E-Pao! Rock Concert - Recycle at The Hornbill Festival Of Nagaland

Recycle at The Hornbill Festival Of Nagaland

By:- Biswajit & Michael *

The Hornbill Festival of Nagaland, which is a yearly feature in the first week of December, is a cultural extravaganza worth a watch. You can see a mélange of Naga cultures on display in one place.

This festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 Km from Kohima and is permanently created for celebration of this festival. Hornbill Festival is the mother of all Naga Festivals, first celebrated in 2000.

All Festivals of the 16 odd Naga tribes, normally celebrated over different seasons in a year, are condensed into seven-day festival, 1st to 7th December, every year. These celebrations invariably coincide with agricultural lean periods such as after-harvest, and therefore the feeling of gaiety and generosity, even to a fault.

This year is a special edition is in the form of Aircel Presents Hornbill National rock Contest, 2007 at the Hornbill Music Festival 2007.

Hornbill National Rock Contest

The Concept
The Hornbill National Rock Contest may well be the longest music festival in the country, it being a seven-day-long festival. Such extravaganza is in keeping with the essence of the many Naga festivals; marked by feasts, dances, games and music, all in full measure.

The annual Hornbill Festival, and therefore the Hornbill National Rock, is set in this background. In time, they hope to go International.

Mode of Contest:
The Competition will be carried out in two phases-
First phase: Screening through Audio demo tape/CD
Second phase: Live performance

Each selected band from the first phase will be slotted to perform on a given night of the festival. Based on the live performance, nine bands will be chosen for the final competition, the result of which will be announced the night before the final.

The nine bands will compete for the top three places on the final night i.e. 7th Dec. 2007. Following declaration of the result, including that of individual categories, prizes, awards and mementoes will be given away on the night itself. The panel of judges will comprise active musicians and personalities from music industry and media of the country.

The Consulate General of United States of America and the Meghalaya’s Higher Education and IT Minister RG Lyngdoh (former member of band Mojo where he used play harb) kick start the HornBill Rock Contest, 2007.

Recycle, an alternative, Grunge, nu-metal band of Imphal took part in HornBill Rock Contest held in Kisama, Nagaland after getting through the first phase.

Recycle configuration:

Biswajit – Vocals
Naobi – Guitars
Bode – Guitars, Backing vocals
Michael – Bass, Backing vocals
Bungo – Drums

2nd phase of preliminary round took place from Dec 4 to 6 where 8(eight) bands each played for 25 mins. slot.

Recycle played 5(five) songs inclusive of one self composition – “Tell me why” in the 2nd phase of preliminary round on Dec 5. “Tell me why” is all about reflection of the present scenario facing in Manipur like merciless killings, violence, corruption…..that lead to anger, fear and frustration but hoping for a better change.

Recycle performing at Hornbill National Rock Contest, Nagaland

In the night of Dec 6, 2007 , result of 9 bands for the Grand Finale was finally announced and Recycle was one of them.

Next day i.e Dec 7, 2007 was the Grand Finale of the HornBill Rock contest. Recycle was given the 2nd slot of the evening. It was again 25 mins slot performance for each band.

The vocalist of Recycle (Biswajit) started with a smart one liner – “Kineka Ase” which means "How are you?" in Nagamese. Recycle played 5 songs inclusive of 2 originals and 3 covers namely –
  • Tell me why (Recycle)
  • Change (Recycle)
  • Your time has come (Audio Slave)
  • Helter Skelter (U2 version)
  • Readymade (Red Hot Chilli Pepper)
Newly composed “Change” was a beautifully crafted and embellished song, with touching lyrical contents which reflect everyone’s life, soothing and floating flow of music, and very catchy heart touching tune also from the vocalist.

The song speaks about "chasing our dreams with individual liberty, freedom, responsibilities to make a difference". The crowd were thrilled with the Recycle performance and gave a good, positive response.

The mega HornBill Rock Contest came to a rapturous ending with Kolkatta based ‘The Hobos’ winning the first prize amounting to Rs. 4 lakh sponsored by Aircel.

The second prize of Rs. 1.5 lakh, sponsored by Nagaland State Aids Control Society (NSACS) was bagged by XTC from Nagaland.

The third prize of Rs. 1 lakh sponsored by NEC Energy Private Limited went to Midnight Garden Factors, Meghalaya.

In the individual category,
  • The Best Drummer(Rs. 25,000) was awarded to Tabz (The Hobos),
  • Best Bassist (Rs. 25,000) to Jeetu Marak (North Wind Tura),
  • Best Lead Guitarist (Rs. 25,000) to Tia (Cold Fire),
  • Best Vocalist (Rs. 25,000) to Biswajit (Recycle).
  • The Special category prize – Best Keyboards (Rs. 10,000) was awarded to Nuklu (XTC)
Meghalaya’s Higher education and IT Minister RG Lyndoh gave away the prizs to the winners of the Rock contest. Meanwhile Axis Bank sponsored one Best Individual Prize (Vocalist) and a special category prize and The Music Task Force(MTF) gave away the Best Lead Guitarist, Best Bass Guitarist and Best Drummer. Other prizes are sponsored by Roland, Peavey, Ibanez, Casio, Unitex and Crescendo.

Check out the Gallery on this performance here.

Newspaper Clippings:

a) With Biswajit’s Hornbill success Recycle aims for Mumbai fest
- Courtesy: Imphal Free Press (
IMPHAL, Dec 16: Rock vocalist Biswajit of “Recycle”, who was adjudged the best vocalist of this year’s Hornbill national rock contest at the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland, said he and his band are now targeting the ‘Great India Rock’ contest, one of the prestigious contests of the country organized yearly by the Rock Street Journal.
According to him music can influence the masses while the songs composed could reflect the issues of the time. “I hope to contribute in bringing a change in our society through music. I am always concerned for some change with my music. So my compositions are always focused on the issues of the state and North East for progressive change.” Biswajit said. His two self composed songs “Tell me why” and “Change” also focus on the hot issues of present day Manipur.
The lyrics of the song ‘Tell me why’ go like this:
I see no reason
To the blood and gore
wrapping up the world
Sons weeping for fathers
Mother weeping for sons
Smokes and guns everywhere
Clouds of tears raining
Tell me why
You’re fighting to kill
Violence only hurts you and us... the song goes on.
The other self composed song ‘Change’ which was presented at the Hornbill contest go like this:
Memories still lingers on
But I'm on my way through
Emotions not a reality though
Trying to smile when you feel sad

a) Best vocalist of HNRC hoping to enter “Great Indian Rock Contest”
- Courtesy: Nagaland Post
Inspired by the his success in winning the best voca-list of this year's Hornbill National Rock Contest held at Kisama, Biswajit of ‘Recycle' band from Manipur has now started preparing for the 'Great Indian Rock' contest scheduled to be held in February next year.
His passion in the field was encouraged by his band 'Illegal" who grabbed the first position in the first state level 'Drift Rock Contest' held in Imphal in 1995. Since then, he had worked with different bands of the state. Currently, he is with the 'Recycle' band whish was formed in November 2005.
"I considered the success in the Hornbill National Rock Contest to be one of the greatest achievements of my life. I feel proud of my state Manipur," said Biswajit.
"I hope I can contribute in bringing change in our society through music. I am always concerned for something modified with my music. So my composition always focuses on the issues of the state and north east for a progressive change." Biswajit said.

Related Articles on Recycle:

* Mayanglambam Michael (with inputs from Tongbram Biswajit - Recycle) contributes to for the first time . The writers can be contacted at mmichael77(at)gmail(dot)com and singhbiswajit(at)yahoo(dot)com . This article was webcasted on December 20th , 2007

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