Hello my beloved readership,
all eyes on… Nemra. Meet the band from Armenia, in the following interview the members are talking about their band, their music and their dreams. Read the whole interview in the following
Who remembers the Eurovision Song Contest 2018? More or less…? And who remembers the Armenian representative Sevak Khanagyan? Me neither… everyone of us might have probably remembered another candidate better: I had already mentioned them when reviewing Khanagyan’s entry, they have been a hot favorite for winning the OGAE Second Chance and they were close to represent Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 – the band called Nemra.
Nemra is a four-headed alternative rock band from Armenia. Its founding members are Van Yeghiazaryan (lead-vocals, guitar, lyrics), his brother Vaspur Yeghiazaryan (vocals, bass-guitar, lyrics), Marianna Karakeyan (background vocals, keyboard) and her half-brother Marek Zaborski (who is having as well Polish roots – drums).
They have received further international attention in 2018 with their participation in the Armenian pre-election show for Eurovision “Depi Evratesil” [Arm.: Towards Eurovision] with their song “I’m A Liar”. Ever since Nemra with its international potential – the all-time popular rock music with a touch of Armenian tradition, their pop-rock culture orientated style – and Van’s unmistakably prominent voice has constantly won the hearts of bands all over the world and got confirmation by winning numerous of awards among others recently the Radio Van music awards.
For the following interview I got in touch with my meanwhile friends and would like to introduce them to you.
Fall4Me: How was the idea of Nemra born? How have you found each other and what lies behind the name of the band? Are there any musical idols?
Nemra: The idea of having a band was born, when Van and Vaspur got fully immersed in rock music. After finishing a musical school as violinists and continuing their education in different spheres, like economics and physics, the brothers were constantly craving music. Besides the classical genre, they were also extremely interested in rock music. This was the time, when the boys realized that they wanted to connect their life with music. By that time Marianna graduated from the Conservatory as a pianist and was studying music management. She also had a dream to have a band and create music bringing her own contribution in the world of music.
First Van and Vaspur got acquainted with Gegham (ex-drummer of the band). As Yerevan is a small city, thanks to a mutual friend, the boys then got to know Marianna.
The first steps of the band were made in 2012. Songs and videos got produced and introduced to the audience.
Three years afterwards Marianna’s brother, Marek, replaced Gegham.
This is the story of how Nemra came to the arena.
Our music idols are quite diverse; the Beatles, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, SOAD, Led Zeppelin and many others have influenced us. In a similar way our musical identity got developed through various elements not only from the rock genre, but also from the others. The name of the band „Nemra” derives from the word „Armen”, if you read it backwards. Armen is the way the world calls us Armenians. Speaking frankly, we didn’t think too much about the name. It was actually a joke made by Marianna. The other members of the band liked it and decided to name the band „Nemra”.
Based on the members of the band, how would you describe the band Nemra with five words?
Energetic, Unpredictable, Ironic, Romantic and Philosophical
The genre you play is kind of versatile and pretty much belongs to something for every taste. Is your music taste as well versatile?
Our musical preferences don’t have any limits. There is a wide variety of genres that the members of our band can listen to starting from the classical and rock music, ending with the metal and hip-hop. This very diversity inspires us to mix and create something special that is close to our hearts.
Your first album’s name is Mubla which is “album” written backwards as well your band’s name Nemra could mean Armen [an common male Armenian name] backwards. How come you have gone the backwards way?
Every single phenomenon in life has its diverse sides and meanings. First we realized our backwards “lifestyle”, when making a decision regarding the band’s name. This was quite symbolic and we liked it a lot. Later on, while choosing our first album’s name, Vaspur proposed that we use the same method and came up with the idea of calling it “Mubla” – (“Album”, if you read it backwards). We got quite excited about this word play.
Overall, our vision is about absorbing all kinds of good vibes and energies. In general, the idea of backwards reading doesn’t mean that we opt for doing things wrong or always thinking from the opposite side; rather we prefer observing whatever surrounds us from various perspectives and angles to see a wider picture. This is about being exposed to alternative ways of experiencing the world and what it offers to us.
Are all your songs dedicated to situations and people in your lives?
The source for inspiration can be everything: people, things, weather, nature, emotions…..
It can be a secret from our private life or can also include some global topics, like environmental issues, that matter to all of us and there is a need to sing it loud with the aim to spread our message across and increase people’s awareness about important cases.
The essence of the songs depend also on our mood. We often spend quality time together, which inspires us and at the same time becomes a brainstorming for the next songs. It is also crucial to spend time in your own head. All desperate and creative ideas frequently appear without a prior invitation and proper planning, right? 🙂
“Remember that TODAY is the DAY to enjoy every moment that life offers us.”
Your recently published video for the song “Nare” is currently strongly promoted. Who is Nare? Could you tell a little bit about the song and video?
As you probably know, we mainly create our original songs in English. However, as we also perform abroad, we think that it is highly essential to present national Armenian vibes in foreign countries. With this in mind, from the very beginning of its activity, Nemra was always making covers/remakes of Armenian folk songs. One of them was the song “Nare”. The latter is a collective image of a charming Armenian girl, who is walking in the mountains and lightening men’s hearts. We decided to make the studio version of the song and also shot a video, which, to our delight, has recently become one of the most popular and favorite songs in our youtube channel and among our fans both in Armenia and abroad. We tried to keep it simple, minimalistic, yet with the full elements of Armenian grace. We are happy to say that we definitely managed.
You bring together tradition and modernity whereas the majority of the world’s society may think that something was brought together that does not belong together. How could this mentality change according to you? How can people find a balance between tradition and modernity?
When people talk about tradition, they automatically exclude modernity. This is totally a wrong approach. Those two can often go hand in hand. Music is the platform where all kinds of experiments are acceptable. We believe, when it is done with harmony and a certain balance, there will always be appreciation. In all areas of life, one needs to keep moving to achieve better results and widen his/her horizon. Nevertheless, during this journey, one must always remember his/her roots that reflect our identity and the whole essence of what we are. As Nemra, therefore, we, being proud of our origin and traditions, we try to link those elements to something that brings us closer to the other parts of the world, thus creating an alternative piece of music. More and more people are becoming fans of this exquisite fusion.
Thinking of that we are leaving another decade behind us soon. What vision do you have for the world and it’s society? Where do you see in the next decade what should it achieve at least?
We are losing humanity in people. Perhaps all the generations were complaining about this issue. Anyway, we think that now it is the most dangerous period for our planet. Children at the age of 13-14 are already bored. Since the day they were born, they live a life inside the phones losing their connection with reality, experiencing difficulties in keeping the ties with family and friends. We are not far from the time, when the human race will be losing all the emotions; love, affection, excitement, honesty that it possessed once.
We have those bright memories from our own childhood, playing football outside,enjoying our time with friends throughout the year. The modern kid does not get enthused about anything…even when it’s snowing, we rarely see children outside, and it is quite dangerous and worrisome. We have become vulnerable to the threats that seem unseen but are there and are already haunting us.
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”, thinking of you and your band, what is your biggest dream?
It’s very hard to be a rock band in Armenia. Moreover, sometimes it is hard to stay a dreamer as such. Nevertheless, we always try to keep our hearts young and to save that little dreamer child inside us. We stay true to our feelings and emotions. We are romantic and we are not afraid of showing our passion through the songs we create. Our mutual dream is to travel around the globe with our band, to have concerts in different countries, discover amazing cultures and meet new people on our way, to record more and more albums, spread our music all over the world. Hence, the biggest dream is to embrace the world with “Nemra’s” hands.
Last but not least, what would you like to tell the readers of this interview?
Dear Nemranians, we are thrilled to have you close to us. You are one of the best sources of inspiration for us. Keep on shining and have a good day! Remember that TODAY is the DAY to enjoy every moment that life offers us.
Huge thanks for this amazing interview!