Living up to the reputation of their predecessors and that of our region as being the “heart of western music” in India, two Darjeeling rockers enthralled the audience at the recently concluded Hornbill International Rock Contest (HIRC) 2018.
While Leewang Dorjee of Meraki (Darjeeling) was declared the ‘Best Vocalist’, the drum-roll for ‘Best Drummer’ went to Mingma Lhamu Tamang from Vishnu.
Coincidentally both of them had recently performed together in Darjeeling.
Showing that women rockers in India have arrived, two female rockers walked home away with the top individual prizes while the champions had two powerful female performers.
Perfect Strangers (Bangalore), with two female on the front – bassist Shalini Mohan and lead vocalist Raphael Emileenaa- combining elements of pop, melodic and hard rock – trounced the competition, The band won a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh.
The ‘Best Drummer’ was also picked by a female drummer from Darjeeling – Mingma Lhamu Tamang of Vishnu .
Mingma Lhamu Tamang – best drummer at Hornbill International Rock Contest, 2018
In the individual category, Nash Longkumer (UDX) collected the ‘Best Guitarist’ title while Shalini Mohan playing for ‘Perfect Strangers’ took home the ‘Best Bassist’ honour.
Lewang Dorjee of Meraki (Darjeeling) was declared the ‘Best Vocalist’. We had featured his latest song Runaway on our platform recently.
You can watch it here
The individual category carries a cash prize of Rs 25000 along with other music accessories.
MERAKI – performing at the Hornbill International Rock Contest, 2018
Nagaland’s UDX was declared the 1st Runners Up with a cash prize of Rs 6 lakh. It was a triple-bill for the local band as it was declared the ‘Most Promising Naga Band’ and the ‘Best Guitarist’ for UDX’s Nash Longkumer, carrying a cash prize of Rs 25000 along with other goodies.
Ambush, the energetic crew from Dimapur’s neighbours Diphu (Assam) was declared the 2nd Runners Up, with the cash prize of Rs 3.5 lakh.
The Chief Minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio, who gave away the top prize to the winners, informed the audience that Hornbill International Music Festival will be ‘bigger and better’ from next year.
The winners with Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio
The finale had two bands from Jharkhand and Nagaland, and one band each from Delhi, Darjeeling, Sikkim and Bangalore, and Assam. Lewang Dorjee of Meraki (Darjeeling) was declared the ‘Best Vocalist’
Leewang Dorjay Lama – Best Vocalist, Hornbill International Rock Festival
The judges for the HIRC 2018 were Derek Julien, Derek Julien, iconic guitarist of Waterfront, one of India’s greatest rock bands; Among Jamir, who plays for Bollywood music director Pritam and himself a contender on the first Hornbill National Rock Contest; and Sonam Sherpa, lead guitarist of renowned band Parikrama since 1991.
A total of 24 bands, including five from Nagaland, competed at the HIRC. The other contesting bands were from Karnataka, Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Assam, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Mizoram and Meghalaya.
Nine finalist Moongphali (Delhi); Vikrit (Ranchi, Jharkhand), UDX (Dimapur, Nagaland), Vishnu (West Bengal), Her Illegal Practice (Sikkim), Highway 69 (Ranchi, Jharkhand) Perfect Strangers (Bangalore) Since 90’s (Dimapur, Nagaland), and Ambush (Diphu, Assam) competed for the coveted title.
Arguably the biggest domestic rock fest and indisputably the highest prize money rock contest in India, the HIRC has become a big draw since its introduction in 2006 as Hornbill National Rock Contest.
Winners at Hornbill International Rock Contest
[TheDC News Desk, We are most grateful to Mr. Aashwin Pradhan for providing us the video footage and pics of Leewang posted here]