The deep connection of Music with our beloved Darjeeling hills has always been beyond any explanation. While we cannot stop appreciating the achievements of our brothers and sisters excelling in every field, they keep us wired with new and exciting stories everyday.
In a similar story, we bring to you a person today who needs no introduction, someone who Vishal Dadlani says has that vibrato in his voice, someone who has reintroduced versatility, someone who has redefined the song “Like I’m gonna lose you”, and someone who has captured millions of heart in a matter of few days.
Abhishek a well known face around the hills, is making it big at the national and international scene, through “The Stage”- a reality show being telecasted at Colors Infinity and that is spreading like wildfire with every passing moment.
Just to let you know, Abhishek is the vocalist at the band Gingerfeet and has also helped his band bag the prestigious Hornbill Award. He is also the first contestant from the hills to be contesting at a not voting reality show and he is never getting tired with the highest level of comments and praises from the judges falling inside his pocket – the judge panel including the likes of Vishal Dadlani, Monica Dogra, Ehsaan Noorani and Devraj Sanyal.
Name: Abhishek Gurung
Ama: Binameet Lepcha Gurung
Baba: Brigen Gurung
Sister: Anusuya Gurung
School: Goethal’s Memorial School, and St. Joseph’s School (North Point)
College: Scottish Church College and Bhawanipur Education Society College
Associated bands: Gingerfeet, and Still Waters
An interview of Abhishek Gurung by Bicky Sharma.
TheDC : Please tell us something about yourself.
Abhishek: I am from Kurseong and I have at home my parents and a sister. I was born in a very humble family and both my parents would serve at the State Bank of India, Kurseong. My love for music was born in the same place, at the time when I was a small kid.
TheDC: When did you realise that you wanted to get into singing/music?
Abhishek: I was exposed to music at a very early age, though I didn’t know I would get into singing. I was basically more attracted to guitars and I used to play the same. It was in Goethal’s, when I was a class 10 student that I realised that I could sing. There was a singing competition going on in the school and I casually decided to give it a shot. The incident went on to expose the better side of myself that I was unaware about.
TheDC: What inspired you to pursue your career in music?
Abhishek: As I already told you, I was exposed to music at a very early age. Music had come to me before I could even think about my career. Besides, it has come to me through my family too. My Chema (aunty) Nenora Lepcha was a Gospel Singer at Kalimpong, and also my dad had been a stage performer earlier in his life, performing at various places. You may say that has been an inspiration for me.
TheDC: Were your parents supportive of your decision to pursue music?
Abhishek: Yes, Absolutely. In fact if it was to be without them or my family, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They never questioned on my choice of career and ambition, and supported all my decisions with all their heart. I remember when I was small and had wanted to have a guitar, it didn’t even take a say and my grandmother got it for me. I can never be thankful enough towards my family for their love and support.
TheDC: Tell us about your journey through music that brought you here?
Abhishek: My serious touch with singing started when I was College. I would participate in the College competitions and get myself associated with various events. It was during my college that me and a few of my friends formed a semi professional band – Cynical Recess. It was my first band and I did a lot of shows with it. However, time would see us all get into our own diversions in life and the band had to split after beautiful journey.
It was in 2012 that Gingerfeet was formed. I was also meanwhile asked to sing for another band in Sikkim named Still waters. Thus, presently I am associated as a vocalist with these two bands.
It was with Cynical Recess that I first participated at the Hornbill in 2009. Though we couldn’t win the competition, it was a great experience for me as a first timer. In 2011, I again got an opportunity to participate at the Hornbill with the band Girish And The Chronicles, as Girish Da wasn’t available at the moment with the band. This went to prove something worthwhile and we went on to stand as the second runner up. I was honoured with the best Vocals award in the same.
It was now Gingerfeet in 2012 standing at the same stage with every bit of hard work that we had to offer. My lady luck smiled at me that year and we went on to raise the event – The Winners of the Hornbill we were. To add on to that, our bassist also bagged the best Bassist award there.
TheDC: Where do you see yourself in the next five years down the line?
Abhishek: Well!! In the next 5 years? (smirking) …. I see myself doing a lot of music. A lot of songs and albums with my band! Exploring music and doing a lot of tours and shows around the country. I see myself doing music, music and a lot of music!!!
TheDC: You have been bagging a lot of praises and positive comments from the judges. How much difference does it make?
Abhishek: We have a panel of highly successful and celebrated judges, probably the best we have in the Indie music scenario. Obviously, getting positive comments from them makes a lot of difference. It boosts up my confidence, gets me more curious and pushes me to work even hard. It intensifies my will to explore music to the depth.
TheDC: You have most of the times been seen to be associated with rock music. Now, you are leaving everyone awestruck with your versatility. Did you know you could do such wonders with other genres as well?
Abhishek: It would be fair if I say I knew about my capabilities with other genres, but then you can say that I had an idea. I would also sing Gospels and classical music during my days at St. Jospeh’s (North Point), which most of the people do not know. So, I had an idea that I could try my luck with other genres too.
TheDC: Coming from the Darjeeling region, was it difficult or easy for you during the course? Did you ever face racism?
Abhishek: Basically I think, it is how you perceive. A lot of people try to put on racial barriers. There are fools everywhere. But we cannot blame an entire community for the deeds of one or two idiots inside it. India as a country is doing great, the support and scope for music (western) is getting nice a opening in the country, we are doing good. And I have for myself never encountered any such case of racism.
TheDC: What advice would you give to those who want to follow your footsteps?
Abhishek: I would first say that we have to be open to all the genres and all the fields of music. We need to be original and we should pick up all the good qualities from different genres. Today, there are a lot of people from our region working successfully into in Mumbai – people we do not know about. We shouldn’t underestimate the scope of music and thereby explore the different aspects of it. India is today openly embracing and encouraging music in all the forms, specially western. We can have a lot of talents shaped from our region if only they realise the value of hard work and have in them the love for music.
We request all our readers to keep tuned, the finale is on its way. Lets pray for our brother and support him to victory.
We wish Abhishek GOOD LUCK for the competition and also for his career in music…
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