#39: Artist Alert (Shankuraj Konwar)

Hello fellow music explorers! Welcome to India's only English & K-Pop Music Blog. 

Even though this space has been dedicated majorly to English Music, I also believe that music is bigger than all barriers. Given that Republic Day is right around the corner on 26th January, I would like to give a shoutout to a home-grown artist from India!! 😇

Shankuraj Konwar hails from Johrat, Assam, and is currently based in Mumbai. He debuted with his album ‘Baartalaap’ which kickstarted his musical career and established him as a soulful singer. His first self-produced song ‘Ki Bedonate’ alongside the celebrated poet Maitrayee Patar garnered his great appreciation and support. 

RhymesChime had a chat with him recently to gauge into his inspiration, his passion for music and his journey throughout. Below are the excerpts from the same.

1. How passionate are you about music and what prompted you to take up this profession?

Ans - I believe passion is like a flickering flame and our job as artists is to keep it blazing. I have been curious about music since childhood and this curiosity is the reason why my flame of passion is still burning. I always feel the need to keep learning and growing as a musician as much as possible. All thanks to my parents and my elder cousins since they are listeners of music, I had access to different genres of music from the beginning. On discovering that I could sing a bit here and there, music became more like an obsession to me. Currently, I’m simply going with the flow, with all the passion and training I have attained so far.

Similarly, music as a career option altogether was an extremely organic process. However, it was not a decision made overnight as well. What was important to me initially when I started out was to release the songs that I have given my blood and sweat for the previous couple of years. Thankfully those songs were well received by the audience and they garnered immense love and support for me. I started gathering opportunities to perform for my own live shows. The next step was to form a band for the same, and then the rest is the journey so far.

2. What are the qualities required to be a versatile artist?

Ans - Being an artist is itself a skill which requires a lot of practice and patience. When I talk about Versatility in music, it came to me with genuine and deep love and yearning to learn different kinds of styles, to dedicatedly practice and enjoy what I did. 

3.  Difference or similarities between being a singer, songwriter, and a composer

Ans - Well, professionally a singer, songwriter, and composer are different facets of the same song as they have different fields of creation and execution. A singer is the voice of the song who performs it to execute the ideas and emotions behind it, a composer refers to the person who only writes or composes the melody section for vocals or other instruments, while a song-writer can be anyone who is involved in creating the song, be it lyrics or melody. A song will only become hit if a perfect synergy is maintained between the three. 

4. Journey before stepping into the music industry

Ans - My journey before stepping into the music industry was very different from what it is today. I was an engineering student who was focused on my academics. However,  music has always been by my side. I never even thought of giving up on singing. The experience, the people, decisions taken and forsaken everything became specs of inspirations to write songs. I began to write about life and human emotions. My keyboard lessons in college helped me compose and arrange songs. When I moved to Bombay to study Arts, I met Maitrayee Patar in college and we began writing more songs together. I was also fortunate enough to meet and learn from people who had already worked in the music industry. Artists like Anurag Saikia, Nilotpal Bora, Joi Barua, Papon, Ambar Das inspired me a lot to take up music as a profession.  My band “Project Baartalaap'' was formed in 2018 and we have been performing live ever since.

5. Language barrier faced in Mumbai due to belonging from different roots (Assam)

Ans - Communicating in Mumbai was initially a bit difficult as i wasnt a fluent Hindi speaker, However,  if you are passionate and hardworking enough all of these obstacles are battled naturally. If you know the language of music, it is enough to connect with other musicians no matter where they are from.

6. Future plans and goals towards his musical career

Ans - The plan now is to keep creating more songs in native languages and a few Hindi numbers to reach out to a wider audience. I want to travel with my band and perform more at live shows. I also plan to collaborate with other artists from the country and beyond. Out of all, most importantly, I want to keep learning, growing, and getting better as a musician.

7. Music genres he loves to experiment with

Ans - I would love to experiment with sounds designed using synthesizers and overlay acoustic and sounds with electronic music. In the scenario of independent music, I would love to experiment with folk music from different parts of the country and beyond.


You can enjoy the best of Shankuraj's Music here:

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