If she has the audience captive in rapt attention, she doesn’t know, as she belts out classic after classic in that high note of hers. She takes a break, checks on her lipstick, takes a smoke drag, and gets back to doing what she does best- performing live music. This time she’s at an Allen Solly store, helping the brand liven up their store launch, and immediately after she has another gig at a five star to run off to.
This pretty young thing is a busy girl who’s making all the right noise in Hyderabad city. In an exclusive interview with OfficeChai as part of our uncorporate jobs series, we bring you Syntyche Mongro, the musician.
What is your educational background? Were you interested in studies?
I completed my higher secondary and now, music is my sole “study”. Yes I was a good student. I used to top the class by God’s grace, earning the Honor Roll of the Year couple of times in school. I used to be that smart kid that every student was envious of. (laughs)
When did you get into music?
I’ve been singing ever since I was a kid. It started in church. I come from a line of musically inclined people, my mom being a singer and a guitarist. I got into professional singing 3 years ago and also released my debut album, “A Christmas Dream”. It was then that moved to Hyderabad I have been performing all over the city ever since. I’ve met some amazing musicians here, and am currently the lead vocalist for the experimental band, Threeory.
Who was your inspiration?
I was very inspired by the gospel singer Jaci Velasques. I started off with singing her songs. I won my first singing competition in school singing a song by her, “I promise”. My mom is another person in my life who inspired me and still continues to do so.
What is an average day like for you?
Well, my day is all about waking up in the morning, which is almost afternoon, because I need to be singing at gigs till late in the night! I need a lot of rest and sleep. I go for band practice everyday, traveling 20 kms. Then I play gigs in the evening. I love socialising, and as a growing artist, I think socialising is important. Marketing for me comes largely through social networking, and through friends and family. So I meet friends after work and spend some time with them, go home, and next morning, the cycle begins again.
What are the challenges of being in the industry?
The live music scene is growing right now in Hyderabad. Although I’m proud to be part of it, there are some challenges. Commercial songs are so much in demand, and people only want to listen to songs they know. So its hard to put our original songs and music out there just like that. But I remain optimistic, that we can inspire people with who we are, what our music really is like.
What are some of your best moments as a singer?
When I’m on stage, it’s an entirely different world for me. I feel like a magician manipulating notes and music to create something beautiful. The best part though is to see my singing really touch people and have them enjoy the moment as much as I do. As Gloria Gaynor said, “When I’m on stage, all is right with the world!”
Is your field financially stable?
It is, over here in Hyderabad. But back in my hometown, demand for paid music is seasonal. Financially I don’t have many complaints. (smiles)
How many gigs do you do in a week on average?
My contract requires me to do five gigs in a week. One would think I’d give it a rest on the other days, but they are filled with private or corporate gigs.
Have there been any bad experiences? Any creeps?
A lot! Creeps, can’t even begin to describe it!! This one time, a guy came up to me after I finished a gig. He took a marker pen out and asked for my autograph on his forehead! I just signed on his arm. 😀
You seem to experiment a lot with your looks. Does a certain style work better on stage?
I love experimenting with style and I sport a certain style or get a new tattoo based on inspirations. And it definitely gives me confidence onstage as I love flaunting what I’m confident of. Confidence is always my style. It’s a trend that never gets old.
How do people take you being from the North- east? have you ever faced any discrimination – positive or negative- because you’re from Nagaland?
It’s a mixture of both. Some people still have not heard of Nagaland. They think I’m from some other Asian countries. I am flattered by the fact that I ‘fascinate’ some people here. At the same time its annoying to have to explain where I am from. I’m quite happy that there are so many North- Eastern people here in Hyderabad, so I don’t feel ‘different’. But I love the people here, So it’s been good so far!
What are your plans next?
I have been working as a solo artist for most of my singing career. Now that I am in a proper band, I just want to focus on the band and right now we are working on making our first EP. Fingers crossed. Rest, I’ll leave it to the Almighty.
Here’s Syntyche’s cover of “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del ray for a gig by the Livenergie studio.