Wangden Sherpa’s journey began when he picked up the guitar for the first time at age 13. Starting off by posting covers of some of his favourite artists, he recently entered the Nepali music industry with his debut studio album, Tangled in You. A lovestruck ramble from Nepal to Texas and back again, the album is a blend of Nepali and English, rich bass vocals and arrangements that meld two different sides of the world. The singer-songwriter is also known for his witty and humorous Tiktoks. Wangden has announced himself to the Nepali audience as not only a fresh voice but also a personality worth keeping an eye on. Excerpts of a conversation with WOW:
You spent more than four years in the States. What made you want to come back to Nepal?
I think the lockdown really forced me to introspect and reflect on what I wanted to do moving forward with my life. Growing up, I had always enjoyed singing and playing the guitar but had never allowed myself to seriously consider pursuing music as more than just a hobby. But as I thought more and more about how I wanted to shape these next few years of my life, I knew that if I did not take the plunge into making and sharing my music, it would inevitably be a major regret that I would always be haunted by.
What got you into music?
Growing up I remember my household always being full of music. My father playing Eric Clapton and Neil Young on the stereo, my mother listening to Jagjeet Singh as she went about her day, my sister commandeering the aux on road trips to play her curated playlists. I was always surrounded by and encouraged to embrace music, not only to appreciate the art itself but also to use music as a method of self-expression.
I think being exposed to music from all over the world has really influenced the music I create to be not on or the other but a little bit of everything.
Did you always want to be a musician?
Growing up I never thought that I would one day write and record songs and share them with the world. I always enjoyed music and loved singing but the idea of creating something and sharing it with the world seemed daunting. I didn’t know how people would react and that uncertainty and fear of people disliking my music always stopped me from pursuing it seriously. However, I realised that I would rather live with the disappointment of failure than the regret of never having tried at all and that was when I decided to be a musician.
How would you describe your style of music?
I don’t know if I have a particular style of music since my song writing is so dependent on where I am in my life at the time but I think in general, a word I would use to describe my music is honest.
Besides music, you also create content on Instagram and TikTok, how did that happen?
I have always enjoyed making people laugh and being an entertainer. When TikTok first came about, I really enjoyed the way people were using it to be both creative and funny especially in a really accessible short-form format. I initially just started posting covers on TikTok and then just uploaded little skits and funny videos here and there. After some of them took off, I realised that a lot of people seemed to enjoy the content I create and I have never looked back. I think it’s a really fun way to bring humour and joy to people’s lives and also to promote my music.
What is your debut album Tangled in You about?
The songs in Tangled In You span multiple years of my life and I think that reflects in the music. The record is me trying to express what it felt like to be a young guy on the cusp of adulthood, falling in love for the first time, experiencing life as I bounced around the world trying to find my place.
You have been creating music for two years now; how does it feel to receive so much love for what you do?
The incredible response to my music has been so much more than I could have ever hoped for. When I first set about writing and creating music, I never thought that it would be as well-received as it has been. I am constantly overwhelmed by the love and support that people show me and I am forever grateful to all of them for it. Every time someone says that they love my music or that it has helped them get through tough times, I am always so moved and inspired to continue creating.
What do you love about John Mayer songs?
I really love how deliberate his song writing is. Every word is so well chosen and no syllable is wasted or forced in. His guitar playing and the way he uses unique chord shapes to fit the mood of the song are also really impressive.
Was there anything in particular that inspired you when writing the song, Hijo Aja?
I actually wrote the chorus for the song in 2016 and the recording lay dormant in my phone until 2021 when I decided to complete the song. I really wanted to focus on the growing pains when you are learning how to love someone and they are learning how to love you. The little trials and tribulations that come with new relationships and how the foundation of love always helps us overcome them.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Reaching one million views on my song Tadhiera was a huge accomplishment for my team and me, and I am really proud that we were able to cross that milestone on my first ever single. Also performing for a crowd of over 15,000 people at the Daraz Mahotsav was an experience I’ll never forget.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on the music video for my song Kathmandu Cowboy. It’s a country-western song with a Nepali twist and it’s definitely the most ambitious project I have done so far. My team and I have worked really hard on it, and I hope everyone enjoys watching the video as much as we have enjoyed creating it.