Meet Thupden Bhutia from Sikkim, two times ‘Best Drummer’ in the Hornbill International Rock Contest
GANGTOK: Diligently in love with music and living his music passionately, is the young talented lad from Namchi, South Sikkim, Thupden Bhutia.
At the age of 24, he has been successful in winning the title of the Best Drummer in the Hornbill International Rock Contest, a music festival of high repute which is held annually in Kohima, Nagaland. Thupden has won the title consecutively for two years (2015 & 2016), of which is just a coveted dream for many.
Born to parents, Norbu Dorjee Bhutia and Pranita Tamang, Thupden finds himself very fortunate to have parents who have been of immense support towards his love for music. In fact, his parents were the one who motivated him to delve into music.
Thupden's mother wanted him to become a guitarist but somehow his inclination towards percussion made him a drummer today for which neither he nor his parents regret.
He started learning guitars and drum from the age of 15 and had his first five-membered band at the age of 17. He was pretty young when he started off but he calls all the initial years of the band formation as the best days of his life.
Thupden Bhutia did his fundamentals from Namchi Public School, and graduated from Namchi Government College and later completed his Masters in Business Administration in Human Resource from Sikkim Manipal University, Gangtok. Currently, this MBA guy is focused on music and his bands. He is at least associated with three bands at this juncture namely, 'Dire Threat', 'Sink or Swim' and 'Crystals and the Witches' but he was associated with many bands in the past viz, 'Death Squad', 'Psychotic Suicide' and 'Crazy Guns' from Namchi, and 'Sinister Violence' from Darjeeling.
Traveling around and playing music with his bands around has always been his dream and to a certain extent, he has been successful in living one. He with his band has performed in various places within the state of Sikkim and outside viz, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kolkata, Silchar, Cherrapunji, and Kohima. He along with his bands have participated in various musical fests, events, and competitions and has been successful in winning many accolades, appreciations, and titles. Red Fest, Gangtok 2010 and 2011, Sikkim Rock Idol 2014, Thunder March 2015, Kolkata Open Air Show 2015, Shine a light and Hornbill International Rock Contest are the events and competitions to name few which he participated at and earned great experiences. He had also won the coveted title of the 'Best Drummer' of Sikkim in the Sikkim Rock Idol in the year 2014.
Despite all his passion and dedication for music, Thupden feels that it is really tough for one in the hills to make a career in music as he feels that music in the hills of Sikkim and Darjeeling has many limitations in terms of platforms and exposure. People hesitantly sponsors few events and competitions. Especially when it comes to heavy metal and rock music people feel that it's just a regular noise but that doesn't stop Thupden from playing good music along with his bands. He believes that he will be playing forever for his genuine few in a genuine way. Thupden Bhutia draws his inspiration from Joey Jordison (Slipknot) and Mc Gregor (MMA Fighter).
Thupden feels that the entire Sikkim and Darjeeling lack no talents and artists but rather it lacks the good platforms thus he seeks and feels that genuine people should come ahead and support the local talents and artists to further nurtur and nourish the art.
Thupden's band Crystal and the Witches was also successful in winning the title of First Runners-Up in the Hornbill International Rock Contest 2016.
(Interviewed by Yougan Tamang for TNT-The Northeast Today)