By Prasanta Phukon
Kamsang aka Don Kam is ready with his fifth hip-hop album, Party Essentials Vol. 1, that will be released this Sunday.
The nine songs in the album will be released on 40 digital platforms, including Spotify, Saavn and iTunes. Earlier this year, the artiste was scheduled to perform in Shillong but the event was cancelled due to the unrest over citizenship act.
The songs in the new album were recorded, mixed and mastered in Demons Clique Studio at Doimukh, Arunachal Pradesh. While the artiste produced seven songs, BassHole and Riza Penjoel aka RP Beats, two popular musicians in the North East, produced one song each.
“The inspiration to make the album came mostly from Blue Face, Shoreline Mafia, Tekashi Six9ine, YG and YBN Nahmir. These (the songs) are mostly in the west-coast style,” said Don Kam.
On his personal favourite from the new album, the singer mentioned ‘RS and Joint’ because of the lyrics and the instrumental, “which is the best”. The song is about the harsh reality of life in Arunachal Pradesh, which has a façade for tourists but behind which lie stories of struggle. “It is not a joke growing up in these neighbourhoods,” he said.
Each song has a “party flavour” in congruence with the name and theme of the album.
“I am expecting that these songs will hit the top of the charts in the North East,” he said. “I am mentioning only this region because no matter how hard artistes from the North East try, their songs never cross the boundary (to the rest of India),” was the musician’s regret.
Yet, Don Kam does not give up hope. He is confident that if his album finds a way to the larger part of the country, then everyone will enjoy it and dance to the tunes.
Most of the tracks were made in the studio, starting from instrumental followed by lyrics. After the songs were mastered, Don Kam would listen to them in a loop from different sound sources like cell phone speakers, car speakers, cheap earphones and also asked listeners among friends for reviews. To mix and master, he used Izotope’s Neutron 3, Ozone 9 Advanced, Maximus and Tonal Balance Control plugins.
“I want to thank all the DC Members, JayT, MobVen, Bengia Tamoh, KaMi, Pisa Chipai, my brother and Tom Meitei. They have all helped me, directly or indirectly, in making the album,” said the musician.
Don Kam is planning to make music videos of four songs from the album “though all of them are equally good to have videos”.
The conversation could not end without discussing the obvious topic during this time. Don Kam said the lockdown was a tough period for him as movement was restricted and all activities had to be indoors. The artiste spent a good amount of time staying fit, on music and of course with his family.
During the lockdown, Don Kam released three albums. But he said he was not interested in online concerts and did not organise or encourage one. “I feel this makes an artiste look desperate, and also, his or her creation does not get the due respect,” he added.
Photo courtesy: Don Kam