For someone from a family where the essence of the musical was sufficiently ingrained, one would only expect their own borrowing of this melodic path to be a flowing narrative. But when such pre-established evidence of choice suffers a brutal setback in the midst of life’s many harsh realities, reckoned dreams like these can assume a quality of greater fragility.
That had pretty much been the case for Meba Ofilia who we might know as the 2018 winner of Best Indian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards but for whom that identity in musical fame had not been easily attained. To be fair though, success never comes easy, but for Ofilia who would likely find her place on the scene anyway, the beginnings of her ambitious journey hadn’t been so auspicious that the entire universe would conspire to lead her. .
The musical traces on which Ofilia’s family line unfolded appear as very distinct engravings of an identity always available to her. But despite the fame of her uncle Nichola Dann as well as her grandfather as well-known folk singer-songwriters and also an aunt dabbling in Indian classical music, the girl’s current internationally significant presence would only be on a few initials. decision in skepticism.
A graduate in English Literature who later went on to study law as part of her college education, Ofilia’s decision to pursue music would not be viewed with much enthusiasm by her immediate family. But for someone who perhaps innately understands music as part of her “heritage” and has therefore found herself humming tunes for as long as she can remember, Meba Ofilia couldn’t be convinced otherwise of course.
The challenge, however, was much more nuanced than it might be perceived as. That the resistance came from her mother whom Meba considers her role model was the tricky part. But the fact that she embodies in herself all aspects of what she gloriously sings about in terms of self-love, confidence and feminine resilience has led her to pull herself out of this whole mess. It might not have been the absolute reality of a dreamy Ofilia if its roots had not emerged from a place of emancipation such as the Khasi identity.
Hailing from Meghalaya state in northeastern India, the belonging she proudly felt in being part of one of the few matrilineal societies would be the premise that Ofilia would dare to dream upon while indulging to all the wacky desires of her fantasy. And not just dreaming but also living the kind of life nestled in the depths of the deep reach of the artistic even limited by the crutches of an organized existence. Deciding to forgo the legal line in what would be both an act of defiance and conformity and choosing to chart the rhythmic waters while also being intimidated by an overwhelming sense of stage fright, Meba Ofilia has always tapped into the very essence of its primary identity.
Overwhelming too might have been the circumstances that dictated the setting that most interested Ofilia, one that in itself was already remarkable in departing further from the “family tradition” of classical musicianship and finding its heart resonating with the melodies of the R&B as well as hip hop beats. Back when she started, her dream scene presented itself as a predominantly male stronghold. But the passion she harbored in this particular kind of singing meant that Meba wouldn’t really consider it a challenge. It did indeed help that all her life she had been particularly familiar with men as members of the family.
From such a place of emergence which had welded together a unity thus allowing a young Ofilia to explore her individuality while thus adapting to others who did not resemble her physically, it would be such a privilege accompanied in this part of the world that would move the singer deeply anchored in her. And so, she would emerge to be in the limelight in an arena where female representation had never been so resplendent in its reception across the country.
Having learned to play the guitar from his brother at the age of 15 to covet world fame in his early twenties with the support of Khasi Bloodz, Meba Ofilia also found generously received physical and emotional connections from his family. . Making a splash in the independent music circuit in Shillong since 2016, it would be the 2018 track Done Talking with Big Ri that proved to be the defining act for her. She was then only a few years old as a professional musician when the phenomenal happened for Meba Ofilia, spurred of course by the immense musical sensibility she had come to boast of with a fortuitous blend of flair and courage.
The win was big for a newcomer like Ofilia anyway, but the fact that she managed to carve out more experienced and internationally renowned names like Raja Kumari further validated the value of her musical identity. With powerful lyrics delivered impeccably in a signature style of what is a delicious blend drawing on her soothing vocals and assertive confidence, Done Talking clearly established the range of talent that led Meba Ofilia to instant stardom. Since then, she has come a long way in a short time, finding herself in an all-female rap figure headlined by Kumari herself. This musician of world stature, born in Shillong, incorporating in her personal expression the influences of many eminent and predominantly female musicians, is close to the Indian princess herself, both in name and in her rap identity.
Closer to home, it continues to be as relevant as ever and despite growing popularity. Proud indeed of its identity deployed across the state of Meghalaya, Ofilia has also been the voice of an official project of Meghalaya Tourism while continuing to produce music that strikes so many personal eloquences. Since then, she has also collaborated with other prominent artists and has evolved incredibly over the years. Gospel music that she first practiced as a child and enjoyed as a hobby and even intended to keep that way, until she made the conscious choice to music his career and his identity, even at the risk of angering his family and dropping out of school. In law school in her final year, Meba Ofilia experienced the journey of what luckily happened more favorably than she had expected.
Her work repository is striking in every element of what she delivers. So whether this is Untitled.shg’s first album that traverses a whole world of such diverse emotions occurring in their true character thus dictating the shift in musical approach directing each of its individual songs or even its very first track Don’t Stop even evoking in all its creating in inexperience the feelings of what only music can make palpable and of course its characteristic imprint of the realm in female representation as something that resonates innately with her, Meba Ofilia scripted himself a place of comfort in this arena of the unconventional in abundance of its artistic expression.