WOW | Musical Conversation

The Mercurial Artiste

Akshyata Adhikary is mostly known by her stage name, AXATA. She started singing at the age of two and was already on stage at the age of three performing “Everything I do” by Bryan Adams. She came into limelight at the age of 12 when she featured for Aman Pradhan’s “Sanj Bihnai”. Since then there has been no looking back.

Her debut ‘Tihar song’ has been appreciated by audiences across the country. Akshyata has done numerous cover songs that have crossed millions of views on YouTube. She has pursued some studies in Indian Classical Music, and has even taught music to children from two to seven years of age in 2019.

Anushka Shrestha from WOW catches up with the artistic Axata to know more about her musical journey. Excerpts:

What attracted you towards Classical Indian music?

I had just finished schooling and wanted to study music. Sirjana College of Fine Arts is the only college with a music course for plus two studies. I have to say I chose it because it was the only option.

Who inspired you to make music?

I started making my own music when I was really into Western Classical music. I had created Cappella pieces at first focusing mostly on harmonies. I was inspired by Choral Music intensely. But inspirations change every week now.

Your father has been a huge source of inspiration in your life, can you tell us a little bit about the relationship you share?

We don’t see each other much but we have a special bond that will never bend or break. We know each other’s deepest and darkest secrets. My parents are my best friends. I share everything with them and since they are cool and wise, I trust their opinion and go to them for advice whenever I am confused about something.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

Psychedelic, pop, trip-hop for now.

Do you have a favourite venue to perform?

I don’t really like doing live shows but I think a club would be fun since I am into electronica. Maybe a club in a church so I can fuse it together with my love for classical music.

You’ve been in the industry for almost seven years now, what has it been like?

I didn’t even realise it has been that long. I would say I have learnt a lot about myself and everyone I have encountered. It is a blessing honestly to be part of such an interesting and creative scene, to be able to do what I truly am passionate about and have people appreciate it. There were times when I got so sick of all the unwanted responsibilities and attention that I contemplated changing my career entirely and study science or something. But then I stuck to my guns and kept pursuing music. Most interestingly, I was both the naysayer and the enthusiast at the same time. I could go on about everything I have experienced for hours and pages, so I’ll just say: “Some beautiful paths can’t be found without getting lost” – ErolOzan.

How does it feel to have over 8.8 million views for your debut song ‘Tihar Song’ on YouTube?

Well, obviously it makes me happy but the thing that I admire the most about that song is how it became the modern anthem of Tihar. It made me realise how people crave new sounds and will welcome fresh, progressive songs if blended with patterns they are familiar with.

What’s next?

I have lots and lots of plans for the future and will be unfolding it with time. For now, I am just going to say- stay tuned to find out!

Any plans to get into film music?

I have plans with my brother to do the scoring for his short film. Let’s see what happens. But as far as I know, and as far as the contemporary film industry in Nepal is concerned, I don’t think I am willing to make music just for the sake of having decorated audio for a decorated video.

Music is as much science as it is art. And the trip into its technical intricacies can be intoxicating. What do you think?

Yes, absolutely. There are some things that will get you frustrated. For instance, there are things that seem so trivial yet grinding and toilsome. Now it’s true that there are no rules in art, but in order to be good at something you need to understand the science behind it well enough and for sure not everything is annoying when it comes to technicality. Nerds find it absolutely intriguing, I am not a nerd but I still find all of it fascinating and some inspiring enough to be more than worth it. I mean it’s what I live for. ‘Embrace the challenge’ and ‘No pain, no gain’ is what I keep going back to in order to stay on track.

A thing of beauty 
Out of all the different heavenly pleasures that music gives us, one thing that fascinates me the most is the process of entrainment. How brainwaves become synchronised with the frequency and beats of music and I love how there is music for other species, like cats!
Love to play
Bass guitar and drums
Hooked onto
My next song (laughs)