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A man of many talents

KATHMANDU, APR 14 -

Widely known for his ever-popular folk tunes, Sambhujeet Baskota is a celebrated figure among musicians in the country and has firmly established himself in the Nepali music scene.  In the course of a career that has spanned almost a massive four decades, Baskota has reached massive heights of success and is one of the most sought-after composers in the country.

Born into a middle class family in Kathmandu’s Panipokhari in 1957, Baskota attended Bhanubhakta School till grade 10 where he participated—quite extensively—in various singing and musical competitions. His love for sports was perhaps stronger at the time but that gradually changed as he grew older. At the age of 16 Baskota started to learn playing the guitar. He remembers singing Nepali and Hindi classical songs on the instruments. Baskota says he continued singing, even trying his hand at composition while he was studying to earn his bachelor’s degree in political science. He later went on to earn another undergraduate degree, a BA in music from the Sangeet Bisharad.

Baskota says he draws musical inspiration from Bacchu Kailash, Narayan Gopal, Nati Kaji and Gopal Yonzon, among others. His own talents are as diverse as they come—singer, composer, musician, lyricist, producer and scriptwriter. Baskota began his career as a singer at Radio Nepal in 1974. That was his first official step entering the musical field. He started working as a composer from 1976.

His compositions are mostly a blend of western and eastern folk music. He is renowned for his folk compositions. Yo Maya Ko Sagar, Basanti, Prem Pinda, Alleri, Mohani Lagyo Hai, Rato Tika Nidhar Ma, Banma Fulyo Ful and Rato Rani Phule are all songs that have set a milestone in terms of the effect they’ve had on the audience. Most of these songs were released

many decades ago yet they’re still hugely popular, particularly among folk music audiences.

There is perhaps hardly a noted singer in the country who has not worked with Baskota; everyone from the great Narayan Gopal to Arun Thapa, Tara Devi to Anju Pant, Udit Narayan Jha ,and even Asha Bhosle have had music for their songs composed by him. His compositions include popular tracks like Tiharai Aayo, Teej Ko Lahar and  Holi Le Rangayo, songs that are played almost yearly during Tihar and Holi respectively. Baskota is also renowned for his composition of patriotic songs such as Yo Karma Bhumi and Laliguras. Two decades ago, these songs touched the hearts of almost all Nepalis around the country, and they’re still received very positively by fans. Music Nepal has also released a collection album titled Parkhi Basye which features all of his compositions.

As a film music director, his career has spanned over three decades, and his music has been featured in over 300 movies. This amounts to an astonishing total of more than 2,000 songs. Some of his most famous musical directions include songs from the films Prem Pinda, Basanti, Seema Rekha and Rajamati.

Apart from these, pop songs like Eh Sangita and Ko Ho Tyo are some of his popular hits. “I laid foundations for the pop music scene in Nepal,” says Baskota, a man who has certainly proved his genius in creating songs that appeal to the masses, often mixing all types of music to get the exact effect he’s looking for.

Baskota has also flourished as a singer, and has lent his voice to mega hits like Nachi Deu Maichyang, Chatta Rumal Kyamalum and Bajho Khetma.

What is perhaps lesser known about the musician is his involvement in ‘parody singing’, from 1984-1989, during which time he used to imitate politicians and perform on stage. The lyrics of these songs, which were all based on contemporary political and social issues of the time, were also written by him. Baskota is also a popular scriptwriter. The versatile creator has written scripts for movies such as Truckdriver, Jali Rumal and Yo Maya Ko Sagar, which have all received positive responses from audiences and critics.

Baskota has staged concerts all over the country, and even at international venues including the US, the UK and Australia. He says he’s a travel lover, and most of his songs are based on research carried out on the culture and music of a particular place. No surprises then that he is the largest-selling composer in Nepal today and has had a plethora of awards come his way over the years. He’s had a hat trick of HITS FM Awards and has also won at the Kantipur Awards and Kollywood Cinema Puraskar. He has also been awarded the Bikhyat Trishakti Patta, Prabhal Gorkha-Dakshin Bahu, Narayan Gopal Sangeet Puraskar and Chhinnalata Awards, among others.

The man of many talents is also recognised as the first person to start music video production in Nepal. He’s also believed to a proponent of reality TV in the country. Having worked as the executive chairman of Nepal Television and the Nepal Film Development Board, he is now the director of the Nepal Academy. Baskota believes that there’s a lot of prospect in the present and says, “There are very few people who have wholesomely devoted their lives to the promotion of Nepali music. We need people who can change this, and it is the future generation holds the responsibility of uplifting the standards my colleagues and I have set.”

Posted on: 2013-04-15 10:06


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