KATHMANDU, Aug 21: He has two albums to his credit, and his song ‘Laijare’ from his second album of the same name is popular across the country.
Hemanta Rana talks to Republica about his love for Sufi music, and why awards are always not the zenith a singer aspires for.
How has your journey in Nepali music been till date?
My journey has been amazing so far. Ups and downs, coming across different people (good and bad), criticism, appreciation, offense, pride, and what not! I’m loving it. I started when I was nothing. I know how much I’ve struggled in my journey. But hard work pays off and I’m happy!
From ‘Paap Punya’ seven years ago till date, what are the changes you find in yourself as an individual and in Hemanta Rana, the singer?
‘Paap Punya’ didn’t do that well but ‘Laijare’ took me to the next level in the market. I haven’t undergone any changes personally. I’m the same ordinary guy to my friends and family. Yes, I’ve been improving a lot technically as Hemanta Rana, the singer. I don’t know if I can call myself “the” singer yet. But yes, I believe that I’ve been blessed with a good voice and I’ve been trying to polish it as much as I can.
Please explain to us your love for Sufi music.
Sufi music can appear in many forms. It especially gives me the strength to thoughts regarding God. I feel a lot of positive vibes when I do Sufi music. It’s all about polishing the heart and enhancing the spiritual aspect of the human being over the physical being. I wouldn’t stick to only Sufi music in life but it’s something I wouldn’t want to keep away from myself no matter what. I just love Sufi music for many reasons.
How’s your new album different from your previous ones?
I wouldn’t say I’ve done something very different and remarkable. But I assure my listeners that this album is going to be something they won’t want to miss.
Apart from music, what else occupies your time?
I spend my time reading books, traveling, and most of the times, I love being in my room.
You’ve received many awards till date. How much do awards matter to you?
Awards do motivate and make me proud but I don’t think an award is the only ultimate thing a singer would want to achieve. A simple appreciation or a complement can make my day. Comments and suggestions also motivate me. You can’t judge a singer only by the number of awards received. What matters is whether s/he is actually a good singer or not. Awards could be in any form. It doesn’t have to be a tangible token or prize.
You’ve seen tough times while recording your first album. What have you learnt from that and what’s your advice to upcoming/wannabe singers?
I’m sure new singers are going through the experience I had while I was recording my first album. Good companies are difficult to find here. We hardly see professionalism anywhere. These days, singers have started opening their own companies because they have suffered enough to complete and release their albums. Becoming a great singer takes a lot of practice. One should know what he’s capable of. It’s easy to become a singer in Nepal if you’re ready to handle the criticism. Because listeners nowadays are very smart and they know what they want to listen to. This would be my message to upcoming singers.