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Action speaks louder than words
29 April 2010-Thursday
-The Cheeguz

Kali Prasad Baskota is one of his generation’s most successful lyricists and composers, all rolled into one. A big soccer fan, he can't wait for the World Cup to kick start. With some of the most memorable songs in recent years under his belt, he sure has made one too many souls green with envy, and yes that also happens to be his favorite color. Baskota has worked with some of the most talented and established singers and composers of the country. But his success did not come overnight.

Shashi Rawal's Chahana Sakiyo, Sanoop Paudel's Timro Deshaima and Hemant Rana's Laijja Rey, every song has its own Identity (different feel)... so are we to assume you like experimenting?

Yes, it’s important! It’s what keeps my job from getting mundane. I always start ground zero, when I’m about to compose, so the resulting melody has its own unique personality. And experimenting in music is very important, for it leads to its evolution and like all discoveries, sometimes it sucks and sometimes it takes us to the next level. But you should be ready to take that risk, it helps you grow.

Which comes first to you - writing music or composing? Which one is more challenging?

I never can tell... Sometimes the words come first and then I add the music and sometimes I'll just be playing with a melody and add words. I guess it depends on what I feel like at the time. It varies. And sometimes they both come at once, simultaneously (which is always nice!) But at the end what matters is the music I have to offer, it’s got to be good.

Is it easy to compose for your own lyrics, or is there no difference?

Definitely, it’s easier to compose for your own words, and since you are controlling both the aspects of song it’s easier to meld words with melody. You also have 100% control over the matter, and can edit the lyrics according to the demand of the tune. But having said that if you have a good base, a good flow of words there is really no difference, I guess it all depends on the lyrics rather than the lyricist.

Do you use your personal experience to pen down songs?

Yes, one’s mood has a lot to do with the outcome of a song. Your situation, your mental state can have a significant effect. And I try to channel them as far as possible into my work; I’ve found it always makes things easier. The work is not forced anymore and it comes naturally.

What's your take on remixing culture?

Remixing is not a bad thing but its implementation in our context is not the BEST. Most of the remixed songs are made using readymade sound bytes and with right software anyone can do so, and that doesn’t necessarily certify you as a musician. Plus taking on somebody else’s work is always dicey, you tend to get compared with the original, and to be honest, remixed song has never been able to match the musical heights of the original one. I’m not against remixing, I’m just NOT interested.

Patriotism, human emotions or socio-political matters what is your favorite theme to write on?

Variety is the spice of life, and in my profession it’s the key to longevity. I love to work on different themes as stated before, however it’s the human emotions that interest me most. It can be expressed in so many shades and styles. By the way patriotism is also a kind of human emotion, isn’t it? (smiles!)

"Yo bheend bhanda dherai para, farkina chanchu afnai ghara", do you love the city life? Or would rather live outside Kathmandu?

Kantipuri Nagri, our capital, everything is confined and concentrated in this valley. It is also happens to be my birth place, I’m a local Kirtipurey. Everything that defines me, from my family, friends to my work is here only. So I guess I’m bound to this place. However the thought of living outside is very tempting, to be away from this maddening crowd, pollution, dust… but due to work and family can’t even entertain that desire (sighs!)

Why do you think, songs nowadays have a very short shelf life?

Today’s songs, most of them, they just provide instant gratification and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

People are very impatient these days. And in music that’s not the case, it requires a lot of dedication and learning is a part of life. But sadly, many so called “singers” neither have the time nor patience, they want everything fast and fancy.

So what advice do you have for aspiring vocalists, songwriters?

Have a vision, research a lot. Music even as a mere hobby is getting to be very expensive; if you’re investing so much, might as well do it the right way (smile). Be open to constructive criticism, they will only help you in the long run. And yes, don’t be afraid to dream.

What’s next for you?

Currently I’m busy scoring soundtracks for couple of movies, and putting finishing touches on two solo albums. I have high hopes from Minima Sharma’s “Minima” and Sima Sangroula’s “Note”. I’m really excited about these two.  The lyrics and composition are done entirely by me, which was definitely a challenge. I want to break the myth that a solo composer can’t break the rut of monophony.

Message to your fans:

Thanks to all your support and love. Without you there can never be a Kali Prasad Baskota. Your input is very much appreciated and it’s something I look forward to. You can reach me via:

Please love Nepali music and thank you once again, for your support.

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