WOW | Musical Conversation
Everything that happens is from now on… Sajjan Raj Vaidya
Text by: Rojina Maharjan
Sajjan Raj Vaidya has wowed audiences with his soulful music, heart touching lyrics and equally beautiful music videos. WOW, interviews the artist via email to learn more about his musical journey.
Tell us about your musical journey?
My musical journey started in my early days back in Nepal. Before I could even play an instrument, I was already consumed in music as my family shares the same love for music as I do. I have always wanted to be involved in music. I was in singing groups as a child, a metal band in high school and my afternoons were spent playing the guitar trying to sound like my favourite artistes. My story with music production began with a broken microphone on a very old computer. So, I have always wanted to create music. My first public appearances were online, on Facebook, in front of a handful of friends. In the beginning, I delayed publishing my music in public because I’d always feel that they could be better. After many songs and much iteration, finally, I decided to create a YouTube channel and publish one of my Nepali songs, ‘Aaja Matra’.
What have been the struggles in your musical journey?
Every artist begins their career with the same struggle: lack of resources. When I was in Nepal, it was about not having the right resources. After I arrived in America, it was about not having enough time. But I believe that those limitations, in some ways, inspired creativity. Having learned everything on my own, I was able to understand music in my own way. Perhaps it demanded more time to reach a certain level than through a formal music education, but in my eyes, it contributed to my style.
What is the story behind your super hit songs: Chitthi Bhitra, Hataarindai Bataasindai, Mooskaan and Hawaijahaj?
I wrote Hawaijahaj soon after I arrived in New York. It was a message to my mother saying, “I will come to you in one way or another.” Chitthi Bhitra is a song that I wrote for the love of my life and the lyrics for Hataarindai Bataasindai were inspired by the story of a dear friend. A talented flautist who I met at a casual jam session in Colorado inspired me to dig up and finish Mooskaan. So, each of the songs has its own story and its own way of coming about.
What is the song of your life?
If I had to pick a song at random that describes my life as in this moment, I would say it is Re: Stacks by Bon Iver. Specifically, the line that reads, ‘Everything that happens is from now on.’ Living in New York City with two separate lives, one in finance and the other in music, life becomes quite frenzied. With it comes the frustration of not being able to commit focus to music as much as I want to at times. So the line inherently describes my realisation that now is as good a time as any to start doing what I want to.
What was the first song you wrote?
It is difficult to recall the very first song I ever wrote since it has been quite a few years and quite a few songs ago. However, Aaja Matra is the first Nepali song that I ever wrote. I wrote it in my living room back in Nepal one afternoon. With no subject in mind, I was just playing my guitar and uttering words. Then the words became a sentence and then the sentences became a song. The song was not truly complete until years later when I was in my flat in New York City, recording the song. Almost in the same fashion, I wrote the last piece of the song and it felt complete. So I must say it was one simple song but quite a journey for me as a songwriter. I truly want to revisit the song and record it again. Perhaps I will, we’ll see.
You have a massive fan following, how does it feel?
I have been incredibly fortunate to have so many supporters. I believe I still have a long way to go before I can consider myself ‘successful’ but I feel very thankful to have a great foundation.
What are you currently busy with?
I am currently working with my team to bring to life the many concepts that I have had in terms of new music and new styles. We are all working on music and film together, trying to discover our next initiative. Often times, we start anew and try to determine what it is that we want to work on next and how to best deliver it. Hataarindai, Bataasindai was a true milestone for us and because of how it has been received; we are massively inspired to discover our next production.
On an individual level, I would love to do a show in Nepal at some point. As a team, we are working towards growing the team and our goal of establishing music and other forms of art as a substantial way of life both in Nepal and internationally.
International singer: John Mayer
Nepali singer: Aruna Lama
Favourite song: Gravity by John Mayer
Inspiration: John Mayer
Own song: Chitthi Bhitra. I wrote it for someone special and I am happy with how the song came along.