Tell us about the inception of Colored Keys?
Kehodi: We worked together as a band/group prior to the formation of Colored Keys. So the idea to sing together and try different genres brought us together as a band.
Kehepe: and the taste of music which we share in common.
2. What kind of genre influenced your band?
Neikuo: Classical was a big influence to all of us. With our love to experiment we also enjoy pop, ballads, with folk fusion being our forte.
3. Each of you have a distinct personality- Kehodi Yoho; Neikuo Khezhie and Kehepe Lethro please share your hobbies, favorite musician, food, and favorite song?
Kehodi: my Hobbies include playing guitar, cooking and woodworks. Favorite Musician/band would be Coldplay, Il Divo and Jim Reeves, with Coldplay’s “Fix You” as my all time favorite song. And nothing can savour my taste buds like an Authentic Naga dish.
Neikuo : As for me, my Hobby includes Trekking. Sam Smith and Adele remain my favorite musicians; “Hero” by Family of the Year is my favourite song. I also cannot substitute Naga food.
Kehepe: Well, for me, my hobbies are, without a doubt, Listening to music, and cooking. Beatles,Elvis Presley,Bob Dylan,Queen and Il Divo makes my list of all time favourite musicians. I would go for “Like a Rolling Stone” as my favourite song. And yes, I also choose Naga food.
4. How many Live shows you’ve done so far and amongst them all which one was the favorite and why?
Neikuo: We’ve lost counts but most probably between 80-100 shows. South Korea tour remains our favorite so far because of the fact that we represented our small state, our country.
Kehodi : Agreed. Nagaland was made known to many as we toured the major cities of the country, and it gave a different kind of vibe : super rich and positive.
Kehepe : We were also taken aback by their management and organizational skills, returned with a lot of life lessons for ourselves too.
5. As a band and Musicians what were the challenges you all had faced?
Neikuo: From our state, a good platform is a challenge. And there is always request from show organizers to perform for free, to help them raise this fund that fund and in the end, we perform and return home with an empty pocket.
Kehepe : Also, we still don’t have the right level of music culture. We mostly want to attend free concerts, free gigs, free music and other forms of art. Artists are yet to gain respect in our society.
6. Some of your hit songs like – Warrior’s Call, oh Hi Yo, always love you” which are truly patriotic and well arranged with Naga Folk Tunes, any new project and release coming up?
Kehepe : We are back to studio after a break, working on some new and interesting projects. We are eternally grateful to our friends, family, well wishers for their continual support and motivation which continue to boost our spirits.
7. What do you think is the most essential key for musician when it comes to composing and writing original music?
Kehepe: While creating music, the most essential key according to me is to devotion and patience. Initially it may not be up to the mark but one shouldn’t give up halfway. Once it is done, even the simplest melody will speak out loud and your song will be your voice even after you are gone.
Kehodi: Besides the gift of creativity, being true to ourselves is the key factor for musicians.
8. Each one of you being involved in the music industry for more than a decade, where do you think the Naga musicians stands when it come to composing and playing original song?
Neikuo : Talent wise I think we have what it takes to go global. But we also need a strong local support to reach a new level of recognition many local artists deserve.
Kehodi : Very proud and happy that a good number of Naga musicians has entered the scene. Problem is, we don’t stay committed and dedicated. Nonetheless, with the intervention of mainstream media and agencies in future I see us (Naga musicians) going far. We just need to keep working hard and harder.
Kehepe: True. The scenario is slowly improving, and at present there are thousands of talented musicians in the region. But what we are lacking behind is ‘Originality’. We no longer sing like our forefather does. Their love songs, harvesting songs, Victory songs etc. They used to sing it wholeheartedly. Here, the Originality I’m pointing at doesn’t necessarily imply folk songs. It can be of any genre it is the message we fail to convey with our songs. Now it is just the style of music that moves this generation and nothing to do with experience. If Originality is maintained, it will definitely pave ways for Nagaland Music Industry too.
10. What is your message to all the aspiring musicians of the region and state?
Kehepe: Every musician should keep this in mind and never let fame and money be an obstruction to your musical journey. If you do, it will only lead you to disappointments and frustrations. Just enjoy what you do, be true to yourself, be honest to your music and the outcome will be full of joy and surprises. As we know music can soothe a broken heart, it can bring joy, it has the ability to bridge cultures, it can connect people regardless of colour, caste, race and religion. Music itself is such a powerful tool and when rightly used, it can bring out a positive force to reckon.
Kehodi : Let your music do the talking….stay humble and keep working hard. Never let money and fame overshadow the person you are.
Neikuo: Hard work is the key. There is no shortcut to success.