Sagolsem Tijendra - Singer - One on one
* Interview by Team E-pao
When we talk about music icons in Manipur with a unique melody that has captured the heart of millions since the 70s, one name that comes to mind is non other than Sagolsem Tijendra. A composer, music director, singer and in short a musical genius. He has worked with renowned Bollywood singers like Lata Mangeskar, Udit Narayan, Anuradha Paudwal besides local musical giants like Pahari, A. Shyam.
Born in April 1954 at Moirangkhom Loklaobung, Imphal, Sagolsem Tijendra, since his childhood has a great zeal for music. After completing his Bachelors degree, he left Imphal, in pursuit of his dream and enrolled himself at the in Bhatkande College of Hindustani Music, Lucknow in 1971.
Having completed his musical studies, he came back to Imphal and worked under late Ch. Gopal Singh (AIR Imphal), and became an approved artist at the AIR, Imphal, in 1976. He was also the music director for the first ever Manipuri colour film (1989) produced by K.P Films International. Most of his music is based on Indian classical and sentimental music.
He also worked as music director and playback singer for films which included Iral Oirage, Thawaimichakna Kenkhraba, Meichak, Chatledo Eidi, lei-EE-Ama, Madhabee, Yaoshangi Meiri.
He also gave music direction in some of his video films included Thaballei, Pukchel, Ichel Wangma, Khudol Nongallabasu Thaballei Leinam, Athenbadasu Thabal, Nangin-Nungsiba, Bomb blast.
o Best Music Director and Singer, Horizon Music Award, 2002,
o Best Music Director at "NETV Peoples Choice Awards", 2005,
o Best Male playback singer at 5th Manipur State Film Festival, 2006 organised by the Manipur Film Development Co-operation.
One on One with E-Pao.Net
E-pao.net: Can you recall when was your first experience in singing? Tijendra: Music always have been with me since the day I was born. My first public performance, as far as I can recall, was in my college days in and around 1971.
E-pao.net: Any favourite songs/singers?
Tijendra: My favourite singers are Nongmaithem Pahari, Manadey - an Indian classic singer. I also love to listen to songs of the Beatles. One of my all time favourite song would be "Kellaba Samjigi Leirang" of Pahari.
E-pao.net: How does it feel working with a great Indian artist Like the legendary Lata Mangeskar in Mumbai
Tijendra: Working with great artists like Lataji and others was a great experience. I was moved by their hospitality, their words of encouragement and their acknowledgement for a regional artist and culture. They are disciplined, punctual, in short I should say the experience was more than expected. Working in good studios in city of entertainment - Mumbai - was amazing.
E-pao.net: What is your opinion in the changing trend of music scenario in Manipur?
Tijendra: If we compare the music of those days with today's music; there is a lot of difference. Music those days were dry, so to say. We can manage a song only using harmonium and tabla. What was given more emphasis was the singer's vocals and its qualities. Now, more emphasis is given to the music. The popularity of classical music seem to be slowly dying too.
E-pao.net: What would be consider as your greatest achievement so far in your career as a music director/singer/composer?
Tijendra: That would be the chance to work with legendary singers and musicians and sharing experiences and when my students making me proud.
E-pao.net: How do you spend your time free time?
Tijendra: I really dont have much free time actually. I am a Music Instructor at Bal Bhawan, Khuman Lampak Imphal. When I am off duty or have no engagement, I use the time to compose songs/music.
E-pao.net: What can be done to improve the musical scenario in Manipur?
Tijendra: The music in Manipur, when compare to other places, is in its initial stage. Government also plays an important role. I think Government should take up a policy to encourage students like granting scholarship.
E-pao.net: Any message you want to convey to the young emerging singers/music directors?
Tijendra: If one wants to succeed, one has to be disciplined. Respect one's teacher. Last, but not the least, Character is the most important. I would say without it no one can become a good artist.