KATHMANDU, DEC 28 - Donâ€™t be surprised if you find him walking down the road and fail to recognize him. But thatâ€™s exactly what he wants. Though one of the most popular icons of Nepali Rap, Nirnaya Shrestha likes to stay hidden and out of the limelight."So much so that Iâ€™ve my face partly obscured in most of my video and photo shoots," he adds in a tone that make you wonder if he was actually joking!In any case, Nirnaya entered the Nepali music scene in 2000 when he and a bunch of other music lovers teamed up to form the now famous Rapperâ€™s Union. They did a couple of experimental numbers like Hand in Hand but only shot up in the charts after the release of Dinpani Bityo, Raatpani Bityo. This fusion number brought the Rapperâ€™s Union the fame they had always deserved and set a benchmark for what would later be known as Nepali Rap.But as genial a person as he is, Nirnaya still maintains that Nepali Rap is only in its evolutionary stages and hopes that his upcoming solo album, which is on the verge of release, will be able to contribute to its further development.
Entitled Ma Nepali NSK Style, the songs in this new collection are mostly slow tempo Hip-hop music reminiscent of his earlier super hit Dinpani Bityo.
"The NSK is for Naughty Soul Kid, coz everybody thinks Iâ€™m naughty like a kid and know Iâ€™m really not. So it must be my soul thatâ€™s naughty," Nirnaya explains.Interestingly, for someone so naughty, the poems in his songs speak a lot differently. With poignant, not to mention inspiring, titles like Gaunle Jeevan, Pyasi and Ma Nepali, it isnâ€™t hard to imagine what types of lyric should we be looking forward to."Iâ€™ve tried to make the poems more meaningful and likeable," explains Nirnaya, who was also involved in most of the writing and composing of his songs, or babies, as he likes to put it.Of course, we all know that behind every successful man there is a woman. But in Nirnayaâ€™s case, there seem to be several of them. The uptown rapper has enlisted the help of a female co-vocalist in all but one of the numbers in his new album.Now, talking more about his personal life, Nirnaya discloses that his favorite performers are 2 Pac and Nelly.
"But I love listening to all types of music," he says, adding, "And the idea of discriminating against other genres in the name of being loyal to one is totally appalling."
In fact, he even reminisces of the times when he, as a rapper, had to tolerate foul remarks when he was playing in what must have quintessentially been a rock showdown.
But, fortunately for Nirnaya, that isnâ€™t how heâ€™s treated in most of his concerts. Actually, he loves the energy that comes from being with many people and opines that performing unplugged is so much more fun than recording inside a studio."The biggest turn-on is the fact that you can directly observe the reactions of your audience," he says and adds, "Thankfully, I also donâ€™t have confidence problem when singing before a large audience is concerned."Now, who would after performing throughout the country in more than 70 concerts!
Nirnaya is also very happy with the direction in which the Nepali Rap is heading and believes that itâ€™s positively possible to make a living on Rap if one is totally dedicated to the music. Now this is something he himself might find hard to do, managing his time between his friends, music, his office and this NGO where he volunteers."But Iâ€™m confident that thereâ€™s at least a small group of young people who like to totally dig and follow Nepali Rap music," he says.And good news to all of you folks out there that heâ€™s not planning to leave Nepal any time soon. Instead, he has already started to collect folk compositions for his next album, which he plans to cut after about one and a half years. Until then, he hopes that peopleâ€™ll like his new album scheduled to be released on Tuesday.In the end, like everyone else, Nirnaya yearns, "Let peace and prosperity return to us."Posted on: 2004-12-27 08:54