I can hear the excitement in his voice when we talk about his music. The car horns and noise in the background doesn’t diminish the excitement in his voice as he lets out occasional playful laughs midsentence. Fresh from the launch of his debut album ‘Chitra Ani Nasha’, Darjeeling based singer-songwriter, Nineteen (Raman Lama) is basking on the acclaim he is receiving. 

The album, released on 28 March is a blend of genres ranging from soul, pop, R&B and funk. Produced under Alter Ego Productions and by Aadon Lepcha, ‘Chitra Ani Nasha’ features a total of eight songs along with a minute long ‘intro’ in the beginning. What’s more impressive is that the entirety of the album is written by Nineteen himself. 

“I am a songwriter first. I’ve put my heart into the songs I’ve written for this album. I feel I am a better songwriter than a singer,” he says.  Drawing inspiration from things happening around him and his life Nineteen sings about identity crisis, life experiences, dreams, hope and love throughout the album.  “The best part of being a songwriter is freedom. Freedom to write about love, frustration, angst, pain and life in general,” he says.  “Timro Saath is my favorite song off of the album. I wrote the song inspired by a very special friend of mine,” he shares. 

Nineteen says his friend asked him to write a song about his relationship. “Usually I write songs about being in somebody else’s shoes, but this time he asked me to write a song about his relationship and that’s how Timro Saath happened. It’s my favorite song from the album.” Clearing the air Nineteen says Timro Saath is his favorite, but it doesn’t mean that the other songs on the album doesn’t matter to him.  “There’s a difference between being a favorite and being the best. All the songs are dope but Timro Saath is my favorite,” he reiterates. 

Talking about the album the singer-songwriter shares that the album consists of songs that he wrote years before the album was made. He also says that many songs that he had written since the start of his career failed to make the final cut.  “There were tons of songs that unfortunately didn’t make it to the album. However, I am hopeful that it will be released later in another album or as singles. We’ll see about that.”

The 27-year old has done his fair share of hustle. From performing in pubs and being in a heavy metal band in college the singer-songwriter feels its important to know he difference between passion and working. 

“If I am pursuing my passion I will never feel drained or exhausted from doing what I love. If writing wasn’t my passion I would probably feel exhausted to write down my songs but I really dont. I love to write,” he says.

We then talk about his stage name ‘Nineteen’, he giggles.  “The reason I chose Nineteen as my stage name is because 2019 was the year when I started working on my music, writing songs and putting it out in the world.”

Already thinking ahead of the album, Nineteen says he plans to release music videos to some of his songs from the album along with new songs and singles in the near future. He is also looking forward to play shows and tour in support of his brand new album all over the country. 

Just an album old, yet fresh take on things, Nineteen is on his way to build a legacy for himself and ‘Chitra Ani Nasha’ only furthers his talent as a singer-songwriter.  Five or six years into the future, if he is as refreshing and driven as he sounds in his debut album, sky is the limit for this talented storyteller. 

“What I want for people to take away from this album is not to take life so seriously all the time. The album explores themes ranging from depression to anxiety and stress but it also talks about hope and living life. I hope people find strength in the songs,” he says. 


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