THE RUNWAY – four youths chase big musical dreams while staying in touch with reality

Kohima: Being a musician in Nagaland is not easy, one has to be exceptionally good and consistent: THE RUNWAY

BY | Saturday, 2 December, 2023

THE RUNWAY is a Kohima based band comprising of four young, talented and enthusiastic musicians with big dreams of making it in the world of music. Frontman Thungdemo Ezung, lead guitarist Ahoka Shohe, bassist Zibemo Merry and drummer Nzanthung Odyuo are the lads who are simply giving their best to keep doing what they love most – music – while staying grounded and in touch with reality.

THE RUNWAY was recently awarded the Best Pop Song English for their original “Find me Find you” at the 15th Music Awards of Nagaland 2023.

On this the band humbly said, “To be honest, we didn’t except that we will be winning the Music award for Pop genre as there were a lot of good artists in the category, but we are so overwhelmed and happy to have won that award because there was a lot of work involved while working on the song and video. We feel blessed and it has also inspired and motivated us to work on more music again.”

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Here is a exclusive conversion with the boys from THE RUNWAY who just want to inspire listeners with their catchy Pop songs.

NT: Can you tell us about your band THE RUNWAY?

THE RUNWAY: Generally, our band is a Pop band but we also try to experiment with different genres. We are currently in the process of finding our own sound that will separate us from the rest of the bands.

Thungdemo Ezung and Ahoka Shohe came up with the idea of forming a band in 2018. Later, Zibemo Merry and Nzanthung Odyuo joined and THE RUNWAY was created in 2019. The same year we released our first release ‘A Ballad for You’.

The band took a three-year hiatus to finish our studies and pursue our careers. Solidifying THE RUNWAY, we came back together again in 2022 and worked onour second song ‘Find Me Find You.’

NT: Where did your musical journey begin?

THE RUNWAY: Every single one of us started playing music at the church.

NT: What made you choose Pop genre?

The Runway: Apart from solo artists, we haven’t seen many Pop bands in Nagaland. Pop songs are catchy and also fun to play so it’s fair to say that the inspiration came from there. Doing something out the box.

NT: Why “THE RUNWAY”? How did you guys come up with this name?

THE RUNWAY: The name out of the blue. We were recording our first song “A ballad for You” and at the same time we were trying to find a name for the band. We thought of a lot of different names but it wasn’t working out. Then Thungdemo Ezung, our frontman, came out with the name blindly and everyone agreed to it.

NT: Amongst the members, who usually comes up with the lyrics on the songs?

THE RUNWAY: We all try to contribute something but structurally and musically, Thungdemo Ezung writes the lyrics. Of course, there is a lot of rendering and editing to the lyrics to make it sound good. Till now it’s fair to say that everyone is satisfied with the lyrics.

NT: So apart from pop music, do you guys have any interest in other kinds/ genre of music?

THE RUNWAY: We really want to play rock songs to be honest. But vocally it’s challenging and also, we are more comfortable towards Pop songs. But we are open to try different genres

NT: As musicians, where did you guys draw inspiration from?

THE RUNWAY: Every single one of has our own favourite bands and our own genres. So, we think we’re all putting our favourites into the song inspired by the different sources.

NT: Can you tell us something about your first release “A Ballad for You” and second release “Find me find you”?

THE RUNWAY: ‘A Ballad for You’ was our debut song. Since it was our first time making a song, it was really hard because none of us had any recording experience and also, we experimented with the lyrics and the music. It took us five good months to finish the song. Well… the meaning behind the song is very simple it’s about asking someone in a relationship if they want to stay or leave.

For “Find Me Find You”, it was much easier since we already had the rough track to the song. Also, for the second song we wanted something fast paced which kinda worked.

For the lyrics, our frontman was really inspired by an album by The 1975 called ‘A Brief Inquiry to Online Relationships’.

Thungdemo Ezung: The words ‘online relationships’ really stuck with me so basically I have a friend in the States and one day as we were having a random conversation, the idea hit me and I just asked her if I can make the song about her. She agreed to it happily and it worked out. Obviously, some people will like it and some people will not but personally, I very satisfied with the song.

NT: What kind of message do you guys want to convey to the listeners through your music?

THE RUNWAY: We just want people to be inspired by our music.

NT: What are the biggest challenges that you guys have faced as musicians till now? How do you guys cope with those struggles/challenges?

THE RUNWAY: Being musicians in Nagaland or maybe in India is really hard. You have to be exceptionally good and be consistent. It might not always work out but one major struggle will be financial struggle since everyone is still dependent on the family.

NT: We can see many bands coming up, so what can the listener expect or look for something different /unique in your band?

THE RUNWAY: We might not be able to impress each and every one but we would like to say that our songs will be very modern and structurally polished, embellished with rock, indie, etc., influences.

NT: Has your band received any support from the government especially TaFMA?

THE RUNWAY: We’re still an upcoming band and none of of us are full time musicians so for now we’re just keeping it independent.

NT: What is your day like as band members?

THE RUNWAY: First of all, we’re all very good friends. Well.. we’re just normal people, gathering together to make some music and enjoying the music.

NT: How do you guys see your band in ten years?

THE RUNWAY: It’s a very long way ahead to picture but we’re hoping that we have some albums out by then. With a bunch of hit songs.

NT: Are all the members of the band into full time musician or is also into other profession?

THE RUNWAY: None of us are full time musicians. We’re all studying and trying to find jobs. Doing music is a hobby and we’re just trying to polish our hobbies and doing what we love.

NT: What are your main platforms to promote your music?

THE RUNWAY: People can find out music in all the social media platforms but we use mostly Youtube, Instagram for promoting our songs.

NT: Any performances coming up on bigger stages?

THE RUNWAY: After we put out some songs maybe we’ll aim for bigger stages. It all depends on the support of the people.

NT: Any upcoming events your fans can look forward in the coming months?

THE RUNWAY: Currently we are working for hosting an event known as the “SongBirds Event” where we will be trying to host small gigs and promote upcoming artist.

NT: Any message you want to convey to your fans and also to those aspiring musicians through our platform “Nagaland Tribune”?

THE RUNWAY: Keep Supporting us, we’re working towards putting up an EP for you all. We will surely be back with good songs where we can all vibe to.

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