Shillong –based folk-fusion music band Summersalt has come up with a theme song that provides an indigenous music bed for a Star Sports’ Indian Super League jingle for the upcoming season.
In an exclusive tete-a-tete with Monojit Mandal of The Meghalayan, Kit Shangpliang of Summersalt informed that the song was written for the mainstream Indian audience with doses of Khasi musical instruments and ‘Hoikiw’ shout-outs in between.
The music video was released on September 23.
Monojit Mandal: Is this the theme song of ISL 2023 or the NEUFC team?
Kit Shangpliang: It is somewhat a theme song that provides an indigenous music bed for a Star Sports’ Indian Super League jingle. And yes, we were told that in every game, the song will be played publicly everywhere in India. The song has the elements of an anthem where the intention is to call out to people to sing along. It was written for the mainstream Indian audience with doses of Khasi musical instruments and ‘Hoikiw’ shoutouts in between.
MM: How is the feeling after composing this song?
KS: It was first of all a massive opportunity to bring football and music together, arguably Meghalaya’s two most important exports. It’s not just an ad, it’s a massive opportunity to showcase our music and that’s what we do best so we try to bring all the anthemic essence so this could be something the highlanders sing at the stadium during matches and we made sure that we kept all the indigenous instruments and the beats and skits (skits meaning intricate rhythms of the Khasi people) of Khasi traditional music. We’ve tried our best to deliver the Hindi lyrics over it in a chance to best communicate with the rest of the northeast and India.
MM: What is the idea behind the song “Yaha football hamesha se aage hai”?
KS: The song is an invite for the football-loving Northeastern crowd to join in and show the world the region’s football culture. The challenges are many when it comes to football or any other sport, therefore, it is a call for footballers to keep pursuing their dreams. It is supposed to create and sustain excitement to push the football community to perform.
MM: What message does the song convey?
KS: Simply put, Summersalt’s songs are supposed to engage and encourage people to do what they’re called to do and give their 110 per cent. This time, it is football, it could be biking, swimming, music, tech or anything. The other message we want to convey is that North East India is second to none in sports or music and we want to keep it that way. The other element of the message is that one could be the underdog, but when innate ability and talent come to the fore, life can be transformational.
MM: How can a song inspire football culture?
KS: Football and music have gone hand in hand. Music, by default, is inspiring and bypasses the brain to convince the heart to believe. A song like this with a well-crafted video can mobilise players and fans to support each other. Football being a key sport in the region, it makes sense to mainstream such football culture into that of the Indian heartland. The fact that we have made it a point to incorporate indigenous instruments into the song will hopefully foster a sense of ownership vis-à-vis football.
MM: World Cup Football is knocking at the door, any thoughts on doing something special for the occasion?
KS: Not at the moment, but in the band’s lifetime, we have been led to write three anthems around football, so you never know. We are open to surprises and anything to add colour to sports, because two of our band members are die-hard football fans, so it is fair to be thankful for what football has given us and now, perhaps, is the time to give back to the sports.