10 female bands from North East India that will leave you spellbound


— compiled by Debjani Hazarika
North-east part of India has always been known for its nature, beauty and music. In the last decade, the region has seen tremendous growth in the indie music scene. While most of the festivals and events are dominated by male bands, females of the region aren't waiting for a better time. Although female music groups are not new among northeasterners, the region has seen rapid growth of all female bands who are well equipped to play from folk to jazz, rock 'n' roll to metal. Below are ten such female bands who have been defying the stereotypical thought process and building faith in women empowerment with their music and team spirit.

1. Tetseo Sisters (Nagaland)



Tetseo Sisters from Nagaland
The Tetseo Sisters are the true cultural ambassadors of the North East performing the traditional folk music of Nagaland vocally as a band in many popular live shows across the country and abroad. The amazing four sisters known by the names, Mercy, Alune, Kuvelu and Azi have spent their young lives promoting the nearly forgotten music of the Chakhesang tribe that they have inherited. They have been featured in numerous cultural events and are regulars at Music Festivals around the country including Hornbill Music Festival, Storm Festival, North East Festival, Kalakshetra Foundation, Cultures of Peace series, Folk Nations and more recently at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2014. The dialect in which they sing is known as the Chokriand the regional song that they sing is known as ‘Li’, from the traditional songbook better known as ‘Li Kukre Kutiko’ in which there are approx of 223 songs enlisted in it. Their pure dedication towards their work has helped them to add a lot of awards in their kitty. Traditional folk instruments like tati (an one-stringed instrument) and heka libuh (horn of mithun) are played along the songs to maintain the essence of the folk music.

2. Afflatus (Meghalaya)



Afflatus from Meghalaya
Affalatus, the four young ladies band, began their blues influenced rock act in 2004. Affalatus are made up of experienced musicians in their own right with Mercy, Karen, Sharon and Grace. There is an enigmatic spirit within their rock and reggae mix music that’s highlighted by a more than strange female bravado. According to the band members, their journey was “inspirational” that never lost sight of the one thread, one passion, one love that binds them together; the love of creating music. Afflatus is said to be the emergence of a truly international sound, having the record label with India. Although the band is influenced simply by life itself, but the band can't deny the fact that they are also influenced by the sounds of the Beatles, RHCP, Flux Pavillion and Bruno Mars. Their debut performance as Afflatus in 2004 won them an award and that too at the national level. Since then, Afflatus, have come a long way with a debut album in the making, numerous high profile concerts under their belt and the emergence of a truly international sound.

3. The Vinyl Records (Arunachal Pradesh)



The Vinyl Records (Arunachal Pradesh) | photo: Facebook
Formed in February 2010, The Vinyl Records is a four piece All-girl Rock band. Considered as one of the most happening bands in the Indian rock music circuit, the band got featured on MTV F1 Rocks 2011, and since then they have regularly appeared in many countless top journals including Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Tehelka. They have performed in well known festivals and events like the Ziro Festival of Music, Puma Loves Vinyl, The LOUDEST Gig in Delhi, etc. The band members are Banu Jini, Minam Tekseng, Mithy Tatak and Cheyyrian Bark.

4. Apples (Mizoram)



Apples (Mizoram)
Apples is a three piece Rock 'N' Roll all girl band from Aizawl. The three girls began their music journey in october, 2007. The Apples is fronted by Zodingliani with her retro rock style and smirking off high energy guitar wizardy. The band includes of Jojo(Vocalist), ZoZoi(Drummer), Afaki (Bassist) and DingDingi(Guitarist). They have also covered the Mizo version of the 50’s hit “Stupid Cupid” which helped them increase their popularity and fan base. The band's main principle is to produce commercial and semi-commercial music taste of their community.

5. Minute of Decay (Manipur)



Minutes of Decay (Manipur)
They are sisters and then they became band members when they chose to start a revolution called 'Minute of Decay', also known as MoD. The sisters Worshon, Singchon and Thotyaphy Muivah from Manipur, formed the New Delhi based group in the late October 2011. The band mainly plays classic rock punctuated by a stylized pinch of contemporary vocals and alternative riffs – an obsession with sweet medleys.

Minute of Decay's preparatory is laced with a fine example of foresight and discipline from their parents. Their own love affair with music, they ensured, would survive into the next generation through their children, even if it means an all-girls situation.

6. The Chosen (Mizoram)



The Chosen (Mizoram)
A bunch of six talented girls from Aizawl got together by their same love for music in 2009. The band had risen up to the Mizo music scene with their first single “Broken Wings”, later followed by “Kan fak a che (We praise you)”. The lead vocalist Fiona Lalmalsawmi Pachuau won Special Award at MoonLight Awards 2011. The girls mainly sing in their native dialect – Mizo.

Essentially a Pop, Pop-rock, Indie band, the band, started jamming out in the first half of 2009 and got together as a Gospel band (All-Girl band) by the end of that year. The band comprises of members Moitei (Vocals), Fiona (Vocals), Seni (Guitars), Xoey (Bass), Malsomi (keyboards), Afeli (Drums) and Parema (songwriter/manager). They are the first all girl Gospel band from the state of Mizoram. Now ain't that something?!

7. Genesis of Pink (Sikkim)



Genesis of Pink (Sikkim)
Formed in April 2013, Genesis of Pink is a Gangtok based four member punk-rock band comprises of Mahima Apchunna Rai (Vocalist/Rhythm Guitarist), Dechen Gyurmi Zangmu (Lead Guitarist), Annies Pamo Lucksom (Bassist) and Shrishti Rai (Keyboardist).

The band released two music videos “Who are you” and “Ka Bata” in 2016. Their songs are often based on society and individuals and they also do not stray away from writing songs on delicate issues such as rape and violence and spread it through the universal language of music.

8. Blue Corn (Mizoram)



Blue Corn (Mizoram)
Blue Corn is a pop trio and one of the most popular girl groups of Mizoram. The group consists of Felicia Singson, Kim Kimi and Tlingi. In 2006, they released their music video “Lung Lawm A kim” from their debut album – Lunglawn Akim. The album enjoyed a lime-light success in Mizoram, Manipur and other parts of Northeast states. They popularity hits not only in Mizoram but neighbouring states of Manipur and Nagaland as well.

9. Hurricane Girls (Assam)



Hurricane Girls (Assam)
In 2011, Assam’s first all-girl band was formed in a small village of Nahira, about 30 km off Guwahati. The lead vocalist, composer and director Mamani Kalita along with her drummer friend Arju Begum took the initiative. Apart from headlining various festivals in their home state, this fusion-folk rock band has played an array of gigs hitting Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Ahmedabad.

The band’s musical journey began in 2011 performing at a cultural function organised by a coaching institute at Rabindra Bhawan in Guwahati. The band uses some traditional Assamese musical instruments like dhol, nagara, dotara with keyboard, guitar, drums and modern percussion instruments to create a musical illusion. Band members as on 2016 - Mamani, Mumpy, Maina kaberi, Jenny, Luku and Pragya

10. Vivance - Naga Girls (Nagaland)



Vivance - Naga Girls (Nagaland)
This four piece pop band from Dimapur is an offspring of collective efforts punched by Mhonyamo Kikon and Meyi to introduce a catchy flavor of girl power into the Nagaland music scene. 'Vivance' consists of Livika Swu (Vocals), Nukshinaro Imchen (Guitars), Vekutalu Swuro (Piano) and Onen (bass guitar).

Formed on November 25, 2013, the band’s style of playing is considered to have a blend of pop rock, and Indie, so they call themselves an experimental Pop/Indie rock band, the joy and to uplift and empower women in the state. In 2014, the band has released their Debut EP Dream Out Loud. Although the band is still quite young, their foot-tapping music has helped them gather quite the fanbase.

Edited by - Jim Ankan Deka

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