Jam session : Threads of music
“My mum says that I first went on the stage when I was just three and performed,” says Hemanta Rana. This 24-year-old, who originally hails from Dang, was always interested in music. Well-known among the music lovers as the guy
who can flawlessly croon Sufi songs without much effort has already made his mark in the industry as a singer with velvety voice. Though inclined towards music from early childhood, his family did not approve of his interest and insisted on him completing his education. But his passion took over and for last three years he has been seriously involved in music. “Right now I am pursuing my BBS course but I’m taking music as my profession seriously,” he says.
In this era when you can see most of the youngsters involved either in rock, metal and rap, it is quite amazing to see someone so young involved in the genre that is considered
devotional. Hemanta himself first started his journey as a pop singer. “My first song was Paap punya. But later I moved to more classical and Sufi music,” he confesses.
He has always been a big fan of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his childhood wish to sing like him someday got stronger when he saw Kailash Kher singing. “It was amazing to see how Kailash Kher sings to a hollow guitar bringing melody with just his voice. It has inspired me a lot,” he says.
He usually performs only on the guitar and sometimes with flute and jimbe. His performance is supported by Bishal Poudel (guitar) and Binod Katuwal (flute and jimbe). “They actually are like band members as I always perform with them. I have known Bishal for quite along time and he is much better off as a jazz musician, but we share a great chemistry and comfort level is high. Performing together is always pleasant, and the same goes with Binod,” admits Hemanta. Hemanta feels that Sufi music should not be discriminated for its language. The focus should be on music and feel, the language can be any as long as you can feel and relate to the music.
It might come as a surprise to many to know that in the beginning he never took music very seriously. “I was a very good Wushu player (a gold medallist in the national level) and in the beginning I was planning to get into sports but fate had different plans for me. Somehow my love for music took over my interest in sports,” he informs.
Recently guitar maestro Anil Shahi said in his interview that he finds Hemanta the most promising singer with immense talent among the young musicians. Talking about the popularity and affection he has received in such short time Hemanta says, “I’m very grateful to them who say that I am doing good. When I started, I was very disheartened to see that things were not going properly. At one point I even planned to go abroad but at that time my mum told me to work hard, that if I really want to achieve what I wanted and that God tests you in things you dream of the most.”
To pursue his dream more seriously Hemanta has enrolled for classical vocal training and keyboard classes at Nepal Music Centre.
“Right now I am busy with various performances and have not been able to attend the classes. But I will start pretty soon as I find it important to have classical knowledge.”
In conclusion he says, “Music is the juice of my life and I sing for self satisfaction. I know that music is my future so I am working hard to make it beautiful.” — Abhilasha Subba