Text by Sonam Dolma Sherpa
Dedicated to create social awareness through sensible song-writing, the band Changa, without segmenting the audience, evolved in the small Nepali community in The Netherlands, and now, with the release of their second album and video for the song ‘Mero Katha’, they are widening their wings.
Who rents your mind when you compose your songs?
Actually, we never tried segmenting the audience, and people from all walks of life have enjoyed our music. However, we evaluated categories of people who liked our music more than the rest, which gave us a hint on where to focus. We found
them being open minded who do not separate music into different boxes; however, listen to the music and try to grasp
You are releasing ‘Mero Katha’, a song from the second album. What is the song all about?
The song is a story about a boy who belongs to a poor family and is deprived from education. Fortunately, he gets a chance to study and eventually, do something good in the society.
Since you are based in The Netherlands now, how is the band finding itself to sustain in a foreign setting?
Since we live in different cities and have our own professional and personal obligations, getting together for jamming is difficult; nevertheless, we are doing our best to jam as frequently as possible. Besides, Nepali community here in The Netherlands is smaller in comparison to other countries.
What is Changa for you?
Rana: Changa is a platform where I can transmit my musical molecules to the audience.
Binod Jnr: Changa is something that helps me escape from the busy western world. It is the sphere where I can let my guards down and be myself. Besides, I believe everyone is Change inside themselves ̶ like a kite that wants to be free and fly higher.
Sharad: Not as a band but I consider Changa as a family where each member share similar passion for music.
Ram: Changa is for me a small Nepal in Holland. We are a group of Nepali friends who share similar passion for music.
Binod Snr: Changa is the place where I rediscovered myself. Ever since I came away from my home, friends and the band ‘Mukti And Revival’, I was missing a lot and I always felt myself being an incomplete man. Changa filled-up many gaps and incompleteness.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never listened to your music?
For us, music is a mix-bag but we consider tagging the band as ‘Folk-Town Reggae’. For instance, while the song ‘Aama’ is typical folk song, ‘Udeko Panchi’ is semi classical song. Similarly, while ‘Nabhana’ is a rock song, ‘Basna’ Chahanchu’ is a contemporary jazz.
Where does the band suffer?
Besides getting together to jam, the band suffers when organizers invite us to perform on weekdays. But especially in charity events, the band performs even with as less as two members. On the other side, recording the album took very long time. As we recorded the album in Nepal, one had to wait for the others who were based in The Netherlands. But it wasn’t impossible because the album is now ready.
In the Facebook description of your band, you have written that you are focused on telling your stories and communicating through music’, does that indicate that your real life events are the inspirations behind your lyrics?
Some of our songs epitomize our personal experiences, whereas, some are related to our social standpoints. We have not really touched the political aspects yet, but who knows!
In your personal opinion, what makes Changa different from other existing bands?
Rana: We impart positive messages.
Binod Jnr.: We are not trying to earn a fame; instead, we are attempting to please our listeners and give them a moment of love.
Sharad: We do not long towards ‘hitting a formula to score’, but we are longing to hit true interpretation of experiences of life in a most simple and understandable manner.
Ram: It is the Nepali band based in The Netherlands. Besides, most of our songs tell our own stories and impart social themes. We are also a combination of Nepali folk, jazz and pop music.
Binod Snr: Let’s just say that we tried making good recipes to create some new taste of music.
Do you guys have plans to return Nepal?
Returning to Nepal is a very pleasing thought, but at present, it is not very likely. However, as people always say, “Never say never”.
- Rana Lama (Bass)
- Binod Shrestha Junior (Vocals, Percussion)
- Sharad Lal Joshi
(Lead guitars/Music Arrangement)
- Binod Shrestha Senior. (Rhythms)
- Ram Budathoki (Vocals, Percussion)