BASIC Unveils More of the Man Behind the Album “Canaan Caravan” – Obed Zeme

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Lack of dedication has a lot to do in this regard. You see many people starting with great enthusiasm and passion but quit easily as it gets tougher. It takes a lot of commitment and discipline to be a musician, one should be aware that it takes a great deal of input and dedication before you can actually enjoy success and fame – Obed Zeme


BASIC unveils more of the man behind the album “Canaan Caravan”. Obed Zeme is one of the successful musicians from the Northeast India. He is a guitar player, composer, arranger, producer, and a teacher.

“Though the release has only been done in the north-east India as of now… I am overwhelmed by the response I’m getting, it’s beyond my expectation,” said Obed Zeme.

Here is an excerpt from BASIC’s interaction with Obed. The album ‘Canaan Caravan’ is a tale of life’s journey that began in faith. It is the guitarist’s rendition of the biblical caravan in the wilderness towards the Promised Land, Canaan.

BASIC: You said it’s not one season’s collection but done over a decade. What made you finally release the album?

Obed: Over the years, whenever I have a melody ringing in my mind, I used to record as much as I get time, but it has always been for myself and never as an album project, these are captured moments of my feelings, emotions and expressions on my instrument. So, in the process I realized I have piled up over 24 songs which is already sufficient to be compiled in two volumes. So I thought I should put them together before I lose them. Otherwise it was likely to stay in my studio computer forever.

BASIC: Where and when did you learn playing guitar?

Obed: I picked up the guitar when I was probably 8 and learned a few chords though I could not really continue as I was sent to a boarding school. I later picked up my old guitar again towards the last years of high school that’s when I started practicing but my prime learning years were during my senior secondary school and my entire college years.

BASIC: Now as a music teacher yourself what do you think is the importance of formal learning of music?

Obed: Of course there are many great musicians who are self-taught, but it is always better to have a good a teacher for guidance. Because it may take a year for an individual to pick up one particular lesson, which could have been done in a week with the help of a teacher. One should also be theoretically sound to move to the next level, otherwise growth could get stagnant.

BASIC: Many Northeast musician or artist struggle to make it big in life. What according to you are the challenges?

Obed: First of all the music we play here is a western style which does not belong to us, so you can’t expect to have a large audience which affects the commercial success of the musicians. Also, most parents are against it because they have not seen many people doing well through this profession. Lack of dedication has a lot to do in this regard. You see many people starting with great enthusiasm and passion but quit easily as it gets tougher. It takes a lot of commitment and discipline to be a musician, one should be aware that it takes a great deal of input and dedication before you can actually enjoy success and fame.

BASIC: Do you think learning music informally is a major challenge the music professionals from the NE face to become successful and established?

Obed: Not really…but given the fact that there are so many musicians who are formally well trained today, it would be advantageous to be in form – both practically and theoretically. A formal training will also enable faster growth.

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BASIC: Your message to other upcoming Northeast musicians.

Obed: Keep practicing, hone your skills, and stick to the instrument that you are most comfortable with (also considering vocal as an instrument). Practice and master all that is required at your respective level.