It was five years ago that Manipuri singer-songwriter Akhu Chinganbam released his debut album Tidim Road with his four-member band,Imphal Talkies. Simple,folksy tunes with his razor-sharp sarcasm and political commentary gave him the protest indie artiste tag. After penning down numerous poems and songs in the last few years,Chinganbam is getting ready to release the bands sophomore double-album titled When the Home is Burning.
The album will have 15 songs and will be released under Chinganbams label called Oomorock in October this year. As expected,the mood of the album reflects the disturbing political and social conditions of his state. So there is Lullaby,which is about children born and brought up in conflict zones,When the home is burning is a folk song with contemporary politics in the background and Haikhohat,which is about a young girl of the same name who was shot at the Indo-Burma border in 2007-08. He has also recorded a romantic tune or two for this album,For you and me,about a couple in love who fear the society.
While nine tracks have already been recorded,the 31-year-old is still in the process of choosing the rest of them. An uncensored version of the song Qutab Minar that I created with Asian Dub Foundation for The Dewarists,the TV show,will be part of this album. I also recorded Eche with Rahul Ram of Indian Ocean in 2011,which is about Irom Sharmila. It might make it to the album, says Chinganbam.