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Purple Fusion Vocalist Lamtsala Sangtam Dies at 31

The voice behind Nagaland folk band Purple Fusion succumbed to cancer in Kohima on June 1st

Rolling Stone India Jun 02, 2016
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Purple Fusion vocalist Lamtsala Sangtam. Photo: James Chakhesang

Purple Fusion vocalist Lamtsala Sangtam. Photo: James Chakhesang

Nagaland singer and artist manager Lamtsala H Sangtam, from fusion rock band Purple Fusion, passed away on Wednesday following a prolonged battle with cancer. Sangtam, 31, announced in April that her cancer had relapsed. Her last update, made via Facebook on May 20th, said she had been bedridden for more than a month. A statement by the band is awaited.

Sangtam, who previously performed at fundraisers and remained very open about her fight with cancer, is reported to have passed away on Wednesday night at Naga Hospital in Kohima. With Purple Fusion, Sangtam was part of their quick success and fame in the North East and across India ever since they came together in 2012. Best known for songs such as “Ho Hey! You Came Along” “Tring Tring” and “Nakhe Nakhe,” the band released their debut album, Folk Reminiscence, in 2014. The 10-track album was written in English, Hindi and local Naga dialects. The band picked up the Best Folk Fusion artist (People’s Choice) trophy at the Radio City Freedom Awards in February.

The singer is survived by her daughter and husband Mhathung Odyuo, who is also the bassist and principle composer in Purple Fusion. Sangtam also collaborated with music composer Sneha Khanwalkar for MTV’s Sound Trippin in 2013, adding her vocals to the track “Raaka” and Mumbai-based guitarists Vijay Xavier and Vishal J. Singh on their 2015 single “One Morning,” which is now being re-released as part of Xavier’s upcoming debut EP.

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