Folk's new favorite girl

February 9, 2018 08:23 AM Priyanka Gurung


As expected from Trishna Gurung, she continues giving us reasons to appreciate the essence of our folk tunes. She has once again hit the right note with her latest, Rail Lai Ma, garnering over 1.5 million views on YouTube, in just two months of the single’s release. What’s more, Gurung confirms that she is already working on new material and a plan to release that too is in full swing. 

Considering her popularity, we might not be surprised with the slew of projects lined up for her but the young singer reveals that she still gets caught off guard every now and then. With The Week’s Priyanka Gurung, she elaborates more on making it as a singer whilst also giving us a peek into her personal playlist.

Starting from Khani ho Yahmu, your first hit to now, how would you say it is going so far?
It’s going far well than I had ever expected. I put out Khani ho Yahmu without any expectations. I 
remember being anxious about not having any networks in the media or ideas about promoting a song back then. 

So I’d say, it is all going really well. I really appreciate the kind of shows, tours, and other work related offers I having been getting since my first hit. The way the public has been receiving and showing interest in my music so far is amazing.

There are many articles where they actually call you the queen of folk rock. How do you feel about that?
In one word, happy. And I’m grateful too. I want to make music that is distinct – something that people will instantly recognize as my work. As a singer, you do strive to create your own identity and to have people recognize me in that manner is amazing. 

You write and compose your own songs. Where have you been looking for inspiration these days?
I have heard people say that you have to travel far and wide to collect experiences and memories to write the best songs. And, while there have been travels, this isn’t exactly practical advice for me. 

I still find all my ideas in my room. I sit with my guitar and use my imagination. I also like to think about all that happened in the day – the incidents, the people, the conversations. And I weed out my lyrics from that. Some might prefer looking outward for inspiration but I have always found mine within me. 

With time and experience, has making music become an easier process for you?
My favorite part of working on a song is making the melody. It’s that part when you are humming along, even though you aren’t sure of the lyrics. When you are trying to find a rhythm and discover the flow of the new song, I enjoy that the most. I play around a lot and you know you have got it when you feel it. It gives you goose bumps. I can’t really explain it. Then after the melody, I start on the words and complete the lyrics. Since I haven’t studied music, composing for me is comparatively challenging. But I heavily rely on my instincts.

Finally, now that you have established yourself, what’s your next goal?
Folk is definitely my genre and I plan to continue working with it, perhaps play with the sound a little more. It makes me happy that so many other artists are also working on folk fusions. I sometimes worry that the upcoming generations will forget our traditional sound. We really can’t let that happen. So it’s definitely great to see more and more people working with the genre.

On Gurung's playlist

Currently on repeat- Yani Maya by Nepathaya

I actually don’t have the habit of listening to music all the time. I prefer practicing, singing more. It’s usually when I’m doing my chores likes cleaning my room that I put on music and Yani Maya has been on a lot lately.

Favorite sing along song- Asaar by Bipul Chettri

I like all of his songs but Asaar, his first song, is particularly memorable for me. Whenever it plays, you can’t help but sing along. I also really enjoy singing those typical Nepali phrases and words that, of course, only folk inspired songs have.

The song that makes me emotional- Sadhai Sadhai by Mantra band

It’s everything from the melody of the song to the lyrics and the saxophone that makes it one good sad song. It always manages to give me the feels. And coincidentally, on our last Australian tour, I got to collaborate with Mantra band on this very song. It felt like a dream.

Favorite blast from the past- Collide by Howie Day

I think it’s obvious that I prefer old tunes to the new ones. Back in my college days, I remember replaying Collide a lot. I don’t even remember how I discovered the song but for some reason it stuck. Many have covered the song but, personally, I don’t think any of those can be compared with the original.

The ultimate guilty pleasure- Sorry by Justin Bieber

Disclaimer: I wasn’t his fan since the ‘Baby’ days. But a bunch of his latest releases have been very good. They are catchy and you can’t help but enjoy and groove to it. I even ended up checking out the stage performance and video of some of the singles and they were also impressive.

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