The Miraculous Duo: Trishala Gurung and Rohit Shakya
By Roneeshma Shrestha
Photos by Satyan Shrestha
In the recent times, the stunningly and beguilingly beautiful, bubbly and bright Trishala Gurung has been taking the social media by storm with her entrancing, melodious and hypnotic voice. Today, the angelic personality stands as a singer with enduring traits of the vocal powerhouse and of grace.
Another name in the Nepali music industry who is gaining appreciation from all corners is Rohit Shakya, the genuinely gifted musician and an all-rounder in music who waves his magic wand of musical creativity and creates matchless sounds for any genre of music – be it with his band ‘Jindabaad’, his production house ‘Fuzz Factory Productions’, his collaboration with various musical projects, including Fuzzscape, or the Nepali film industry.
As these victories weren’t enough for both of them, the duo, recently, had collaborated to give another masterpiece in the coffer of Nepali music industry: the single ‘Yo Maan’ came out as the yield. While Gurung—who had hypnotized everyone with her cover versions—experienced metamorphosis and finally wrote and composed a song on her own, Shakya compiled every bit of his musical knowledge and created music that best suited her first originality.
When WAVE met them, the duo was preparing for their musical trip to the UK and their next collaboration ‘Kathmandu Sahara’, slated to get released this November. However, we took an excuse with them and had a candid conversation regarding their collaborative works.
- How did you guys meet?
Trishala: Actually, we’d met in a collaborative jam for ‘Evening Sessions’.
- What was the collab for?
Trishala: We recorded the song ‘Kathmandu Sahara’. We both feel that the song has turned out really well, so, we are planning to come out with a video of the song. The shoot for the song will start right after our return from the UK.
- What was the first challenge you had experienced while working with Trishala?
Rohit: Trishala wasn’t opening up easily as it was the first time she’d worked with someone else. She also had this fear of singing offbeat or screwing up the tones. But her previous works—cover versions—has clearly shown how gifted she is, and I continued pushing and convincing her to sing. Besides, I could sense how capable she was in composing a song as well. So, to make her comfortable and believe in herself was my first challenge.
- Didn’t you plan to seek help from someone else?
Rohit: We did think of working with other lyricists, but ‘Yo Maan’, being her first song, she didn’t just want to be behind the microphone. Besides, it is very essential for an artist to know how things are done. So, we planned to start from the scratch, and deliberately, her confidence built so well that she was able to finish up the whole lyrics by her own. As a producer, I am glad that I could take it out of her.
- Did you learn anything from Trishala?
Rohit: Yes, I’ve learnt a lot while working with her. She pointed out the areas of improvement in me which really made me push myself. The collaboration, indeed, contributed to the mutual growth. I have to say that the way she understands music is very appreciable.
- What connected you guys so well?
Trishala: It was the music that connected us. Besides, our nature and thoughts, both in terms of music and life, were very similar. So, we clicked so soon.
- What are the good qualities of Rohit?
Trishala: Rohit is someone who never backs off to listen and give suggestions. He’s one of the most humble and down to earth personality I’ve come across. I feel blessed to have been guided by someone so skilled, experienced, and motivated.
- Had there been any disputes between the two of you?
Trishala: Firstly, we share the same horoscope: Taurus. So, both of us are stubborn. So, having similar personalities did lead to some discussions which I believe were healthy ones. If you keep agreeing with whatever the other person says, you won’t come up with a creative idea and your decisions will be a restraint to a certain level.
- You’ve just completed your MBBS. Why didn’t you study music if you were so interested in it?
Trishala: I’ve always been starstruck by music, and music has always taken me to a sweet escape from other things. Actually, I had wanted to study music after completing SLC (now SEE), but my parents were not so sure about it. So, I chose to obey them and followed the footsteps of my brother.
- Wasn’t it difficult for you to manage your time?
Yes, it has been difficult to manage my time for my studies and my passion, and I’m still trying to juggle it which is going pretty well until now. Music has never been a barrier between me and my studies. But at some point of time, if I had to choose between the two—looking at where I’m at right now—I’d definitely go for music.
- What is your future plan?
Rohit: While making music in the past, I kept on thinking why Nepali music wasn’t being able to escalate the height like the music from other countries were. Later, I realised that lack of knowledge and education among musicians is the main reason behind that. Above and beyond, some curious music enthusiasts still keep on asking me about the technical details of my works. To fill up the vacuum, I am planning to transfer my knowledge of audio engineering by opening up an academic school in the future. With good knowledge, music enthusiasts will surely come up with good music.
- How did the plan of going to the UK come up?
Trishala: The organiser, BFest, approached me with this opportunity, and at the same time, Rohit had got the chance to go to the UK. So, everything happened coincidentally, and we thought of collaborating and performing together.
- What is your trip to the UK all about?
Rohit: I had applied for a program of BFI Institute where 13 participants are chosen, and I am one among them. In the program, I will get an opportunity to meet people associated with music, film production, distribution, education, audience development, market intelligence, research, and many more. I’m glad to be the first Nepali to get selected for the program.
- Advice to newcomers
Rohit: First of all, it is very crucial to understand yourself and your hold in music. Don’t try to be famous, try to know yourself as an artist instead. This will help you evaluate how far you want to go, and you’ll be conscious to work hard to reach your goal. In the context of Nepal, the advanced level of musicianship is truly necessary, and there are some barriers to break.
When someone asks me how one can survive with music in Nepal, I cannot reply, but I can say that there are ways and chances waiting for you, and you just need to look for the right kind of inspiration and direction. Besides, I closely work in the Nepali film industry and it is improving day by day. However, I find it strange to know how there aren’t enough people experienced and knowledgeable in sound engineering and mixing. So, I believe there’s a huge opportunity in this sector.
Trishala: My journey in music has just begun, and I really don’t have in-depth advice as Rohit does. But yes, I’m grateful that Rohit was my mentor who showed me the right path. So, having someone besides you who is best in mentoring would be really effective. Besides, I believe proper planning is very important as an artist. It is necessary to plan for every detail on a serious note.
“Songs that are releasing these days are kind of songs that will not last long. So, we really want to make music that pushes Nepali music to another level. Rather than following what is trending, we want to come up with a good piece of art that’ll last forever.”—Trishala Gurung
Turbo Talks with Trishala
- You’re inspired by: Tori Kelly
- Favourite song: ‘Dear No One’ by Tori Kelly
- Something that still feels surreal: Being here at Fuzz Factory Productions! Never thought my career would turn out this way.
- Style: Comfort, bright, and young
- Guilty pleasure: Late-night cravings– eating a lot!
- The last thing that made you cry: I’d recently cried watching a Hindi serial called ‘Bepana’ (giggles)
- What embarrasses you the most? : Falling down in high heels
- One animal you think reflects your personality: Unicorn
- Sweetest fan moment: It was on my birthday. I had a gig at Karma, and a guy had been waiting for me since my gig had even started. At 12, he approached me with gifts, cards, and the sketches he’d made for me.
If you had the quality of Rohit Shakya, what would it be? : To play like him.
“While going BBA in audio engineering at SAE, Thailand, I knew business wasn’t made for me. When I came back, I started to work on various projects. I used to question myself, “Where do I fit in?” Soon, I chose not to follow the trend and create music just to hit charts. I take music as medium of expressing myself.” —Rohit Shakya
Rapid talks with Rohit
Last song you listened to: An inspiring Indian rapper who came from the slums and a great artist—‘Divine’.
Something that still feels surreal: To do what I’m doing right now! There are people who take holidays from their work to compose and make music, and here, I am living my dream, doing it every day; so, it feels crazy. I frequently make sure I’ve been respecting whatever I’m grateful about.
Favourite time pass apart from music: I spend a lot of time on social media; be it going through all the Intsa stories, watching serials with my mom, musically videos, and also watch every Nepali movie. I believe even the biggest flop movies is worth watching because you realize what the mistakes they’ve done.
If you were an animal, what would you be: RABBIT! I honestly feel that in the story of the turtle and rabbit, I am the rabbit, in a sense that it pushes me to not be lazy and procrastinate. Even when I’m working, a thing that still crosses my mind is “Am I being a rabbit?” So, I think being a rabbit makes me help make a decision.
Anything you’d want to change about yourself: I would want to be more social without losing my attention to music.
Sweetest fan moment: It’s truly precious when I’m in some rural areas and people know me and take the initiative to talk, especially when kids gesture a rock sign and say ‘Ey Jindabaad Dai’.
If you had the quality of Trishala Gurung, what would it be? Apart from her saintly voice, I really appreciate the instincts she has in music.