Monday, March 2, 2009

For the love of music

“Anyone who has the money and the contacts are making music these days, which is not right.”

by PRAVAT J GURUNG (wavemag)

If one were to closely scrutinise the path to success, passion would always take precedence. It drives a person to set out on a journey which is difficult and at times unheard of, often taking matters into their own hands. And this month, we feature two fine young lads who are all set to bounce and pounce into the Nepali music industry.

Though he's new, Himalaya Rai has the passion and Rinchen Palzar aka Rajib, lead guitarist of Abhaya and the Steam Injuns, is right behind him teaching him the tricks of the trade. Together, they create a record company and a wholesome package ready to give out their best.

"I was just 17 when I realised that music is what I wanted to do and I'm happy now" says Himalaya, "I am very much thankful to Rajib dai and Abhaya di for taking me under their wings and making me realise that it was something that I could do." Himalaya met Rajib when he was in college while Rajib was here in Kathmandu holidaying from Darjeeling. "He used to bunk college and come to my place to talk about music. I was amazed by his sense of music," says Rajib. A big fan of Abhaya, the conversations were then taken outside the four walls and onto the streets as Himalaya acted as a guide to Rajib around the streets of Kathmandu. "I didn't know much of this place," remembers Rajib.

Rajib always knew music is what he wanted to do and when Abhaya offered him a place in her band, he was more than happy to join. It's been 7 years since he's been playing music and by the looks of it, he doesn't have any plans of retiring any time soon. Besides playing for the band, he also composes music. Himalaya, on the other hand, is a shy 21-year-old but his enthusiasm for music helped him reach where he is now. "My dad understood my love and passion for music and he is the one who encouraged me to start a music label," says Himalaya.

Their similar interests and personalities resulted in the establishment of 360 Degrees Records. "We started the company to promote artists who have the talent. Himalaya wanted to open a recording studio at first but then he changed his plans and we opened 360 Degrees Records," reveals Rajib.

The company of late has produced Nayan, the latest album of Abhaya and the Steam Injuns. "Anyone who has the money and the contacts are making music these days, which is not right," say the duo with a hint of annoyance. But we can't deny it either. A quick flip of the channels on TV attests it, making us question if singers, producers and not to forget the listeners are tone deaf. Hence, 360 Degrees Records aims to promote the fact that music is a gift that only few are blessed with.

Though just on the initial stage of their musical journey, the path has been good for both of them. They plan to produce and promote quality music. But they feel their journey wouldn't have been as smooth without the help of Biplob, Abhaya, Kai, Manohar, Anup Prakash, their band members of the Steam Injuns and all those who've supported them over the years. Tune in to quality music, musicians and artists from 360 Degrees Records soon. For more information, log on to



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