Shillong (Meghalaya), April 26 : Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Tuesday conferred the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ to legendary musician Lou Majaw during the launch of the unique initiative to promote music in the State – “Meghalaya Grassroots Music Project”.
Lou Majaw popularly known as Bob Dylan of India was born in 1947 and is a performing artist from Shillong and is renowned for his Bob Dylan tribute shows.
Recently he celebrated his 75th birthday .
Born to a poor family, the Majaws could not afford a guitar or a radio. In a friend’s house he was introduced to the music of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley, and taught himself the guitar as most boys and girls did in those days. His mother sent him to a boarding school where his love for music grew. Majaw then moved on to Kolkata where he sang in bars and pubs for various groups such as the Dynamite Boys, Vanguards, Super sound Factory, and Blood and Thunder.
In 1966, Lou was introduced to Bob Dylan’s work. Inspired by his music, he later organized a “Dylan’s birthday concert” in Shillong on 24 May 1972. Since then he has organized the concert each year on 24 May to pay obeisance to Dylan, with the shows generating national and international interest.
On 24 October 2016, Lou Majaw was awarded with the 4th Dr Bhupen Hazarika Award by the Governor of Assam for his contribution to music
Meghalaya Grassroots Music Project is a unique programme of the Government that will recognise and promote music talents. Under this initiative, the State Government will support gigs and music shows across the State. It will also provide a platform for the musicians to showcase their musical talents. Through the programme, the Government will also support artists for tours outside the State.
Some of the unique features of this intervention are – the street performance platform, wherein artistes will perform in different public spaces being created by the Government and the music café platform, wherein artistes will get the opportunity to perform in different cafés across the State.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Minister said, “We conceptualised this programme to encourage and provide a platform to our musicians and link it up with tourism.”
Stressing on the need to further leverage the music scene in the State, which is branded as the ‘Rock Capital of India’, the Chief Minister said that through this unique programme, the State Government will launch a series of events of different genres, which will be promoted to attract tourists in the State.
“We strongly believe that the youth of our State will be engaged through this programme. The project will give them the opportunity to unleash their musical talents,” the Chief Minister added.
He further said that the project will ensure a positive change in the mindset of the youth, who will take up music as a career. “We are trying to create a positive environment for musicians and music lovers. The youth can be engaged productively through this programme,” he stressed.