KATHMANDU, July 25: The “Jaun na Jaun” hitmaker is back in Nepal.
Dikyi Ukyab, a resident of New York, released her debut album “Singer Lining” on August 7 last year and since then has been a well known name in Nepali music. This 20-year-old singer, currently a student of Political Science and Anthropology at State University of New York (SUNY), is in Nepal for her solo concert. Entitled “An Evening with Dikyi Ukyab,” the show is to be held on July 28 at the Army Officers’ Club, Sundhara.
[The tickets for the concert are available at the Doremi Sangeet Pathashala, Jamal; and Bouddha Cassette Centre, Boudha.]
Dikyi, who is trained in classical western music and a participant in her high school choir in New York, is raising funds through the concert. The money raised will be sent to rebuild the school that was ruined in the earthquake that hit her family’s native Olangchungola Village in the remote mountains of the Taplejung District in northeastern Nepal sometime back
“I’m doing whatever little I can,” she said, adding, “My father comes from the village and therefore I share a special bond with the place.”
Republica caught up with the singer and shared a brief chat. Excerpts:
How did the idea occur to you?
I’ve always wanted to do something to give back to my community. It’s the same reason why I started making Nepali music in the first place. My first solo concert seemed like the perfect opportunity to, not only share my voice, but also to help raise money for a good cause. In this case, I wanted to give to the community I;m directly from: Walung in Olangchungola.
What are the expectations from the show on Saturday, and what can the audience expect?
This show will showcase performances from my first album, Silver Lining, and along with that, I’ll be performing for the first time songs from my upcoming album. I’m also recording a Tibetan album, from which I’ll perform a song. Other than that, I’ll be performing a couple of cover songs from other artists, and I’ll also be joined by some well-known singers like Yogeshwor Amatya, Nima Rumba, Ciney Gurung, and Tsujil Karmacharya! It should be a great night of performances!
How has life changed after the release of your first solo album, “Silver Lining”?
To be honest, life is pretty much the same. I’m still at school, and I’m still making music on the side. Things haven’t changed much in Nepal, either, but I’ve gotten to meet a lot of new people and had the pleasure of working with some amazing artists.
You’re a student of Political Science. What do you have to say of the political situation in Nepal?
I personally believe that Nepal is still going through a rather tumultuous transition phase from monarchy to a republic that will continue for a long time. It’s unfortunate that our country must go through these unstable times. However, it’s a necessary period of development for the future. We, as Nepali people, must remember our responsibility as citizens though. Without concerns and care for our government’s actions, we can’t create a better political situation in Nepal. For me, the future may or may not hold politics. For now I’m concentrating on International Relations and Human Rights and would like to continue working in the global spectrum.
You’ve been quoted as saying that music should be “a medium of conveying important messages globally.” How do you plan to do that?
I believe that my music thus far has already done this. Although I may not have sent a literal or specific message, I’ve tried to spread the idea of positivity and the celebration of one’s heritage. For now, I would like to continue sending positive ideas and thoughts through my music and to spread happiness.
Share with us your immediate and long-term future plans.
I’ve got about a month left in Nepal, in which I’ll dedicate most of my time to my concert. In the long term, I want to continue making music both in Nepal and abroad. I’mcurrently recording my second Nepali album with Nhyoo Bajracharya, and my first Tibetan album. In addition, I’m in the process of writing my English EP which people can expect sometime in 2013. I’m still a student and will continue to be so even after my Bachelor’s is done next year, but I don’t plan to leave music anytime soon.
Messages you wish to give to all the aspiring singers and the youth of the country as a whole.
Aspiring singers need to know that rejection is something you can’t escape! No matter how talented you are or how much time you’ve spent on your music, there’ll always be someone who doesn’t like your music. I’m sure this applies to everyone, but the most important thing you’ve got to keep in mind while you’re trying to claw your way to the top is persistence. You’ve literally got to claw your way up there sometimes! Always remain positive and think of all the good things in life, and that’s my message to everyone.