Think of Darjeeling and you think of beauty, love and music.

And perhaps Darjeel ing touched us so with its music like no other phenomena did. Music is universal they would say, and that it speaks one language. It does, literally in this cas e. But it definitely comes in different colors. And we cannot deny the fact that modern music of Nepal wears a few shades of that color from the East of the bor der. Darjeeling - the queen of hills. The most beautiful of them all - where love blo oms in the tea leaves, music floats in the air. It's a picture perfect paradise. The image of Darjeeling we have is almost like a garden of heaven. The tea gard ens carpeting the hill slopes on both sides of the road that circles towards the sky - like a string from a fairy's tresses; couples in love everywhere; young l ads strumming their guitars in every corner of the street and in every tea shop; prosperous, carefree and happy people everywhere. Darjeeling fascinates us perh aps like no other city in the whole world. Everything Darjeeling touched us so the tea, the train, the hills, the people, the music: We have a soul connection with the town. It would not be an exaggeration to state that Darjeeling has a major impact in b oth Eastern and Western music scenes in Nepal. From Ambar Gurung to Rusty Nails, the city has poured in its talents continuously to add to the richness of music of our country. Nepal on the other hand has been proving to be a fertile ground for talents to grow, which perhaps they would have been deprived of otherwise. We lose track of calendar as we indulge into the nostalgia of that glorious past of Nepali music, when along with the homemade tunes of local talents, we had th e pleasure of enjoying the flavored music from our cousins in Darjeeling. It wou ld take more detailed research to put a finger on time, to mark a date when all time hits like Musu Musu, for example, entered into the hearts of Nepali music l overs. But here we are trying to recapture a few moments here and there from tha t pleasantly misty history of the music from the hills. From the early sixties Nepal has been a dwelling ground for the musicians from D arjeeling (along with other artists and professionals). The common root shared b y the Nepalis on both sides made the experience easy (Before 1816, the territory of Darjeeling was under Nepal). Around 1966, Ambar Gurung was one of the first one to migrate to Nepal when King Mahendra invited him. That paved the way for t he influx of talents from the hill station to the country. Ambar Gurung settled here, and so did a few other veterans like Gopal Yonjon, and many other lesser-k nown musicians. Some others like Karma Yonjon, Saran Pradhan and Aruna Lama chos e to stay back, but their contribution to Nepali music cannot be undermined. It would not have been just as rich if singers like Aruna Lama were not to be inclu ded in the history. Nepali modern music till date receives a generous helping ha nd from Darjeeling, latest in the list being Manila and Udaya Sotang, and Suresh Kumar, among others. During the east India company's rule in India, the British were fascinated with Darjeeling to the level of obsession. They leased out the land from the King of Sikkim in 1835, and started decorating it with tea gardens, schools, churches an d the railway station. In the course of time, Darjeeling prospered on the ground s of education from some of best schools in the world and discipline from the ch urches. Prosperity nurtures talents. Almost immediately after independence of In dia in 1947, talents emerged in Darjeeling in all forms of art. And there always were young lads wanting to be The Beatles. Hillians - (from left) - K. K. Gurung, Peter Karthak, Mark Karthak, Phurba Tsher ing and Ranjit Gazmer Hillians 'The Sikkimese Beatles' Whom the Time magazine in its April 1972 editio

He sang like one too. Until 1975. married her and settled down. Louis Banks. The band was called Hillians. He had initially planned to travel for ten months. "He looked very much like El vis with the hair-do and the clothes. when he was 19. a name given by Choden. but he was always st uck with it and the times were moving on. For Peter J. the founder of the Hillians. Hill ians was a professionally successful venture. By 1962. The band members got their shares periodically as salary and bonus. those were history. Peter left Darjeeling to come to Kathamnd u. the whole world was a stage for music. He is now an established journalist and a . Peter. (The Elvis style) was a bit outdated because we hardly sang a couple of Elvis songs. About a decade after India's independence. Of may Nepali songs they did Peter now remembers Ramra Ramra that was 'custom made' by Ambar Gurung for the Hillians. Gurung being the son of an emerging politician has to stay behind to help his father. and there were the flow er power revolution and the Vietnam war those consciousness raising phenomenon. Besides doing western covers. As he remembers now. he started playing. He later switched to lead guitars when K. Elvis Presleys and later The Beatles. Jazz) Louis Banks (Dambar Bahadur Budhapriti. tea. "Ambar Gurung composed this song for us to compete with or to compliment the son gs like Narayan Gopal's Ankhako Bhakha Ankhaile. Later on Lali t left the band. Gurung joined in as the ele ctric bass guitarist. We wanted to do Cliff Richard. and there were musicians like George Banks and so n (Mr. "He resembled Elvis. singing in the choir regularly in church was what instilled the musical intuition in hi m. the Hillians invaded the hearts of music lover s at the time. remembe rs earning 1000 Indian rupees a night (collectively by the band) back in those d ays. and the remaining two brothers filled in as the vocalists. The four is the four vital components for the development of the district tourism. as the band leader.K." Peter remembers of Lalit now. the members of the Hillians were also involved in creating and performing Easter (Nepali) music with the Sangam group. Karthak. but he fell in love with a newari girl in Kathamndu. Hillians disbanded when Peter graduated from college. During his active period as a musician in Kathmandu. teaching and timber were their peaks. With the guidance and inf luence from senior musicians like George Banks. "Among the teenagers.) where he later quit because of the 'politicization of art and cult ure'. K. The Liv erpool Sound I mean things were happening and we had to be dynamic to make our l iving as a very professional band. Ambar Gurung and In dra Thapalia.n mistakenly termed 'The Sikkimese Beatles'. As he grew up. Peter had a band with his brother Mark Karthak on rhythm guitar and Lalit Tamang on vocals. There we re Cliff Richards. we were the most moneyed people. The ear nings also helped them keep up-to-date with latest records and instruments they usually bought from the foreign students.K." With this kind of p rofessionalism and perfectionism. Rock and light Jazz were what they did regularly in clubs and other venues. Peter was a n active musician in Radio Nepal (where he also composed a song together with Ra njit Gazmer. the Hillians was the first rock ban d of Darjeeling. Peter initial ly played double bass (the acoustic bass) in the band. ('God Father of Jazz in Ind ia') in groups playing sing-and-dance numbers for the elite class in bow ties an d tuxedoes. which was h eaded by Ranjit Gazmer and Saran Pradhan. the stage was set fo r the talents. while at the same time pl aying the instrument with George Bank's bands in Gymkhana and other clubs in Dar jeeling. a friend of the band." Peter remembers. Other original members of the band were Ranjit Gazmer in p ercussions and Phurba Tsering playing the French horn and trumpet. Ranjit Gazmer was already married with two daughters. Narayan Gopal has visited Darje eling back then. he developed a musical predilection. Not only Darjeeling. The club scene afte r the British fashion was hot. he also played here a nd occasionally with other musicians. it was his religion Christani ty that was the foundation of his musical learning.

Suren Rai holds a government job. but till then the show would go on. He remembers of days he used to practice five hours a day. members dis persing to form other bands. In several schools set up by the churches. he went to Britain for a few years. Diamonds Formed in the second half of the 60s." It was of course very much there back then when him and scores of others like hi m had the center stage to themselves. I ncluding Extreme Moderation with Dambar Subba and Subarna Limbu. which he nam ed after his son. and music was the fasted g rowing phenomenon. it's all gone now. Definitely his first love. fans follo wing. He was with many bands at the time. Diamonds broke up in early 70s. who too served the purpose. and the o pportunity to get their hands on the newest records from their idols in the west . Subarna is also a studio musician and does music arrangement. "This was such a happening place. It was a paradise where every art form prospered. and still talks about the guitar with so much passion and affection. With musicians like Pemba Lepcha. Nightlife was vibrant. there were numerous young peop le doing music in Darjeeling. young wannabes with the interaction. people from all over the world came t o study. watched movies and taught himse lf to place fingers and strum the strings. That provided the local. Puran Gongba 13-year old Puran Gongba (right) posing with his first guitar One of the gems that shone in that wild east during those prosperous times was P uran Gongba. But now he has sold all his equipments. He tirelessly listened to the radio. Among the band members of Diamonds. Praven Gazmer and Subarna Limbu.Subarn a joined later on and two of them are still playing in the band. His days are spent in his pub Joey's Pub. the last time he went on stage was around 1985. Diamonds are considered by some as the fir st band to start western rock in Darjeeling. Suren Rai. the band started off pl aying the instrumentals by Ventura and Shadows. and went on to play the covers o f The Beatles." He told us. wh ere he worked and took guitar lessons. and the young ones joining the bandwagon. The unfortunate slowing down of the musical steam engine that literally stole the show in the area would happen later on around mid 80s. During and after the Hillians. He has stopped playing. and the latest gadgets and instruments. That was when he learnt to read music. Mark also left Darjeeling for Kathamndu a year after his brother . "Sadly. In between. and learned it th e hard way.reputed writer. It was one of the most happening places in the who le of subcontinent. He is one of musicians from the western music scene in Darjeeling w ho is still remembered by the old timers and respected by the new comers. from the 50s to the first half of the 8 0s. Soon to be 52 years old (in February). Peter remembers the last time he played the guitar 1979 February in Hong Kong. As wit h most of them. Santana and the like. And they got the crowd roaring. People used to roam around without fea r at night. B ikram Subba. He also played with the Hillians one season. people in Darjeeling (mostly foreigners) call him Joey these days. The Golden era Darjeeling was hot back in the old days. . almost every night some gig or the ot her took place at several venues in town. And there were the British army person nel coming to the hill station for holidays. Pemba later formed Prism in Kathmandu. he started playing the guitar out of interest.

Sunrise and Snake Charmer. Besides teaching in his academy. But they had to take a bite by all means. The Forbidden Fruit Perhaps the first rock band from Darjeeling to make news in Katmandu was Forbidd en Fruit. Mahendra Lama founded Melody Academy in 1978. Jivan Pradhan on bass guitar an d Paulgose on guitars and vocals. still is. Breaking up of bands was almost a natural phenomenon in Darjeeling. Even thoug h he is known more as violinist these days. Father is said to be the first one to play the guitar in Darjeeling. it is the scene that music serves. Jeevan Pradhan Jeevan Pradhan One of the important people responsible for making Darjeeling stand out in the m usic scene of the area is Jeevan Pradhan. and with his job as a teacher in Turnbull High School. Later Forbid den Fruit was also selected because they did a different kind of music. as Paulgose. and that's when his musical career started. he also plays organ regularly at the church. While E astern music was accepted Western music was something their parents warned them against. Jeevan remembers his father forcing him to start learning violin from the age of eight. He was born in a musical family of 12 children. After all it was the English school background that encouraged them to listen to the music. Some of the major operas he has directed are Le Miserable. Soon. The y couldn't care less if they were thrown out of their homes or their grades went down in school. Till today. he started lear ning the piano. and so perhaps had the most impact on the western music scene there. very bad thing. Oli ver Twist and Jesus Christ Superstar. As Paulgose remembers now. the front man of the band told us. watching the senior boys practice. He has also composed some fine p ieces. It was a forbidden fruit. Evita. He pass ed out from school in 1969. and at the age of 20. the long hair. polyster pants were considered a curse on the society. "Western music. They even had a small choir group at home itself. which are taught even here in Kathmandu. he has also been involved in the process of making of musicians through an institution founded by his father.and Bikram runs a studio in Darjeeling called Ears Studio. he is also engaged in direct ing plays. Forbidden Fruit actually started in 1970 with the original line-up of Robert Wilson on drums. It also helps the outstanding stu dents to prepare for exams affiliated to Trinity College of Music in London. Viveka Wilson on piano. Besides being a polished musician hims elf. In college. he was sharing his musical expertise with students in his father's academy. Jeevan now is more in to classical. For Jeeven. and they started playing in turns. Some of his well-known compositi ons are Ecstasy. And there were people coming for their holidays. and the siblings too share the similar interest in music. to provide the general public with an opportunity to learn various forms of mus ic at an affordable price. Once also into the rock music scene playing with various bands in Darjeeling. playing guitar those days was almost a taboo. It happened as with most bands their musical journey began out of personal interests. There was no particular histo rical background of the band though. A month. With people going . It was also the longest lasting band in Darjeeling. and the idea of sharing joys thro ugh music that keeps him going." Paulgose remembers. Diamonds were already rocking 'n rolling regularly at the gymkhana. and is a member of the Delhi Symphonic Society. He start ed learning guitar discreetly. the academy imparts the musical education to its students in as low as 150 Rs. the only symphonic soci ety in India. Th ere were foreign students who went home during holidays and came back again in n ew sessions. His mother too is a singer. he tried his hands on guitar.

That's what happen ed with the Forbidden Fruit too. a lmost from the very beginning of his musical journey. when he starte d. with drummer George Subba and two local mu sicians. They also performed outside Darjeeling several times. but nonetheless did make history as the first western music album in Darjeeling. including John Glasby (an Australian who was doing his teachers' tra ining in Mount Hermon School) who replaced Paulgose in guitars. It was during those late years that Fo rbidden Fruit had The First Bite the first rock album. In 1974 Deep Arora joined in as th e vocalist.back and forth. and almost all-publi c activity came to a sudden halt. Darjeeling saw the finest of schools closing down for mon ths in a row because of strikes. As with most of the ban ds. I t is a bitter experience for everyone involved. But m . Few of his songs have been recorded earlier. but it has manag ed to survive till date. During the movement. Paulgose has been composin g songs of his own. became the cause of downfall of it. who was earlier in Violence. And that's what keeps them going. and perhaps the only one till date. and Raj Davis. which l asted for a few years. Later on. Mohan Giri (drums) and Pasang Bhutia (vocals). Paulgose also formed a band called The Legends. he was joined by two foreigners and they became Rags to Ric hes. and has been playing at least two or three times a year . the new lineup of the band had Kuldeep on drums and Mahendra Lama (who later pla yed with Prism in Kathmandu) on bass guitars while Paulgose played the guitars a nd Deep as the vocalist. It is a deeply saddening fact that the very mo ment started to protect and uplift the cultural identity of the minority Indian Nepalis. nightlife ceased to exist. After Deep and Paulgose joined forces. Magnum Opus is another band playing in that decade. it was the beginning of the darkest period in the history of Darjeeling . It was a home recording with no proper equipment. after which they frizzled out. In the course of time. The harsh social change after the movement offered the bands l ike these absolutely no concession. and later became the main vocalist. but none so far has been popular . But now he is ready with his solo album. Deep carried the band forward for a few more years with some n ew members. which he plans to release in Kathmand u soon. The Gorkhaland movement. which he thought was too radical for the 70s. Majori ty of those who were young and somehow got tangled to it hardly talk about it. Keshar Subba (bass). That was perhaps the first time Darjeeling got to hear a keyboard performance with a rock band. Deven Gurung joined the band in 1986 i n the second vocals. has a major impact on the whole social structure of Darjeeling. including a solo gig in Kathmandu and one in Pokhara. All this while. Palden(lead guitar). Binod Subba replaced the drummer when Robert quit after a year or so. US Band is one such band that had a fan following even in Kath mandu. which started in the mid 80s. a new member on keyboards. bands used to have new line-ups all the time. That band with that lineup was active till the early 80 s. The band started in 1 980 with Mahesh Thapa (guitars). where he joined P rism for a while. several changes in the line-up occurred in Magnum Opus too. Paulgose left for Kathmandu. The Music After Despite the political instability there were a few bands that were active in som e way in 80s too. He had also perf ormed a new band called the Rap City. The senior citizens of Darjeeling w ho went through the period speak of the experience in distress and agony. In Kathmandu Paulgose played with Prism in Soaltee for a while." Deven told us. In between. The First Bite It was after the Forbidden Fruit that the music scene in Darjeeling had a visibl e down fall. "Music has always been a source of inspiration. And for the musicians and other artists. There was less money and no accolades.

any idea where he is now? The fact that Mohan was his brothe r ensured that we always got our hands on their gear (and they had a whole lot o f it back then. We came to a deal. and Christopher Masand was on the k eyboards. Then there was this group from Gangtok called Shining stars (if I remember correct) whose turn was last and who se lead guitarist I knew (we had played together before).only a broken down bass guitar which my bas sist reluctantly tagged along. Mohan Dixit. Then it all came flooding back to me. And may be that is why the m usicians move in search for greener pastures. the way we performed. If I remember correct Rudy Wallang was the lead vocalist with the Shillong group o f yesteryears 'Great Society'. We had no real equipment. I did attend a gig in the days when Puii was singing with them (she was really good). 2005 5:13 pm Post subject: Memories of Beat contest in Gangtok in the Eighties Courtesy: http://darjeelingnews. 2005 8:37 am I missed most of the eighties. the current generation of young rockers is having as much fun as we d id back then. We r eadily agreed but by the time we came on stage it was past midnight and only a h andful of spectators remained who were drunk so badly that even if we had played some Greek song they wouldn't have I remember the year-1985. The main title contenders were Great Society and our very own Forbidd en Fruit.the band Funeral Fi re seems to have made it to the Great Indian Rock festival in Delhi this year. Raj David. As was expected Gay Foning and his band 'US Band' came fi rst. Hopefully. Suren Ra i and Kiran Mukhia). When the draw for the turn each band had to appea r on stage was declared my group was placed 4th. .usic is stronger than drugs. The migration of Nepali artists fr om Darjeeling to Nepal started back then. the next years Beat Contest had me on stage with a band I had hurried ly formed. Anyway. We used to poach some of their gear for our gigs when in Mo unt Hermon School. Kuldeep Arora.Gangtok in 1985 Posted by: sandybeaches on Sun Feb 06. The event was the Blue Sheep Bea t contest.php?t=673 Was surprised the other day to read in the newspaper that Rudy Wallang had perfo rmed at a local restaurant here In New Delhi. They were an Authentic rock band from Shillong wh o hit the headlines in the early part of the Eighties. Strangely that name seemed to hit a chord deep down somewhere in my mind. you will hardly find a studio without a musi cian from Darjeeling.on Sun Feb 13. I was glad they were drunk. but was around when Forbidden Fruit was active in the late seventies (Deep Arora. Posted by -Jayant S. Of course. Sudip Dixit was in my class and played rhythm guitar for my b and in those days . If you check the mush rooming music studios in Kathmandu. including a really sweet little Fender Twin Reverb amp that late r ended up with Palden of Magnum Opus.the y would use our turn and in return they would let us use their instruments. still continues. There does seem to be a lot of talent around . Forbidden Fruit wins Blue Sheep Beat contest. People still talk about how Rudy Wallang sang that song 'Satisfaction' and in the bargain he almost performed an impromptu strip tease in front of the delirious Gangtok crowd (a good 60% was from Darjeeling) Of course Forbidden Fr uit were up to the challenge but what tilted the contest in their favour was a M izo girl called PUII who sang 'What a feeling'.The place was Gangtok. you can't quit easily.

where he learned the guitar from a friend. There are however a few musicians like Mani Kamal Chhetry among the senior lot who are still active in the eastern music scene. after which he played in numerous concerts and contests. you can hardly find a shop open after that. Mumbai ( independence rock). Regular gigs are stories of bygon e days. he was with numerous other bands and at pr esent heads Carnival and Kanchanjunga Cultural Troupe as the music director. as most of the pe ople we met there this time told us. second vocals) and Dinesh (vocals rhythm guitars). few important members were Subarna Limbu. In Darjeeling. The interaction between school s in sports and 'social' has almost ceased to exist. Among them. it is not a happening place anymore. "You can't do a show in Darjee ling these days. He did his schooling in North Point. In western music. they have been playing regularly. George Subba (drums). Freedom and a few other bands in a concert at the city hall. Chowrasta em pties by 7. Pralaya now has its eyes on places outside Darjeeling to continue that they like . performed with Brotherhood. Pr ahlad (bass. Pralaya Pralaya. Present Day Back in Darjeeling. Pralaya ha s participated and won in several contests. Since their fo rmation. Sonam on guitars. scores of musicians being a part of it at one time or the other.Prism Dinesh Rai is one of the musicians who came here during the late 70s. His first stage performance was when he was in class 10. among others. performing at a rock show competition Pralaya started in 1995 with Rajib Thatal on vocals. Prism saw many changes in its lineup. Starting with Carnival band in 1976. Dawa Dukpa on guitars and Sachin on keyboards. In its history of two decades. Rim ela Moktan and Jeevan Pradhan in the present generation are trying to keep it go ing. An d lately also listen to Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit. If there is one it takes place hardly once in two months. Chandan Lomjel is another individual w ho is involved in both Eastern and Western music in Darjeeling from a long time. Hellrider s. Mahendra Lama and Daniel Karthak. When in Kathmandu. Destination. they have playe d only four times so far. Damaged Brain and Divine Wreck. the picture is even grimmer. Delhi (IIFT). Hill ocks. Schools popular worldwide one time for its extra curricular activities. Deep Purple. and all art forms (sports too). has taken a back seat . They are into progre ssive rock and are influenced by bands like Rush. The list of professional shows they have done so far inc ludes places like Kalimpong. Bagdogra. Lucknow and Bhutan. rarely have events like music competitions or musicals. Together they formed the oldest existing band in Nep al Prism in 1978. Darjeeling sle eps after 8 these days." Rajib told us. Harish Se na on drums. The initial l ineup of Prism had Pemba (band leader. Dream Theatre. Nagaland. trying to rock Darjeeling once again. There are Reincarnation. lead guitarist). music. mostly outside Darjeeling. In music. and the same year in October. he was invited by Pemba Lepcha and Pr ahlad Rokka to form a band. One such band that has been trying to set the hills ablaze with rock is P ralaya. Benagudi (Dooars). including three times in IIT Delhi a nd twice in IIT Kanpur. Dev Rana joined the band after George Subba left. Livathon. last one being in 1998. Hope for the future But even in this grim scenario there are few young generation wannabes who give you a glimpse of hope.

Till such times our musicians have suitable day time jobs and can dedicate enoug h time to their music. but most of them end up unsuccessful in making a career out of Darjeeling is and has always been famous for its musicians. Very true! Holidays are over and I m back at work. While Mantra kept playing and s tayed together as a band The Reincarnation guys split up and ended doing their o wn gigs separately. they see more hopes in Kathmandu. The only one place in town that offers rock bands a platform and some money is The Buzz at Glenary's. Some make it big in other places such as Kathmandu and Bombay. Sahdev is perhaps one of the finest guitarists to have come out of Darjeeling and Sanjit is very good dr ummer as well as a singer. but for Darjeeling. Neeraz dai. Rock Music and Darjeeling Courtesy: DarjeelingTown. We always blame our rock bands being not up to the mark compared to the cities.doing the most. Their come back performance was at the recently held Inter C ollege Fest CONFLUENCE in Gymkhana with the younger generation still going wild with their All good things come to an end. some are lucky to create their own identity in Darjeeling. the cause for the migr ation of talents in such numbers might be most unfortunate. Every house hold has atleast one member who plays some musical instrument or the other with the guit ar being the most famous. we must be ready to see them off to Delhi. So it is not surprising to find many good bands who co me out every six months in Darjeeling.. In the cities one c an work in the day time and perform shows at night. A month ago we were planning on reviving The Reincarn ation as they were so good at one time with their single "Hijo Samma" reaching c ult status and creating waves and fan following. It was about a week back that we witnessed Mantra performing at the anniversary of Kantipur FM. Bangalore and other major cities where they can earn a living and keep their dreams aside. and like most musicians and bands there. After Mantra s performance was over eve . Mantra Band from the Darjeeling Courtesy: Fursad. their first performance in Nepal. It is therefore very saddening to hear that Sahdev and Sanjit of The Reincarnati on are leaving for Delhi to find jobs as Music teacher. Unless and until our guys get propoer job opportunities right here in Darjeeling our music scenario will not change drastically. but the truth is there is no proper way out for these guys. Out here its impossible to d o that. upon learning that the band Mantra was in town insisted that I do a n immediate interview on them for he had had the privilege of meeting them durin g his last visit to Darjeeling and that he was very impressed with their music.. There is also the lack of good jobs available. I was there to enjoy the show along with a group of my musician friends. It might be a favorable climate for the music industry in Nepal havi ng the talented musicians joining in. The reason our rock bands cannot make a living / career out of music is there is not enough oppurtunities to perform shows and make a living out music.

which became very popular and encouraged us to work on an album of our own. the lead guitarist of Mantra who spoke on behalf of the band. The song wasn t able to get the same publicity anywhere else as it has in Darjeeling and other surrounding places.rybody said that they rocked and I agreed! Every member of the band put in their 100% but I don t know why. my mind was more into the bass guitarist. we are not complaining. We intend to do a concert sometime in February and hopefully. Well! A holy name for our band for good luck (chuckles)! How was the experience of performing for the first time in Nepal? It was a very nice experience. Lets see what develops. If it has brought us more recog nition. it will work out. Mantra is a Darjeeling based band. Taal Music said tha t they had the copyrights to the song but IndreniCassetteCenter sold the rights to Sony Music. do also check out our profile section. We were very happy after w e heard the applause and the once more encores! We are very thankful to Kathmandu for their appreciation towards our music. We released our first single titled Timi Bina inclu ded on the collection album Gorkha Rocks . The song is ver y popular back home. Rock Yatra in 2005 and Himali Nepali in 2006 There was a copyright issue concerning the song Bir Ghorkhali . Initially we were just three of us me (Praggya) on le ad guitars. We used to play instrumentals a t gigs but after a few months. there is nothing wrong with that but we wanted something different. today I present to you my short chit chat with Praggya Lama. We came up with the name Mantra and its holy con notation to the word. What do you guys think about Nepali mainstream rock music? It s getting better. For further details on the band. It was very nice of them to spare some time from their hectic sc hedules to talk to us. we realized that we needed a vocalist and Vaskar Dewan joined in. Like Robin & The New Revolution. What do you guys think about this statement? Mantra The song Bir Gorkhali that Prashant sang was from our first album. There are a lot of bands that we get inspirations from. So when Prashant sang the song it became more like his song. Can you tell us how it all began! Mantra was formed in 2000. Mukti & Revival. Dear fursadreaders. Later we invited keyboardist Manish Thapa to join us as well fo llowed by Bidhan on the flute. 1974 AD and so on. they are here for a short while and they are leaving for home on Sunday. How difficult is it for you guys to do music in Darjeeling? Yah it s difficult! We are trying our best to bring our music for the audience her e. Some of them are of the opinion that it was because of Prasant Tamang that came into the lime light. What s the story? . So that s that. We were excited and at the same time we were nerv ous too on whether the audience would like us or not. We ve been talking to our company Taal Mu sic regarding it. Bishal on drums and Pravash on Bass. We are hoping for the best! Albums from Mantra so far? First album was Mantra released in 2003. We are planning for a major concert he re in Kathmandu and in other cities too. We ll be very happy if the audience here listen to our music and support us if they like our kind of music. Why the specific name Mantra for the band? We have seen rock bands with English names.

16: A hard slog in the regional and national circuits has final ly paid off for Mantra. said guitarist Pragya Lama. whereas flutist Bidhan is assoc iated with the Darjeeling Police and the drummer Bishal is in the Indian Army.The song is from our first album and we had released the album under the banner of Indreni Cassette Center. The band has also performed in the Great Indian Rock Festival in New Delhi in 20 06 and their song Bir Gorkhali was included by Sony in Indian Idol Prashant Tamang s album Dhanyavad. Manish and Prabhat are full time musicians. Even in Kathmandu. It has been quite a journey from 1999 when six young singers decided to make mus ic their career and formed Mantra. Later we were associated with Taal Music. arranging and stuff like that. . Mantra will perform in Hong Kong with other singers from Nepal s music industry on Christmas Eve. It was only in 2002. We had to record songs in Darjeeling and then go to Kath mandu for post-recording editing. Indreni Cassette Center has the authority to the origi nal song. Their song Sanskriti was nominated for the Annual Hits FM Awards i n Kathmandu in 2005-06 followed by another nomination for the same award for the ir song Himali Nepali in 2007. We have to rely on music comp anies from Nepal even for our marketing in India. with trips to Singapore and Australia to follow. The Nepali rock band from Darjeeling will soon fly off t o Hong Kong for a concert. said drummer Briju Chowdhury. said Bhashkar Dewan. said Lama. Mantra has neverthel ess toured extensively in Bhutan and the northeastern states. Unless you are real ly good. Whereas. Staying in Darjeeling has been a constant struggle.The Telegraph Darjeeling. the band had to work hard to establish their name. We will also tour Singapore in Febr uary and Australia in March. Dec. Taal Music holds the rights to the remixing and rerecord ing of the song. When we started. Their stocks have risen sharply in the last c ouple of years. This is the first time that a band from Darjeeling has been invit ed to perform their original numbers abroad. after one of ours songs Timi Bina became a hit. What do you guys do besides music? Me. we had no good equipment and it was difficult to convince music companies of our worth. What do you guys do during your fursad ? We talk about music. Lama added. surf the net and play pool Band from Darjeeling ready to rock Hong Kong VIVEK CHHETRI . it is difficult to sustain solely on music in the hills. As per our contractual agreement. founder member and lead vo calist of Mantra. The other members who make the band are Bidhan Thapa (flute and saxophone) and M anish Thapa (keyboard). The band-members are quick to point out that success did not come easily. listen to different genres of music. We do various music related work s like recording. that we started getting a good response from music companies.

"Ofcourse. besides the town of Darjeeling i tself where they were born in 1999. When the band got its firs t exposure outside the hills. We are technically more equipped than o ur predecessors. local bands that were their inspiration. said Chowdhury.Band from the hills Courtesy: http://2xxx0. and now dead. They are quite popular in Darjeeling as well as North East India and Nepal. It was the same year that the band released its first number "Timi Bina" in the compilation "Gorkha Rocks Volume I" . I was the re when they had performed during the Darjeeling Carnival and what I can say is that "They have become pros".In Hong seems that the whole crowd was bouncing back and forth to t he tune which mantra was playing. a finalist in a recent reality contest. Their sound is upbeat. Himachal Pradesh. Faluda Mantra. we will definitely come up with music for the Indian They have cast a spell in the Darjeeling Hills. The musical concert was jam packed and not even an inch was empty . Mantra has also performed in Dharamsala.tripod." says Pragya Lama . Cracking the national scene remains Mantra s dream. "Mantra is about positive vibes. just what a region wi th an exhausted civic space needs. says Bhaskar Dewan.average age 24 . will also join us. said Dewan. which happened on the year of its formation at the IIT Kharagpur's Spring e lead guitarist and the youngest member of the band. the band will perform with artists like Adrian Pradhan of the 197 AD fame and Karma Sherpa. a Nepalese musical band from Darjeeling has created waves in the Darjeel ing hills through its ravaging music which has swept like a wild fire. Once we are through with our to urs.Theme song) Mantra .. Darjeeling is considered to be the homeground for music and one of the leading b ands in the revival of music in Darjeeling after the agitation is Mantra. Mantra Band's first Nepali musical album mp3s Pass: http://nepalisongsmp3. Here you are with Mantra's First ever Nepali album including the hit songs Ekant ama and Bir Gorkhali: 1) Timi Bina 2) Rimzim Rimzim 3) Ekantama 4) Sara Sansar 5) Sapana 6) Bir Gorkhali 7) Pari 8) Guiding Light (Mantra . the sounds are different now. Pragya was just about to finish his Class X. a talented singer from this region. on invitation and won the Gangtok Beat Contest 2002.who is proud to admit that it is the old. transcend political boundaries.. It's a bunch of young men .blogspot. the band's vocalist who is also a teacher in Turnbull Boy's High School. We want to make our people feel good about them selves and their place. which makes a difference in the output's quality".the crowd .

Pink Floyd and the kind. Dooars and Kurseong. Vicky walked away with the best vocals award. Mantra dishes out cover versions of popular heavy metal and popula r heavy rock numbers. The aspirations are big time. the band soon began performing at minor gigs in and around Darjeeling. This event enabled them to get their track Hijo Samma find its way into Gorkha R ocks compilation from the hills. Siliguri." says Bhaskar. The dying music episode in Darjeeling and their zeal for music aroused their sen ses to revive the spirit of Rock in the hills. Sanjit taking care of his drums along with Dhiraj on percussions. Deep P urple. Guns n Roses. What sets the band apart from the rest is perhaps their willingness to experimen t with different forms of music and not just sticking to a particular genre and doing cover versions of English Rock bands. "We want to enter into the national scene. They perfor med before 1000 thronging heads here at the Darjeeling Carnival 2003 . The Reincarnation bagged the first p osition in the first Nepali Pop Competition held in Darjeeling during the year 200 1. Kansas as most youngsters of the region. The Reincarnation Courtesy: http://www. They are especially good at Iron Maiden. Deep Purple. Music for Peace what the Reincarnation aspires and performs. Despite being pitted against the two bigges t bands at that time. the boys managed to get the attention of the crowd.darjeelingnews. They are not bound by change in language. Gangtok. the Reincarnation s biggest moment was when they made a clear sweep of al l the major awards at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur festiva l in 2000. Growing up on a staple dose of Iron Maiden. Kalyan on bass. one of the hottest bands in Nepali Rock music scene. Dewakar on the keybo ards. Lets see we are tr ying. their music still stand apart eve is . The year 2003 saw them open for 1974 AD. but for them music itself is a univers al language. This was followed by a series of c oncerts in Darjeeling and its allied areas. they have proved their versatility and have become a hous ehold name. by part icipating in an event like the 'Independence Rock' at Mumbai. Mirik. Work started right next morning with Vicky as the front man. when they opened for Pralaya & Magnum Opus in Darjeeling.html It all happened in 1998 when a group of friends unanimously came together with a confined intension to Rock n Roll in the Autumn Serenade 98. they have succeeded in acquainting the people with their music. Needless to add . As far as their brand of music is concerned. Van Halen.will not allow a Mantra gig to end without it. the best lead guitarist title went to Shadeo and the best drummer was bagged by Sanjit. D oors. Going through immense hardships. the Reincarnation was declared the Best Band . The bu rning unleashed and burst forth with an enthusiasm that set the stage and thus b egan the saga of the Reincarnation .net/artist_profiles/bands/reincarnation. However. 2003. Sha deo as lead guitarist accompanied by Sandeep on 2nd guitar. With Hijo Samma gaining immense popularity they performed at major c oncerts in Kalimpong. For the gigs. the Reincarnation has plenty of inf luences. By releasing their first debut album now known in the market as Hijo Samma in August.

the birth of The Reincarnation is an ode to the revival of rock music in the hills A band that emerged as an effort to bring souls together. "Om Shanti" is what they believe in. the Re-birth of Souls is still rocking an d plans to rock as long as they can. Rock n Roll is a state of mind. says Axeman Shadeo. . With more than 40+ stage performances. w e still remain as a family says Vicky. the love for music and understanding among ourselves is always constant. which worked wond ers in creating a certain on-stage image for them. Though problems do crop up. give peace a chance! Sachin exclaims. painted torn jeans. Their strength is in delivering in mainstr eam rock with the perfect get up of Tie n Dye T-shirts. In short. almost dramatizing their performances to reach out to their audience.n when they are doing cover versions. We all love to Rock n Roll and despite all the adversities. We are looking forward to a new sound with the incorporation of some technical stuff in our forth coming album .