WOW | Music Conversation

SHIVANA SHRESTHA – Music is life !

Although a newbie in the music industry, 21 years old Shivana Shrestha has made quite an impression with her dulcet voice. Her cover of Shape of You by Ed Sheeran currently has more than two million views. WOW’s  Alison Karki sits down with the rising star and talks about the significance of music in her life. Excerpts:

What stirred your interest in singing?

I started singing when I was eight years old. My family and I used to religiously watch American Idol every week. Hence, I was inspired to perform like the singers I saw on television and the interest for singing came naturally.

What role does music play in your life?

Music is life! Although it sounds a bit cliché, it’s true. Music has and always will be one of the greatest and dearest joys in my life. It’s the one thing that brings people together.

What made you start your YouTube channel?

When I was 13 years old, a friend of mine persuaded me to start my YouTube channel. I was pleasantly surprised with the response I received after I uploaded my first cover and this motivated me to continue.

What do you think about the future of the Nepali music industry?

I think that Nepali music will evolve from its original sound and grow to be neither westernised nor traditional. For example, classic Nepali music will always remain rooted in its conventional sound because there is a huge demographic for it. However, by the use of newer sounds and instruments, it’ll evolve from its traditional sound. The best part about our music is that there’s a plethora of sounds we can mesh together and still have it sound beautiful.

How do you balance your personal life and music?

School is my first priority, but I keep telling myself that I will never have more time than I do now. Thus, I try and find time for all three aspects of my life – singing, school and my social life. However, trying to find balance is pretty difficult and it’s something I continue to work on each day.

Which musicians do you admire?

Frank Ocean is an artiste I truly admire. I think he’s easily become one of the 21st century’s few unique creative forces in the music industry. It was when I listened to his album Blond that I realised that an artiste doesn’t have to be labelled to a certain genre; he’s put jazz, soul, alternative R&B and hip hop under the same umbrella, which is amazing. That album is pure magic and I get inspired every time I listen to it.

How would you describe your type of music?

It’s difficult to describe. I’m not relegated to one specific type of music. I can go from the newest pop sounds to a classic rock and roll collection with equal enthusiasm. For instance, my father was thrilled when he caught me listening to his Dean Martin CD.

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

When a mistake is made during a performance, it’s important to focus on how to react to it. I try and improvise and just go with the flow. Fortunately, I haven’t had a major malfunction during a performance, but I have had minor issues. I have learned to take it as an opportunity to learn from it and I try not to take it too seriously.