Sikkim: Meet Sofiyum, a one of a kind Lepcha Folk band from Gangtok!
Sikkim, March 23: A Lepcha Folk band- Sofiyum is the first of its kind Lepcha folk fusion band based at Gangtok. It was formed in the year 2011, with a common love for fusing traditional Lepcha folk songs with contemporary styles of music. It is a seven-member band with Mickma Tshering Lepcha on Vocals/Tungbuk/Puntong; Ongyal Tshering Lepcha on Vocals/Guitars/ Tungbuk; Phursong Lepcha on Vocals/Percussions; Choki Lamu Lepcha on Vocals/Percussions; Leeyong Lepcha on Guitars; Rathap Lepcha on Drums/Tangdar and Chyuzong Lepcha on Bass.
The band has of late received acclaim and love from the public and music lovers with their unique combination of Lepcha traditional music with the modern Western instruments presenting a unique blend of sound. Sofiyum, was formed with a common love for fusing traditional Lepcha folk songs with contemporary style music.
While speaking to TNT-The Northeast Today, a band member Chyuzong Lepcha said, "The medium of our lyrics is in the Lepcha language". They have played in the state and went on to perform their first major gig at Shillong in 2012 for World Music Day headlined by the likes of Guru Reuben, Shillong Chamber Choir and Na Rympei. "We then started composing and performing originals in live performances over the last 6 years, with our debut album soon due," adds Chyuzong. They have played in Mumbai SDNE fest, and recently the Ziro Festival in Arunachal Pradesh. When asked about the objective of the band, its member Chyuzong further adds that they want to "keep making music that we love".
"Secondly, with the dearth of a popular medium to promote one's culture, we took to music, a universal medium to do so. And hopefully, will be able to continue connecting with people in the future too," he stresses. With internet and other platforms opening new avenues to showcase talent, let's hope that this folk fusion band will pave way for further such collaborations which will not only make good music but also leave a lasting impression through preservation and reintroducing folk to the present generation.
–By Yougan Tamang for TNT- The Northeast Today News
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