MIDWAY: Nepali beats

Identifying the most happening song in Kathmandu was the topic of our recent discussion. I expected my friends to vote for a Hindi or an English song, but I was surprised to know that many people listened to Nepali music.

I am a fan of Nepali music and so are many young Kathmanduites. Nowadays, travelling around Kathmandu in public transport without having to listen to some hit Nepali songs is pretty rare. The cab, microbus or bus drivers are bound to play their favourite numbers. The probability that he will play a Nepali number is 99 per cent. If the driver tunes in to an FM station, rest assured that you are going to hear a Nepali. Whether we like it or not we have no choice but to listen to Nepali songs. And if your driver does not play a song or two, one of your co-passengers will hum a tune.

Walking down Kathmandu streets, music shops playing hit Nepali folk, rock or Hip-hop is a common sight. Local children can be found humming a current Nepali hit. The newspapers are full of advertisements of concerts being organised in the city. Even when friends meet they talk of their favourite Nepali song. Rock, folk, jazz, hip-hop you name it, but Nepali music has expanded its horizons by leaps and bounds. But things were not always like this when I was growing up. Foreign language songs, especially Hindi and English ones, were the most happening things in music. From cab drivers to radio stations and from young to old, Hindi music was the favourite. Any “cultural show” at a school used to be incomplete without a Hindi number and English songs were quite popular among the youths. Nepali songs were limited and most of them were of the adhunik (modern) genre.

Nepali music has undergone a transition in the last few years. Experimentation has generated smash hits and remixes have revived old songs. Artists now cannot only earn their living

but can also enjoy a huge fan following. “What will music give you? Stop it and study” were the common words of many parents in the past but nowadays it’s “My child, why don’t you learn to play some instrument during holidays.” The Nepali beats have become the pride of the nation. Long live Nepali beats!