WOW | Musical Conversation

Full of Surprises

Youthful and vivacious, singer/songwriter Suzeena Shrestha has an unabashed enthusiasm for catchy lyrics and foot tapping tunes. She has made quite an impression on the music scene with her originals and cover songs on Youtube.

How would you introduce yourself and your music?

I am Suzeena Shrestha, vocalist of THE ACT band. We are an experimental rock band always full of surprises. I do not have a single genre that defines my music. Although currently my band and I are doing electro-rock music, in the future we plan to come up with fusion of modern folk and pop-jazz punk.

How did you get into music?

Music was always there. I got into music because of my mum. She has an amazing voice. I participated in many music competitions but was not able to emerge as a winner. In 2011, I joined a metal band, Diablo. Then later I became part of Kramasha band and released an album.

How did The Act band happen?

One day while jamming together with Avishek KC (Underside), he suggested that we collaborate. At first, I thought it was a joke as previously we had never thought about being in a band together. He was more of my arranger, producer and would just remake my unfinished numbers. However, the collaboration turned out to be really good and we formed our band, The Act.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from everything I see and feel, places I go and people I meet. Every song I write is based on day-to-day life situations, love and mental health issues.

For instance, I wrote Tero bau ko sampati because I was extremely frustrated with our political system. Likewise, my song Aparadhi (included in Kramasha’s album) was a tribute to victims of human trafficking.

Five most played songs on your playlist…

  • Jenny by Nothing More
  • Never too late by Three days grace
  • The kill byThirty Seconds to Mars
  • Misery by Halestorm
  • Afreen Afreen by Coke studio

A song that is close to your heart
Mero Maya. I have dedicated this song to my mum as she means everything to me.

Song that you play when…

You feel the blues: From can to cant by Corey Taylor.
On rainy days: Junkiri by Bipul Chettri and Tesaile hidey ma by The Elements
You feel happy: Irreplaceable by Beyonce

Haraeko created quite a buzz among Nepali music enthusiasts. Can you tell us more about the song?

In Haraeko we wanted to raise awareness about mental health issues like depression. We received many messages from people who could relate their situation with Haraeko. I was shocked when I read the report on depression and suicide rates in Nepal in 2016. I too fight with my inner demons every day. I believe each one of us is dealing with some kind of problem or another, which could lead to depression. Although mental health problems exist on a very large scale, it is a topic that we hardly talk about.

What is your musical instrument?

I am not a pro guitarist but I can play decent chords. So to create a song I need my guitar. I can play some chords in the keyboards too. I am planning to learn both in future.

Who has been your biggest influence?

I love Christina Aguilera, Amy Lee, Beyoncé and Sunidhi Chauhan. They were the first ones to inspire me in my musical journey. My favourite bands would be Albatross, eHalestorm, Stone Sour, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace and Perfect Circle.

Any plans to hit the road?

We will probably start touring this year but hopefully, 2019 will be ‘the year’. We want to release as many videos as possible to make people aware of our music.

What are your goals as a musician?

I just want to create music as much as possible and reach out to people. Also, I cannot wait to do both national and international tours.

FACTS ABOUT SUZEENA

Her father passed away at the age of 12, so she was raised by a single mother who has been a huge support in her musical journey.

She completed her secondary education from Shuvatara School and did her Bachelors in social work at Thames College.

She is a self-taught musician.