Over 12.2 million streams across platforms for a debut album. It is something artists only dream of. And it is something that multilingual singer-songwriter Taba Chake achieved with ease with his album, Bombay Dreams. The fingerstyle guitar player and performer from Arunachal Pradesh has now brought out a new single called Blush. “It’s about the happy side of love—the feeling of butterflies in your stomach—and also the agonising longing that you feel when you are away from the one you love,” he explains.
Chake says he conceived the song quite a while ago, based on what he had observed among his friends and the stories they shared with him about being in love. Of course, the fact that he fell in love and could relate to all those emotions helped him in crafting the song. “After moving to Mumbai, I remember sitting in my room and thinking about her—wanting to spend time with her,” he reminisces. The physical distance between him and his lady love—she lived in Delhi—pushed him to create the song.
Just like any other artist, Chake too had a difficult time during the intense lockdown period initially. But he was keen on recording his latest single and releasing it. Once regulations eased, his band and sound engineers rallied round and the team took adequate precautions. “While we got the studio ready and began tracking the song, the government announced another lockdown in Arunachal, which broke our entire flow,” he says. They resumed recording again once it opened, and luckily, got it done in time and to their satisfaction.
A polyglot of sorts—Chake speaks and understands five languages (Nyishi, Hindi, English, Nepali and Assamese)—he lets his heart and soul sing the melodies first, the language comes later. “I have no problems writing the same tune in different languages,” he says. Following his EP Bond with Nature in 2019, his debut album took the country by storm, captivating thousands of people through live performances, with listeners from over 50 countries. The album made it to #12 on Apple Music’s All Genre Charts. This year, Chake was chosen by Spotify for their emerging artist programme, RADAR. Via the programme, Spotify will help his upcoming releases reach new audiences within the app.
With musical influences that encompass tribal folk and folklores—given that he grew up listening to them—Chake says his inspirations keep changing with time. Even though he moved to Mumbai to chase his dream of becoming a musician, he currently feels like running away from the concrete jungles and moving back to the mountains. “I believe nature can teach and influence your music if your senses are open,” he explains. And run away, he did. Chake has been home in Arunachal ever since the pandemic began, and is working on sharing new music about where he comes from.
He has also been exploring writing in different languages, and has completed a song in Assamese, which he plans to release soon. Besides, he has also been busy working on two more Nyishi songs and is trying his hand at a Nepali song as well. Music knows no language, and Chake is proving it one song at a time.