Fascinating notes from Shillong

Fascinating notes from Shillong

Fascinating notes  from Shillong
Alexandria Syiem and Kevin Lywait met on an audio platform, liked each other’s music and connected. They knew they had a common interest but they didn’t know that they would come together for a musical endeavour — the band ‘Ha Lor’, an electronic music band. Though both of them hail from Shillong, they met in Bengaluru and after initial meetings, went on to record their first single. In a candid chat with Tini Sara Anien, Alexandria talks about the growth of the band and about electronic music.

How did ‘Ha Lor’ happen?

Kevin liked my cover on ‘Arctic Monkeys’ and we shared common likes in music. We heard each others music, connected on social media and thought ‘why not?’. That’s how the band happened. After this, we recorded our first single and have been making music since then.

Once you started off, how was it?

We didn’t want ‘Too Fast, Too Late’ to be just another track. We didn’t want to name it just anything too, as we wanted to steer away from cliches. But we kept thinking and then we got hung up on what to call the track and named it this. The track is open to interpretation, but it is based on an incident that happened to a friend. The song is about a woman who is a prostitute; how she tries to fit into the society and puts on this masquerade.

What does ‘Ha Lor’ mean?

‘Ha Lor’ is inspired by good people, good vibes, great weather and the hills. It is a word from Khasi, our mother tongue, which means ‘being on top’. The name is a reminder of the beauty of the place and the charm it possesses. We are people who are very attached to our hometowns and the band’s name is a subtle reminder of where we are from and what we will always like about the places.

A lot of electronic bands are coming up now...

We are definitely unique; each of them is unique. Our signature element is that our band has my voice. The band isn’t electronic dance music, but since people dance on everything now, they could dance to it if they choose to. Our music is more experimental.

How do you see music transforming with the band?

The band will soon be releasing more singles and covers. We are constantly trying something. We’ve used our varied elements to our advantage. We love our music and writing our tracks. The band also does covers and we like to show the audience how we connect to the song. We don’t own it but we like to show them how we see it. There are a few jazzy numbers coming up, and I’m very excited as I’m a jazz musician.

How different is jazz and electronic music?

They are completely different! Jazz music has a lot more live instrumental connect — it’s more about the saxophone and the trumpet. In electronic music, the talent is to try and add all the sounds into a little box (a laptop). It is really cool to see what one person can do, what five people usually do.

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