Yugal Gurung: Why this new-age Nepali musician stands out

6 months ago 80

Yugal Gurung is different. His euphony is raw, his lyrics are meaningful, and his songs are a tad dreamy. With his creaseless guitar accomplishment and heavy vocals, you person different large Nepali indie creator who, done his consistency, is making a sanction for himself successful Nepal’s euphony scene.

Early vertebrate catches the worm

Born successful Hongkong and moved to Nepal erstwhile helium was one, Gurung was drawn to euphony from an aboriginal age. Going to assorted stone gigs successful Kathmandu, Gurung developed a emotion for the genre and soon was portion of a stone set successful his schoolhouse days. He played the drums there.

But, arsenic his household relocated to the UK, helium had to permission his abbreviated stone and rotation vocation successful Kathmandu behind, and determination to London arsenic soon arsenic helium completed his school. Not wanting to springiness up connected his dreams of being a instrumentalist and successful a bid to walk clip successful a caller country, a 16-year-old Gurung bought his archetypal guitar. With it began his solo career.

“I’d conscionable travel here, and everything was rather caller to me,” says Gurung, present 30, from his location successful London. “I had a batch of escaped time. As I was precise bored truthful I bought a guitar for 30 GBP and invested my clip and vigor into learning.”

For idiosyncratic who was inspired by stone and rotation and metallic bands similar Metallica, Pantera, and Slayer, Gurung discovered genres similar country, folk, and soul. Artists similar Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, and Bill Withers became his favourites, and helium started to larn their songs.

“Coming present exposed maine to euphony from an epoch agelong earlier my time. The euphony these radical played resonated with me,” says Gurung.

He says antithetic styles of these classical artists inspired him and impacted the mode helium made music. He started to larn however to play their songs and successful doing so, helium started to larn antithetic guitar techniques.

“I started to screen their songs arsenic good to trial wherever I stood vocally. I liked singing people and soul, and if you perceive to my songs, you tin find a spot of both.”

Into vocation arsenic a musician

After finishing precocious school, Gurung joined the University of West London and enrolled successful euphony production. Besides that, helium was playing assorted gigs that happened successful and astir London.

“I americium besides portion of a UK-based post-rock set called Haami wherever I play the drums. I’ve been portion of that since 2012,” helium says.

As a portion of his assemblage project, helium produced Haami’s archetypal album. Apart from that, helium was besides moving connected solo projects, which helium aboriginal released arsenic portion of his archetypal EP – Afno Sansar.

“I learnt a batch astatine university. I started getting heavy into songwriting during those days. That’s wherever I came up with Afno Sansar and different songs successful that album,” helium says.

Since completing university, Gurung has been actively progressive successful making music. Working afloat clip astatine an airport, helium continued pushing himself to make songs.

His accumulation process is akin to galore songwriters. He says it archetypal starts with a guitar riff, which helium past complies with beats to marque music. If helium thinks the euphony sounds good, helium starts playing with assorted ideas to marque definite his assemblage likes it too. He says helium leaves songwriting for the end.

“It takes maine everlastingly to constitute a song. I constitute 1 day, permission that thought and travel backmost to it aft accidental a period oregon two. I similar doing that. It gives maine clip to bespeak and I consciousness it adds much constituent to the song,” says Gurung.

Gurung, successful his abbreviated career, has worked with fashionable names successful the Nepali euphony manufacture similar Diwas Gurung and Bartika Eam Rai.
Photo: Suraj Gurung

Unquenched thirst of performing successful Nepal

By 2017, helium was playing successful assorted shows crossed the UK, some solo and arsenic a portion of Haami. He had an medium released. He adjacent came to Nepal, did a fewer shows. And since then, helium has not looked back.

He precocious launched his second album, Lukamari. While Afno Sansar was a spot much mellow and much acoustic, Lukamari has a small much vigor to it. It has a hint of jazz, people and psyche with immoderate low-fi vibes.

To motorboat Lukamari, Gurung came to Kathmandu. He had planned aggregate shows passim the country. However, each his plans were enactment connected clasp by Covid-19.

“It was disheartening. I had discontinue my occupation present and had planned to circuit Nepal and enactment determination for a while. But, nary of it went arsenic planned. A week aft I landed there, the authorities imposed a nationwide lockdown and I was stuck,” helium says.

That, however, did not halt him from launching the album. He did it digitally, and successful an enactment of implicit compassion, donated the wealth received to Covid-19 alleviation efforts successful the country. An effort, which was wide appreciated by each his peers.

Promoting caller mode of music

In his caller album, helium has worked with singer, songwriter and shaper Diwas Gurung who helium says was casual to enactment with.

“Diwas dai is idiosyncratic who knows what he’s doing. I retrieve telling myself that I’ll beryllium giving him songs that I knew would suit his accumulation style. He is casual to pass to ’cause I deliberation helium understands maine and the benignant of euphony I’m trying to enactment retired there. He conscionable gets it,” says Gurung.

Diwas besides has bully things to accidental astir Gurung.

“I deliberation Yugal’s songs person specified an effortless and magical prime to it,” says Diwas. “He has specified a bid of words and melody that is truthful unsocial to him. On apical of that, his songs person a timelessness to them; I stake radical volition inactive beryllium singing his songs agelong aft we are gone.”

Diwas says that helium adjacent thinks Yugal Gurung has opened up Nepali euphony and musicians to a caller mode of reasoning astir and proceeding music. He says Gurung stood retired during a popup amusement Deha ra Aatma‘ curated by Bartika Eam Rai successful New York.

“His show that nighttime stunned the audience, including me. It was the full thing, the lyrics, the melody and his dependable made a large content connected me,” says Diwas who says helium was struck by his affinity to the genres of psyche and jazz, with his usage of extended chords and odd-time signatures.

Many wrong the manufacture person akin feelings astir Yugal. Rajan Shrestha, a euphony shaper based successful Kathmandu who goes by his alias Phatcowlee, says Gurung is caller and rare.

“I truly similar his dependable plan connected his self-produced stuff. He’s a unsocial talent,” says Shrestha.

The effect from the assemblage has besides been good. Three of his songs person implicit 300,000 views portion the ones helium has precocious released person besides been doing well. For now, helium says helium is blessed with the effect that helium has been getting. His peers person been supportive arsenic person the assemblage and that, helium says, makes him privation to marque euphony consistently.

Consistency for ‘good artistry’

“People who recognize my euphony person reached retired to maine and told maine however overmuch they similar it. It’s bully to beryllium appreciated. It’s a satisfying feeling, but I cognize I request to bash much if I privation to beryllium known arsenic a bully artist,” helium says.

When asked what helium needs to bash to summation much reach, his reply is elemental – consistency.

“The Nepali audience, acknowledgment to the internet, person been listening to a batch of antithetic genres. They person options. So, if I privation to successful the minds of the audience, I request to proceed to consistently marque the benignant of euphony I do. If I americium capable to bash that, I’ll scope much people. But for now, I’m happy,” helium says.

After spending astir of 2020 successful Nepal, Gurung is backmost successful the UK. He says helium has already started to enactment connected a caller medium expected to beryllium retired astir the extremity of 2021.

“I’m taking it 1 measurement astatine a clip arsenic I instrumentality this arsenic a passionateness project,” helium says. “My goals person go smaller successful the sense, that erstwhile you turn older, your imagination of becoming idiosyncratic large successful euphony becomes smaller. I don’t privation to overwhelm myself due to the fact that I cognize that I person to bash thing other to prolong myself.”

Yes, Gurung is different. He is portion of a caller property of Nepali musicians utilizing skills and technologies to make songs which are not commercialized yet person the inclination to beryllium portion of anyone’s playlist. He has the quality to complexity successful an approachable and astir disarming way–a crushed wherefore galore person been capable to link to his songs.

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