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.

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