"Talking well is not my thing, I do better playing my guitar than writing or speaking for that matter. However, I shall do my best to answer to all your questions", says Mukti Shakya, probably the most popular guitarist that Nepal has ever produced. When we established communication with him, he was in Spain where he resides most of the time. "I have been doing a lot of rehearsals lately with my wife during the daytime so, pardon me for being late. I just got lost in music and hence, the delay". Ke garne? Guitar bajauna thalyo ki ta sansar nai bhulchu. Now it is very late…almost 3.00 clock in the morning”, said the charismatic front man of Mukti & Revival. Below are a few excerpts of a brief talk that we had with him before we let him rest after the tedious rehearsals for the upcoming tour to Australia.
You are in Spain at the moment. What have you been doing there lately?
I have my family, wife and two kids living together in good harmony . Basically, we both are working really hard to raise them good, provide them with good education and the likes…like any parent would do for their kids. Besides I’ve got a blues band here in Spain and we perform regularly at weekend gigs and festival concerts.
Are you working on any new music?
Yes I am! I am bringing my music to the Spanish community here. I am happy to state that they just love my folk songs with my blues touch. I shall be doing an album with my Spanish band MnM soon.
When can we expect another 'Kalanki Ko Jam’? Is it going to be anytime soon?
You just need to wait for a couple of days more and you shall hear ‘Dekhdachu’. I am pretty much sure that you’re going like them. I am quite confident of it.
You have been an idol and an inspiration for many young aspiring musicians. Why do you think they look up to you?
Is that really so? I am honored! Well, let me state that if you really want to become a good musician, you do have to have an idol. It could have been me or any other musician for that matter. I have been chosen because I feel they like my style. I have been making good decent music for many years now and I always try to be in touch with reality. Besides, I do make it a point to churn out new materials on a regular basis hence, staying alive in the rock ´n’ roll world of Nepali music.
You are scheduled to perform at three different cities in Australia. How did the tour materialize? Is this your first down under?
It was my old pal Puran who contacted me after a long time. He had been impressed to know that my music was pretty much popular among the young Nepalis living, studying and working in Australia. So, one thing led to another and he along with a few other young Nepalis decided to organize concerts there for the benefit of the Nepali community. Everything went smooth then onwards and now I am all geared up for my first Down Under Tour. I am really looking forward to it.
When do you plan to come to Nepal next and are any concerts lined up in other countries as well?
Well, I make it a point to come to Nepal every year for couple of months because I love my country and I love doing music for my Nepali folks. But before I travel to Nepal I will be doing a UK tour which is scheduled for in August and after that I do have plans in coming there.
Many are in awe of your abilities on the guitar. What inspired you to take it up? How has your musical journey been so far?
Wow ! This is surely going to be a long answer. I think I’ll have to give you my website address (http://webs.ono.com/muktiandrevival) so you know all about my never ending musical journey. Ha ha ha! Anyway, let me try and make it as short as possible.
I grew up in a very musical environment at home with all my family members very much involved in one way or the other in music. All my sisters and brother were into Hindi and Nepali adhunik music during those days. It was them that inspired me in the beginning. As I grew older and became a young man, I started becoming a rebel. I was fascinated by the Rock n roll music of the last hippies left over in Kathmandu. I met and learnt about numerous well-known guitar players during those days but I have to say that Jimi Hendrix is the one who really inspired me. It was amazing to hear what a guitarist could do with those six strings. The power and the possibilities of the guitar is what I have instilled in me over all these years.
Besides your music what are your other interests?
Sports and Travel. I used to play football a lot during my younger days and was pretty good at it … now I travel a lot. While in Nepal, I do like to go riding on my bike, visit friends, enjoy a glass of beer, eat Choela baji and basically, hang around with them. I am envious already thinking of it. Ahhhh! It’s so much fun out there!
What do you usually do when you have some free time in your hands?
I switch on the computer like everybody does, browse a few sites especially those from my country and of course, play my Stratocaster.
Your word of advice or suggestions to young talented musicians who have always wanted to play like Mukti Shakya?
Learn the simple basics of the guitar and practice a lot. I did it for three to five hours a day when I was learning. There is no two way about going about it. Practice…practice and practice. If you are in a band, you’ve got to do lots of gigs and jam sessions. The more time you spend with the other members of the band, the better. Listen to all kind of music and most important of all, enjoy what you are playing.
Thank you very much. Any last words before we wrap up?
Thanks to you in fact and keep up the good work fursad.com. You have managed to bring the latest updates on Nepali music to the rest of the world not to mention connecting the Nepali diasporas scattered all over the globe through your medium. Keep it up and good luck!
Thank you again and good luck for your tour Down Under!
Thank you. I need it!
Click here to win free tickets to ‘Mukti Shakya…Down Under Tour’