Monday, January 12, 2009

The new kid on the block


Talented and versatile, Astha is set to start a new chapter in Nepali music
by PRAVAT J GURUNG , From Wave Mag - ISSUE # 157 (January 2009)

She is petite but don't let her small frame fool you. Behind the twinkling eyes and sweet smile is a powerful and distinct voice that is nothing like we've heard till date from a Nepali singer. And, with it Astha Tamang-Maskey is all set to steal everyone's heart. Finding space here for her sheer talent and passion for music, Astha is probably the freshest sound to hit the Nepali music industry.

"I started singing very young, I don't even remember when but I learnt guitar when I was 12 and started writing lyrics when I was 14," said a very happy-go-lucky Astha. Currently living in Canada, Astha is here in Kathmandu to record her new album which will have seven Nepali and one English song. She prefers writing her own songs on an acoustic guitar and is an emotional writer. "I find inspiration just about everywhere. I don't need a special ambience to write," expressed Astha and smilingly revealed that she really would love to write a song about being a hypocrite. "Though I love writing my songs myself, my mom has helped me a lot in this album and is my inspiration. It was kind of tough to write Nepali lyrics but I did write some songs myself," she reveals.

A music driven person, Astha is just 19 years old but her passion for music seems to be oozing out. "I can't stay without making music for even a day. I feel like something's missing if I'm not in involved in the any of its forms," said Astha adding, "I even cry sometimes after writing a song because what I've written are my feelings. I am not really a person who cries in front of people and through my lyrics and music, I can let out those inhibitions within me." Born and brought up in Nepal until she was 12 years old, she is making most of her time these days creating music and is overwhelmed by the amount of talent she has come across in the process of making her album titled Sabai Thikai Huncha.

A person who like's to keep her musical inspiration open, Astha tags her music as independent pop. "I don't have a particular genre. I listen to everyone and everything and my music is just as diverse. But this album is definitely independent pop." Produced by Rohit Shakya, the album is very different from what you hear these days with flavours of R&B to Pop to Acoustic and is sure to bring waves of change in the Nepali music industry. A girl from Canada recording an album in Nepal, she plans to start small and then go around the globe. "When I release my album here and get done with the promotions, I plan to go back to Canada and then push some of my English demo's there with record labels. And if luck permits I could be making music there as well," divulged Astha who admits to being very nervous about her album release here but hopes people will appreciate her music and effort.

"People can buy CD's from shops but I plan to release it online as well," informed Astha who is releasing the album on her own without any help from a record label. Make sure you grab a copy of the album and be serenaded by her sweet and powerful voice. To listen to Astha croon her heart away log on to wwwmyspace.com/asthatm or www.asthamusic.com.

If you want to be among the first to listen to Astha's music and watch the very first video from her album Sabai Thikai Huncha be a part of Acoustic Friday on 23 January, 6pm at The Bakery Café, Pulchowk.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hits FM Hits Hardest


The Annual Hits FM Music Awards took place on 13 December at the Army Hall, amidst the lights going on and off. Mukti and Revival grabbed 4 awards for there songs Jaba Ma Samjhanchu and Dekhdaichu Ma. Most of the award recipients were established musicians while Best New Artist was awarded to Dawa Gurung. Besides starting half an hour late, the performances were not well-rehearsed but the award ceremony went smooth. Everyone in the Nepali Music Industry looks forward to this event and hopefully was satisfied with the results. For the list of winners, log onto www.hitsfm.com.np.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The night Kathmandu went to party

KATHMANDU, Soaltee Crowne Plaza

Up close, it's a tough job to make out Britney Lorna Spears from the real Britney, though City Post had some doubts after her meet-the-press session for the year-ending shindig. But on stage, two large TV screens flashing real Britney shots, with a bit of distance, and a few pints of booze in the blood, no lying, she is as close to Britney Spears as they get. And sashaying across the dance floor while flanked by her two dance partners, Laura and Johanna, oh, the Cambridge cannonball sent some hearts aflutter, all right.

New Year eve at Soaltee was a night to remember for all those present at the Megha Mahal. Even before Britney took to the stage, the hall was abuzz with live performance by Heart Breakers. Their soothing blend of Nepali, Indie and English songs set the stage perfectly for Britney's hot numbers like "Toxic" and "I'm a Slave 4 U".

No less amazing was DJ Kurly's choice of songs; his eclectic mix reaching its crescendo with the "It's the final countdown" on the stoke of midnight. Astounding, how he matched the tunes to the vibe in the hall!

All in all, a wild and wicked night of partying, made even more pleasurable for those who bagged air tickets for destinations all over the world in door prizes. To the thick of things, add some of the most delicious dishes on offer at the buffet dinner.

So much packed into a single night's entertainment. Good job, guys.


Yak and Yeti

Hotel Yak and Yeti came alive this New Year eve with people from all walks of life huddled inside Club Platinum, having the time of their lives with luscious food, chosen drinks and lively music. The crowd, who numbered in thousands, could hardly fit on the dance floor, but the throng only added to the fun.

“The first thing I did on arrival was attack the food. They are just so yummy!” said Shezma Shrestha, an attendant to the party. The buffet dinner included both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes as well as pastry items for desert.

DJ Surr, as promised, gave the audience a taste of Bollywood music which included House Music, Trans music, hip hop, rocks and Bhangada. “I worked hard to prepare myself for this event in Nepal. Last year when I was here I didn't know what to expect but this time I came prepared.” Indeed!

People from all age groups were enjoying themselves, lost in sheer joy. Drinks, dance and the amazing dinner had everyone on the mood and the New Year was hailed on the strike of 12 with thunderous applauses and cheers.

Radisson

One of the most sought-after events in the capital was the rock and roll themed party “New Year Rock & Roll extravaganza with Mukti & Revival” at Radisson Hotel at Lazimpat. The award winning blues-rock outfit Mukti & Revival played some of their greatest hits like “Dalli Resham”, “Chaubandi Cholo”, “Aakashaima Chil Udyo” and “Dekhdai Chhu”.

The banquet hall was overflowing with people. With lavish buffet dinner and drinks, this certainly was worth the time and money of those who had come to Radisson with their friends and family members.

As the night proceeded, people started moving their bodies to the beats of DJ Santosh. He played all kinds of music, catered to every age group. Besides his spinning remixes, there were dance performances as well which garnered mixed reaction from the crowd. Mukti and Revival made people sing and dance with their hits. On the request of a fan, the band encored “Chaubandi Cholo”. Just for the lucky guy. The music and dance continued till the wee hours of the morning.

Hotel Himalaya

A rich flavour from the '70s distinguished the New Year eve bash at Hotel Himalaya, Kupondole, from boisterous celebrations at other party venues in the capital. People were awestruck at the grace with which the Connection Band performed at the event. The crowd mostly included foreigners who sang away glory songs like "Wild World" and "Pal". The dinner included vegetarian and non-vegetarian food with multi-cuisine. Shriti Pradhan with her songs like “Leaving on a jet plane” made everyone a little nostalgic for the year that has just come an end. People welcomed the New Year with their loved ones by their sides and sparking assorted wine in their glasses.

Insomnia

The most exciting dancing destination of Kathmandu, Insomnia, celebrated New Year in its unique style. For the start, the moovin and grooving continued throughout the night, giving true meaning to the term insomniacs. New Year fever had struck everyone, most of whom could be seen bouncing to the tunes of music, drinks sloshing in their hands.

“The New Year is filled with hope. I am dancing to celebrate it," said Soni Pradhan, dancing with her friends. The bash included mostly youngsters who had come along with their loved ones to celebrate the occasion.

Cube

The Cube left no stone unturned in making the final event of the year as exciting and fun-filled for Kathmanduites as possible. Held in collaboration with Party Nepal, the occasion was a perfect finale to 2008. People young and old, men as well as women, singles as well as couples, could be seen grooving to the tunes of DJ Ali's near perfect blend of Nepali, Hindi and English songs soon as the clock hit 10. Cube extravaganza was successful in capturing the essence of the upcoming year for all those gathered at the venue to welcome 2009.

Vintage

The Vintage restaurant at Durbarmarg had a special music night for its guests. With live music from 'Vishal and frens' who churned out some of the most famous Sufi, Hindi and Nepali numbers, the restaurant entertained its guests till midnight. Those present were delighted by the ambience of the place and appreciated the effort of the owners to welcome the New Year with flair.

Dhokaima Cafe

Manoj Basnet who owns of the classiest Pubs in Manhattan brought a little bit of New York to the valley on New Year eve. Basnet, who practically grew up in a bar, threw one of the most awaited parties of the New Year eve at Dhokaima Cafe in Patan with “New York” as the event's theme. At the entrance was a yellow cab, without which commuting in New York is impossible. A perfect view of the Hudson River over the Manhattan skyline had been set from the dance floor. The statue of Liberty at the bar welcomed the party goers at the entrance. The DJ playing R 'n' B and techno kept everyone on the dance floor till midnight. A lounge with the perfect couches had been set up to keep the people away from the DEAD ENDS!

Tour de Thamel

Thamel was back in business on the New Year eve as Home Minister's 11 0'clock deadline didn't seem to bother the partygoers who thronged the streets in the mood to live it up. With restaurants and pubs filled with customers and the streets flocked with excited fun seekers, it was hard to believe that this place is dead by 11 most nights of the year.

The hottest and the most happening places served their guests with rich packages of entertainment. Almost all of them had a live band or a DJ or both, to liven up the party. Some of the party destinations like Tantra, Celebrations, Tamas, Seesha were jam-packed.

The most interesting sight to see was of people taking to the streets instead of joining any particular party. It was for fun and to get a variety of music without having to pay for it, most of them said. Milan and his gang who enjoying themselves outside a live band restaurant said: “We came up with this idea after spending all our money in the parties. In occasions like this, it costs to get into a party but what we do is listen to music, because that is what we are really interested in. This way, we can switch restaurants where the music is not that good without having to worry about our money going to waste.”

Parties continued till midnight in most locations, some even into the wee hours. The female population which had joined in the celebrations was impressive and some tourists were also seen having a good time.
Source: eKantipur

Labels: , , ,