Niharika Gyawali, who has been in the spotlight after her brilliant performances in the Voice of Nepal, aspires to become a travelling, singing and writing astronaut.The youngest daughter in the family, Niharika was inspired by her elder sister who used to always be humming a tune when she was growing up. The young artiste cannot wait to release her originals in collaboration with her well-wishers. WOW’s Anushka Shrestha catches up with the performer to get an insight of her musical journey. Excerpts
Tell us about what kindled your interest in music…
I actually started singing because of my sister. She was the original singer of the house. Inspired by her, I started humming, singing, entering competitions, writing my own songs, and finally doing gigs.
You started doing cover songs on YouTube, what was the response?
Initially, just thinking of doing cover songs on YouTube used to give me butterflies in the stomach as I was terrified of being judged. I never felt I was a worthy singer. However, later I started making one-minute cover clips for Instagram which received quite good feedback. That really helped boost my self-esteem and pursue what I truly love.
What are your favourite genres to perform?
I actually don’t have a favourite genre. If I could perform metal songs, I would. However, my style leans more towards Indie Pop/Rock. I would love to experiment with Jazz, Blues and Hip-hop.
What is it like to be musician?
Every day I learn more and more about this beautiful art form, meet like-minded people who share the same passion, and everything just feels like it’s in bloom.
Tell us about your ‘Voice of Nepal’ journey.
My journey in ‘Voice of Nepal’ has opened up so many doors which I didn’t even know existed. Everytime I dwell on this amazing rollercoaster ride, it surprises me more.
One of the best memories has to be the jamming session with all 12 of us for the group song, ‘Aaganai Bhari’ at midnight. A few of us hadn’t heard the song then, so both learning and teaching with the members was an incredible moment.
Why did you choose the song ‘Ma Sansar Jitne’ for your blind audition?
The song perfectly embodies the spirit of the journey I was going to undertake. I was trying to win the world and I needed the courage to step out of my comfort zone. Moreover, I am a huge fan of Sabin Rai and his lyrical prowess, so for me it was the perfect song for the blind audition.
What do you love and hate about the Nepali music industry?
What fascinates me about our industry is the constant evolution where musicians are continuously exploring the vast ocean of possibilities and experimenting with new genres to bring forth literal magic.
It’s the people who are supposedly the gate-keepers of music in Nepal that I don’t like. They try to bind everything in a certain rigid way and look down upon genres that are different to what they perform. What we have to realise is music is an art form that is always evolving. Music is not going to be the same for everyone and it is not supposed to. Let everyone do what they love, and enjoy what they want, however they want.
I plan on releasing my originals gradually. I have a collection of songs which I want to share with the world and I hope I find people who will understand. Hopefully in a couple of years, no matter whether it is 10 or 10,000 I will be singing, writing and performing my heart out for those willing to listen and feel the stories I share through my music.
What do you aspire to do as a full time career?
I aspire to be a travelling, singing and writing astronaut. Is that possible?
Your take on music reality shows…
Such shows are a wonderful platform and once in a lifetime experience for those who are willing to take on the pressure and risk.