Interview with Pradeep Chapagain
Pradeep Chapagain, a talented singer, songwriter, and poet, has a flair for writing and singing. Pradeep grew up in Chhaimale, a small village located on the outskirts of Kathmandu valley. He had a strong passion for poetry ( Ghazels) since a very young age, and he has been writing Ghazals since then. Till date, he has published three anthology collection of Ghazals, Sireto Shishirko in 2008, Daandaa Maa Joon Chha in 2011, and Phoolharuko Yudda in 2014 (collection of poems).
He is well known for his solo lyrical ghazal album, Gumnam, which also featured some of the biggest names in the Nepali music industry like Satya Raj Acharya, Reema Gurung Hoda, Shiva Pariyar, Pramod Kharel, Nisha Deshar, Santosh Lama and Rajina Rimal.
Although Chapagain has been residing in Australia since last 8 years, his love for poetry and songs have not faded a single bit. He is passionate towards singing and writing and has been keenly involved in the Nepalese music and literature through his songs and poetry even from Australia.
During the 30 minute interview with Chapgain, he expressed some very interesting facts of life and music interest.
We know Pradeep Chapagain as a talented singer, songwriter, poet, and columnist for NepaliPatra Australia. But if you have to choose one thing from the list that you find most fulfilling, what would that be and why?
I had a deep connection with poetry and Nepali literature since I was 14 years of age. However, it was only during my college years in Institute of Engineering of Western Region Campus that I actively got involved in poetry writing. In 2008, I published my first anthology of Ghazal, "Sireto Shishir Ko", and later ventured into the music industry with the release of my solo lyrical album Gumnam. Currently, I am also working on my new album, Quarter Tone. The full album will take some time to complete.
It’s hard to specify any work from the list, as I enjoy expressing my creativity through my singing, songwriting ,and poetry. However, to satisfy your query, I certainly go for songwriting.
Is there anyone in your family, who has been an inspiration for you to write? Who has been your biggest source of inspiration?
No one in my family has a background in art, literature or music. My father was a teacher in a school where I studied. And my family and friends have been supportive of my inclination to music and poetry. Nevertheless, I consider Jagjit Singh to be my true source of inspiration. I remember I used to relish listening to his Ghazals through a popular radio program called “Bul Bul” during my childhood days.
Tell us about your new album.
My new album is called, “Quarter Tone”. The album comprises of 8 songs, all penned down by myself. Music lovers will also get a chance to listen to the compositions from veteran composers like Kamal Khatri and Sanjeev Singh. Also, the album will have 4 solo and 4 duet songs. Aakanshya Bashyal, Deepa Ghimire, and Nikky Karki (the YouTube sensation from California) will be joining me for the duet songs.
The first song, Manparcha, was released in July 2016, and it has been receiving good reviews from the listeners. So far, the song has 250k views on YouTube.
Recently you did a group album from Australia. Tell us about it.
Recently, we made a group album that comprised of 7 songs, in Australia. The album is an effort of Sydney-based Nepali singers, lyricists, and some renowned Nepali composers. It was released after two years of hard work. We artists have already conducted musical programs in Sydney and Adelaide and the next performance will take place in Brisbane of which the time and date have yet to be decided.
You have ventured into some recent new areas. Could you brief on it?
Yes, I, along with my two close friends, am working to establish our Event Organizing Company, Gazabko Event, in Australia. Its first program will start in coming January. The purpose behind it is to cater the needs of 10 thousand Nepalese by organizing quality programs. We also have 2 comedians and a singer for the program.
I have also opened Jogmaya Chapagain Foundation in memory of my late grandmother. It will provide scholarship and a cash prize of Rs 11,111 to deserving two students. The Foundation will award cash price of Rs. 25,000 rupees and a bronze medal to Ghazal writers for their contribution in the field of literature.
What have been your outstanding and prominent experiences so far in the field of music and literature so far?
I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to work with notable singers of the Nepali music industry. I feel very blessed to have such an opportunity to work with Mr. Subash Gaire , the famous composer, and I learned many things about music during the making of the album. It is also my privilege to work with prominent names in the Nepali industry.
By profession, you are a civil engineer. How do you manage time between your profession and passion?
By profession, I am a Civil Engineer working in Australia since last 4 years. I am pretty busy in my work as an engineer in the working days. During weekends, I read a lot of books and listen to music.
I believe if you truly love doing something, you will certainly make time to pursue your passion or interest.
What are the difficulties that the NonResident artists, in general, face abroad during the sales, marketing and making of the album?
Technically speaking, Nepalese artists have a very hard time coordinating things from Australia. Sometimes, it takes a lot of time to communicate with the studio composer and the concerned people do not take the project seriously.
Talking about sales, all my songs are available in Digital stores like iTunes, Google play, Amazon Music and Spotify. They buy them from these digital stores and been very appreciative of my efforts. However, due to lack of popularity of digital stores in Nepal, the sales and marketing are quite difficult.
Do you have any message for the aspiring musicians of Nepal?
If you love something, please continue it. Do not hesitate to bring forth your talents. Bring it out and improve. It is the only message that I have for the aspiring people like me. Above all, BE BOLD in your venture.
Wha message would you like to give to your fans and readers.
I extend my thanks to all for being a significant part of my journey. The appreciation and love for my songs have encouraged me to pursue my passion even stronger. Though there is no significant return of my effort, I keep my interest alive for Nepali art, culture, and literature. There is no doubt.