Oz-based Nepalese artistes launch first completely Australian album, “Udaan”

Photo: Satish Shrestha

12 Sep 2016: A group of Sydney-based Nepalese singers and lyricists have produced the first completely “homegrown” Australian Nepalese album following two years of hard work and dedication. Unlike previous productions, all singers and lyricists of Udaan, which means flight in the Nepali language, are from Australia making it truly an Australian undertaking.

The album has seven songs the videos for which are also being filmed entirely in Australia, says singer and musician Ishwor Pokhrel who has been an integral part of the production. Other singes are Samir Acharya, Naren Kulung, Sanjib Parajuli, Mokshada Silwal and Sujata Upadhdhyaya while Pradeep Chapagain and Nisprabh Saji penned the beautiful lyrics of the album. Nepal’s noted musicians Arjun Pokhrel, Ananda Rai, Kalyan Singh, Hemanta Rana, Rajan Raj Siwakoti, Nyu Bajracharya and Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal gave music to the seven songs in Udaan. 

When asked about the challenges of producing a Nepalese music album away from Nepal, Mr Pokhrel says the journey has certainly not been easy. “It is not easy to produce even a single song while overseas as we have work to go to and commitment to family. So we had to work out a lot in the background in the run up to the release of this album – selection of songs, song writers, musicians and arrangers were all part of the challenge,” he told southasia.com.au on Monday.

Guests during the unveiling of “Udaan” which was formally launched by the Consul General of Nepal in NSW, Deepak Khada. Photo: Satish Shrestha

However, he and his mates are now extremely excited, happy and proud that they have successfully overcome all challenges and officially launched Udaan on September 10. The Consul General of Nepal in NSW, Deepak Khadka, unveiled the album amid a formal programme at Hurstville’s Mirana Auditorium last weekend.

raj-ghimireAlthough appreciative of his diaspora’s continued support for his art, Mr Pokhrel is not entirely without complaints when it came to the number of people who attended the programme on Saturday, “We had definitely expected more people. Still, to have 265 plus strong audience is not too bad, specially given the fact that these days there are always multiple programmes in Sydney during weekends which of course distributes the audience.”

Rajan Ghimire, a well-known TV personality from Kathmandu, says nothing but the total dedication that the artistes have to their passion could have made Udaan possible. “It is a highly commendable achievement of the team. They may not make money out of it, they know it and still they are completely committed to their art which we must all appreciate and support,” Mr Ghimire said in a telephone conversation with southasia.com.au.

Ishwor Pokhrel
Ishwor Pokhrel

There is substantial presence of Nepalese-speaking people in Australia. But is there enough to sustain professional musical undertakings such as Udaan? The Sydney chapter president of International Nepalese Artist Society (INAS) reckons there is. “Well, we definitely have that market as Australian Nepalese diaspora is now present in each and every corner of the country,” Mr Pokhrel pointed out. But people in the diaspora must realise that “art is not for free”, he added, “but of course artistes also need to have that potential too”.

Besides music, Mr Pokhrel is also involved in regular socal activities of his community. He says despite his family commitments, he will always be “involved in music and will always be working to promote music, art and culture from overseas.”

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