Narayan Gopal (October 4, 1939 – December 5, 1990) is by far the most prominent and popular singer in Nepali music history. Narayan Gopal Guruacharya was born into a Newar family in Kilagal Tole, Kathmandu, on October 4, 1939 (18 Asoj, 1996 B.S.) to father Asha Gopal Guruacharya and mother Ram Devi Guruacharya. He had five brothers and six sisters. He completed his School Leaving Certificate (S.L.C) exams in 2016 B.S. and obtained Bachelor of Art degree in Humanities from Tri-Chandra College. He is well known as a singer but was also an accomplished composer. His voice range allowed him to sing songs of every genre of Nepali music. His songs are often richly orchestrated with the sitar, harmonium and flute.
Some of his most popular songs include “Euta Manche Ko Maya le Kati)”, “Jhareko Paat Jhai”, “Yo Samjhine Man Cha” , “Saawan ko jhari bani”, “Manche ko Maya”. Narayan Gopal has been given with title “Swar Samrat” (literally, Emperor of Voice) which affirms his position as the supreme genius of Nepali music.
His death was due to organ failures, said to have been caused by his notorious drinking. The cassettes and CDs of his music still make significant sales in Nepal. He has large number of fan following in Nepal as well as in some foreign countries. Many young singers are inspired by him. Most of the Nepalese singers take him as their idol and following his footsteps.
He has sung over 500 songs, including in films, ballets and drama. Most of his songs are melodies. In recognition of his contribution in the field of Nepali music, he has received several national honors and awards; Trishakti Patta, Chinnalata Puraskar to name a few.
In a brief introduction of Narayan Gopal on an album cover, Music Nepal, the largest music company in Nepal, writes:
“The late Narayan Gopal (1996-2046 BS) is regarded as the most popular in the entire domain of modern Nepali music. A still more appropriate introduction of the music maestro would be to call him the King of Vocals or Swar Samrat of contemporary Nepali music. Narayan Gopal, who has enchanted millions of listeners by his immortal melodies has been awarded several national honors among which, Indra Rajya Laxmi Award, Chhinalata Award for vocals, Jagadamba Shree, Trishakti Patta third (awarded post humously) Urvashi Rang and several other honors and decorations bear testimony to his widespread popularity and the eminence he has achieved as a favorite singer of millions.