When Katy Perry asked this humble Nepalese singer to look into the eyes

Ram Khatry I 18 February 2020 I A young Nepal native has exchanged namaste with the world’s greatest singing legends as he stuns the American Idol judges and netizens around the world with three distinctive factors – the originality of his voice, a good-natured personality and his capacity to tell a story through his music.

“Arthur, you are a rock star”, Katy Perry flattered the Kathmandu-born singer.

Lionel Richie walks up to him on the stage, gives him a hug, does a namaste and tells him up-close and personal, “You are a story that we need to tell, and welcome to the world my friend!”

Luke Bryan exclaims at the Nepalese youth’s mesmerising performance, “…And this is in the middle of Kansas!”

The effect of his voice and performance was so strong that the three judges of the American Idol 2020 did not even feel the need to vote. “You are going to Hollywood,” the trio blurted out!

On that sweet note, there you have it – a young man born in the Himalayan foothills trailblazing his way into American limelight.

“My name is Dibesh Pokharel and I go by the stage-name Arthur Gunn and I was born in Nepal, Kathmandu. I loved growing up in Nepal. Yeah, Nepal is very beautiful country,” the singer-songwriter says in an introductory video released by the ABC television.

The bond between Arthur Gunn and the judges clicked in an instant with the three big names eyeing Mr Pokharel with expectation and awe, as he prepared to sing for them.

Katy Perry asked the singer what his name, the original name, meant in his mother tongue. When he explained that it meant “light”, Ms Perry jokingly said that he probably was the “Di Best”. He soon proved he was, at least among the first lot of idol-hopefuls of the season.


Mr Pokharel shared his story with presenter Ryan Seacrest about how fell in love with a new kind of music once he moved to Wichita some five years ago, “Living in Wichita really got me into, like, bluegrass and country. I hadn’t listened to those kinds of music before. But I was, like, pulled towards it, you know? It was like a magnet.”

He confided in the American Idol host that he was “ten percent” nervous and “ninety percent excited” about the audition.

When Mr Pokharel delivered his version of Bob Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country”, the three judges were visibly impressed and began subtly nodding their heads in silent affrimation of his talent.

It was then that Katy Perry requested the young man to look into her eyes, into the eyes of the judges, while he sang. She would explain to him why she made the request after the Nepalese boy gave his second performance which sealed his ticket to Hollywood.

“Just give me another song, just to get a little more of an idea of what you do,” judge Lionel Richie urged after he was stunned by Mr Pokharel’s initial delivery of Bob Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country”.

If there were any doubts at all in the first performance about whether or not to invite Mr Pokharel to Hollywood, the second song nailed the honour for him – with Katy Perry exclaiming “there” and “there you have it”.

Arthur Gunn obliged Mr Richie with “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” leaving the three stalwarts in no doubt they have just found someone who is ready to take on the world stage.

“To be performing in American Idol is a big deal. It is a chance to make my American dream come true,” the man from Kathmandu told the presenter before he appeared in front of the three judges.

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