WOW | Coverstory
MUSIC IN HER SOUL
Kengal Mehar Shrestha aka Kenny is undeniably one of the most influential young artists in the country. A modest girl of immense talent, she has made her mark and garnered massive fan following with her rocking performance in Nepal Idol Season 1. Currently she is busy making music with her band TYPE III. In a conversation with WOW, the 23-year-old talks about her music and more…
Three words that best define Kengal Mehar Shrestha
Peppy, weird and comical
Tell us about your musical roots…
It’s very simple, ever since I was a child, I have enjoyed singing. It’s my passion which has slowly transitioned to become my profession.
From performing bar gigs to being recognised as one of the most appreciated musicians in the industry, what has the experience been like?
I learnt a lot from my experience. At times, I even miss doing bar gigs. I think doing bar gigs frequently helped me build my confidence and gave me courage to face the crowd.
Which musicians did you look up to when you first started your music career?
My musical inspiration is Amy Lee from Evanescence. There is something about the way she sings, her presence, boldness and overall personality.
How has Nepal Idol helped shape your career?
I have always been thankful to Nepal Idol. I got great guidance, made good friends, and experienced a lot of good music.
Why did you choose O Mero Priyatam for your audition in Nepal Idol?
I used to sing it a lot while doing bar gigs so I felt comfortable to perform it.
The most memorable moment on sets
While singing Meri Aama, my mother came to surprise me on the sets. It’s a memory that I will cherish for a very long time.
What factor of yours was most complimented by other contestants on the show?
I don’t like to blow my own trumpet but I have got a few compliments that my stage presence is right on point.
After Nepal Idol, what was the biggest turning point for you?
There were no huge turning points but a series of small twist and turns which ultimately lead to everything that I have achieved till now.
How did Shabda your debut song happen?
After finishing Nepal Idol, I met Kalyan Singh, a very talented composer. I thought performing a song written by him would be the perfect way to start my musical journey and hence, Shabda became my debut song.
How would you describe your music?
Our music defines our individuality. Therefore, it’s versatile and uncertain.
Who’s your ideal listener?
Anybody and everybody who enjoys music!
What is your favourite part about your line of work?
The favourite part is meeting new people and the process of creating music. Whereas, least favourite would be having to work with people who are not on the same vibe as me.
Describe your perfect day off
A huge pile of junk food and Netflix.
How important is stage appearance?
Stage appearance and quality of music need to go hand in hand, one should not overshadow the other.
What do you see yourself bringing into the Nepali music industry?
A little bit of my soul poured into good music.
An artist you would love to collaborate with
The first song I sang…More than
I can say by Leo Sayer
The first single I bought
Appetite for destruction by Guns and Roses
The first gig I went to…
A concert in Jawalakhel
The first time I realised music was my future…
When I did my first gig
The first time I knew I was good at what I do…
When I started earning.
The first thing I’ll spend money on…
The first thing I do in the morning…
Search for my phone.
The first thing I do when I get home…
Pet my dogs who come and greet me with nothing but love.
The first person to inspire me
Your success mantra..
Always under-promise and over deliver
On your playlist
I will always love you (Whitney Houston ), My immortal (Evanescence), Bhanai (Tribal Rain), Bhool (Albatross), 2002 (Anne Marie)
If not a singer…
I’d still be doing something that requires creativity.
Favourite musical instrument…
A song that best describes your life
More than I can say by Leo Sayer
Art Direction/Text: Mannat Shrestha (IN-HOUSE)
Photos: Supran Shrestha
MUA: Shradha Maskey
Wardrobe: Nuzhat Qazi
Accessories: ANX Studio, Shop no 415, Civil Mall, Sundhara
Styling: Anushka Shrestha (IN-HOUSE)
Location: Vivanta Kathmandu
Located in the vibrant Patan the hotel whisks guests into an oasis of modern comforts in one of the most far-flung locations in the world. It flaunts sophisticated and versatile architecture with rooftop pool and Koko Bar. One can enjoy the finest views of Kathmandu over delightful sundowners and hors d’oeuvres. From millennial design and trendy Saturday brunches at the pan-Asian restaurant, Akari to the whiff of local Newari dishes at Mynt – the all-day diner – you’ll be enveloped in warm Nepalese hospitality and Vivanta’s impeccable global standards and service.