Hornbill International Rock Contest: Female rockers rule roost at finale

Hornbill International Rock Contest: Female rockers rule roost at finale
The winner of the Hornbill International Rock Contest (HIRC) 2018 contest ‘Perfect Strangers’ along with the judges, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and others at Agri-Expo, Dimapur on December 8.



Perfect Strangers, Bangalore takes home coveted HIRC 2018 title



The grand finale of the Hornbill International Rock Contest (HIRC) 2018  at Agri Expo Dimapur was all female affair – but in a good way.


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 Vishnu (West Bengal).

Nagaland’s own 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 finale had two bands from Jharkhand and Nagaland, and one band each from Delhi, West Bengal, Sikkim and Bangalore, and Assam.


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.


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, West Bengal) was declared the ‘Best Vocalist’ while the drum-roll for ‘Best Drummer’ went to Mingma Lhamu Tamang from Vishnu (West Bengal).


The individual category carries a cash prize of Rs 25000 along with other music accessories.


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, 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.