Though she started her career as an English teacher, she never lost sight of her first love. Five years ago, this love culminated in her first album Yo Man—which was greeted as a hit by listeners across. The songs Timro Mayama and Mann yielded rave reviews thanks to her unique voice and soulful expressions. The video of Mann was a huge hit which etched her name firmly on Nepali music and she has never looked back since then. “This song is very special to me as it is about the pain and loss of my own life which ultimately became a good omen for me.” Till now, she has sung more than 30 songs with two solo albums. But she can never forget the hardships she went through in the initial phase. “My husband Rojesh shot the video of the song Mann with a handy cam and completed the whole project in just Rs. 8,000.”
Her latest hit Mero Pyaro Manche Timi from the album Reflections of Love added to her popularity among Nepali listeners. The soulful track topped the charts as soon as it was released. “Wherever I go, my fans want me to sing this song first,” she says. Last year, Gurung swept all the major awards for the best female singer for the song. But she doesn’t want all the credit. “Basanta Chaudhary’s meaningful lyrics and Nhyoo Bajhracharya’s music has equal share in the success.”
Gurung is not only a singer; she composes her own songs as well. She has also given music to the film Goodbye Kathmandu directed by Nabin Subba—only the second female Nepali music director after Shanti Thatal. Gurung is also one of the ambassadors for Children for Green New Nepal (CGNN), an organisation working for the environment.
Despite her success, she says it is very hard to survive with only music as a profession. “Living in an expensive city like Kathmandu and doing only music is not very amusing.” Her experience tells her that it’s more difficult for female singers than their male counterparts. “Finding sponsors for the album is the toughest job. Sponsors still do not trust the talent of female singers,” she says. Unprofessionalism and instability are the other drawbacks. “Organisers make us sing but they hardly pay us. Some of them don’t even bother to pick up our calls,” her expression changes as she talks about the situation.
But she believes the change will come. She gives the example of other female singers as a testament. “I am a huge fan of Aruna Lama and Taradevi. And I really adore the singing of Ani Choying Dolma and Anju Panta. Their success can be compared with any male singer’s success today.” She doesn’t deny that she too has a fan following. “Whenever I go to places, young boys and girls call my name aloud. This makes me ignore all sorrows.” She adds that the biggest thing anyone earns through music is the people’s love. “I believe I will leave something behind me. I think I am blessed with a different kind of voice and people like me for that,” she says.
Source: The Kathmandu Post