electronic, pop, hip-hop and rock on Kini.

As much as Alobo admits he was sceptical about branching out in a different direction far from his mainstream rock appeal, it was a challenge worth taking up. “I still do pop rock with my band ANTB, but as a solo artist, I want to evolve and challenge myself and I also wanted to keep up with times so I took the risk and experimented this new style of music. But you can still find the acoustic ballad side of me in few of the songs,” he says.

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Sonic experimentation also involved singing in Hindi, Nagamese, and English throughout Kini, including the rap song “Poisa,” featuring Borkung and Big Deal, whom Alobo heard and thought, “he is better than most of the Hindi rappers in the market.” Thematically, the singer says there’s an overall theme of love and relationships, including different stages. “When I was working on the album, I wanted it to be like one love story. You’ll find a song from proposal (“A Song for Aiko”), to fights (“Wolo”), commitment (“Never Let You Go”), long-distance relationships (“I Will Wait”), break-ups and heartbreaks (“Chasing Ghosts,” “Kini”), moving out of broken relationships (“Last Train”) and marriage (“L&T”),” Alobo says.

Up next, Alobo will return to work with this band on their next EP. “You can expect that by the beginning of 2018. I made around 16 to 18 songs for Kini and picked only 12 songs, so I will be releasing those songs along with few other songs also in 2018.”

Listen to “Mistry Gaana” below. Buy Kini here

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