Nepal: An interview with the singer Debesh Rai

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Debesh Rai
He's one of the most popular singers among the Nepali youths, and one of my favourite ones, as you already know from my previous article on the new Nepali songs. It was raining when I wrote it and it's raining now, here in Florence and moreover in Nepal, where the monsoon arrived. 
In my attempt to understand the culture and reality of this country, a little bored to wait for the end of the local elections and sick with nostalgia, I asked Debesh Rai an interview and he kindly accepted. Enjoy!

Ilaria: Your music represents very well one of the most fascinating side of Nepl, that is it's complex relationship with tradition and modernity, past and future. How do you live this two sides in your life?
Debesh: I am happy to know it because as a Nepali artist this is the most important thing for me: to do Nepali music and to represent Nepal through music. And I will continue it. 
Image may contain: 1 person, standing, mountain, sky, outdoor and natureIlaria: Family is important in Nepali life. Can you tell us something about your family and your childhood?
Debesh: Well, I was born in Khotang district of eastern Nepal and later I migrated to Sunsari district. I am the youngest member in my family, including an elder brother and four elder sisters. My father was in the Indin Army and my mother is a housewife. Being the youngest of all I really had a happy childhood. 
Ilaria: I think music is a basic component in Rai culture, all the Rai people I know can sing, play and dance! How did you started your career? 
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Debesh's mother 
Debesh: Yes you are absolutely right. I never thought of being singer in my life but when I realise now, music was already there in my blood. So when I migrated to Sunsari district due to interior conflict in Nepal, I got a very good musical environment. I had a brilliant guitarist in my neighbour. My mother bought a guitar when iI was in grade 7 and I was admited to a private music school too. But my real musical carrier start from a national reality show called NEPALI TARA SEASON 3rd where I was able to become 1st runner up.
Ilaria: There are two songs of yours that I especially like: Hami Nepali and the song for your mother. They are very different from each other and reflect well the two sides of Nepali reality. Can you tell us something about those two songs?
No automatic alt text available.Debesh: Hami Nepali song is written by Bikram KC and composed by Saran Joshi. This is a patriotic rock song. This is dedicated to all the rock music lovers. On the other hand MOM SONG (song for mother) is a pure Nepali folk song, I collect this song from my mother. It is specially dedicate to my mother. It is neither compose by composer nor written by lyricist but it's the real music you can listen in the upper side of Khotang district,eastern nepal. This song is all about the nepalese lifestyle, culture and local languages people living there. But one thing is that I  tried my best to keep its original flavour during arrangement with modern instruments and on my own style of vocal.
Image may contain: 1 personIlaria: I think you did a great work! Finally, Nepal is holding its local polls after 20 years. Some people are very involved, others seem indifferent and sceptical. What's your feeling about it and about Nepal's situation in general?
Debesh: Yeah, it's really great and I'm really positive towards it because before Nepal's  power and opportunities was centralised only in the capital (Kathmandu), after this local polls I hope all the power will be decentralised and there will be parallel and sustainable development all over the nation.
Ilaria: Thank you very much and keep on the good music! I hope one day I'll see you singing live in Nepal.

Debesh Rai is on facebook and on You Tube

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