He had a guitar, he knew how to sing really well. He knew what he had to do, and he knew music was for him. Only problem? He was in home and no-where else. He had given up on his well off job, he was 22 already and was in home. With a self-pictured situation of no one liking him and his music, he sat inside his room for more than three months. Singing inside the room itself and nowhere out, he confined it to be his routine. Realization hits everyone, at very exact time and it hit him too. He decided to go online at the beginning and well, here he is, and here we are. We know Neetesh Jung Kunwar and we know his music now. A singer/songwriter/composer who is now in our hearts with his right-to-the-point lyrics and songs.
One particular moment we all know, one particular song of Neetesh Jung Kunwar, we’ve all heard. ‘Gedai Jasto Jindagi‘ (Translation? ‘Life like Balls’; balls as in nuts, not basketball). Walking down the street if you hear whispers around him, you’ll hear ‘tei geda wala dai haina?’. This is the song that he considers got him acquainted with much larger public. He explains he wrote this song for a common Nepali guy, without girlfriend, without success, without experiences of foreign lands whilst his friends and relatives are doing all those. He speaks how doubtful he was of uploading this five minutes song written in his bedroom and how he thought this wouldn’t be liked in anyways and how he did it with guts. Today this song is one of his highest viewed songs and well, shows how we Nepalese love the nuts.
Listening to cassette player from his father, reggae music, country music were common to him. He grew up listening to songs from that era, wondering how well composed those songs could be. His father playing guitar always fascinated him. He still remembers how he started to play the guitar- strumming only with right hand without pressing the chords down the bridge at the early age of 4 or 5. He grew up with his guitar skills, passed to him by his father. That is when he started his journey. Bob Marley, John Denver were what he sang. He considers him lucky enough to be born on the era of artists like Nabin K. Bhattarai, Sugam Pokhrel and all. His small poems and collection of what he considers ‘what he felt’ writings were also the starting point of this journey.
Being an artist, what he feels is there is no point of actual satisfaction or total satisfaction for very long. You would be down sometimes; high sometimes and that is for sure. But, He had never been depressed in music. He used to play from school and in college for a band and was cheered by all. As for his own words, ‘It gave me an image of high-school celebrity.’ After college, he joined in an automobile corporation for a job. Doing it for sometimes, he felt his place was not there at all.
He couldn’t only think of clients and money. Being an artist, he wanted freedom, which to some level he showed it in the office by reaching office at 12 and all. He started questioning himself on what to do for this job though paying well didn’t make him happy… He didn’t know what he was up to, for he was already 22. It was then he decided, he had to do music. He started from the bottom, not realizing he could go up. He was happy with his facebook and youtube likes and comments; happy with the free shows he did for other organizers. He saw other musicians grow and compared himself. He was where he started for this long tenure. He had then moved into a phase which artists call ‘Creative Blockade’. He couldn’t create music, he couldn’t write songs. He felt he couldn’t do any single thing though he knew he was a real good singer. Career wise singing scared him at that moment. That very depression acted as his motivation. His family- Father, Mother and his girlfriend supported him to the fullest.
He wants to grow. Grow high, not only in this national platform but in international level too. He dreams of reaching in international arena by his thirties. He wants to touch people’s hearts, with more songs that touches people’s hearts. He considers music as a message without language and he considers to flow his emotions. Not about fame but he wants something big to look back at when he grows old. As for his own words, ‘I want to look back and smile that I did my big time’. From patting oneself for 5000 views in Youtube to the crowd of 500/1000 singing his song with him, looking up to him on the stage, he feels this is what he was in the music for.
Coming to success, he idealizes only a component for success: Confidence. To have belief in what you are doing- to give your best and not to give a place for yourself to complain in anything you do. To be totally happy with each job you do and to believe you’ve done best. This is what he believes will lead you to success. Confidence on yourself- not on the market, not on the crowd, but on yourself. Goal is goal, but small steps in between are success too. Cheering oneself and working harder every single day will lead people to success he believes.
He appeals to all the people following their dreams- “Don’t Stop”. Especially the ones having music as their careers, as Nepalese music industry needs to grow. The time of Sugam Pokhrel, Nabin K. Bhattrai where an artist and a song used to grow every day is to be recreated. Go with your soul, write your own stuffs, create your own idea, and compose for yourselves. Let your audience find a part of them in yourself. There is no way of lack of scope. There is huge scope of everything. Just go with your dreams.
He asks all the people to support. Support the living, and not the dead. Yes, respect the ones who are gone from the heart, but ones who need your support are the ones who are struggling. The ones up are up there. Ones who need to grow need your support.
Collected and Written by
The Chief Cynic- Yugantar Paudel
Special thanks to: