Recalling the history of Nepali music, women been only a small part of it and stayed for shorter period as compared to male artists. Melwadevi Gurung was the first female of Nepal to record song. She started singing Thumri style during Chandra Shamsher’s ruling period and soon had to stop because Balkumari Devi, wife of Chandra Shamsher was so jealous of her that she plotted to ruin her vocal, by serving non-edible substances and she lost her voice. But story is different now, female have been extra experimental and vigorous in this field as time passes. Lets learn about some female who broke the stereotype and are ruling music industry empowering each other.
Abhaya Subba is a Nepalese singer, songwriter, and Rock queen. The lead vocalist of Abhaya & the Steam Injuns is also the founding member of the band. We would personally like to call her mom for the upcoming female artist as she is founder of the event Women In Concert which comprises young and aspiring Nepali female artists and creates opportunities for them in the music industry by selecting, training and mentoring for stage performance.
Aani Choying Drolma:
Aani Choying Drolma Known as a “Rock Star Nun” due to her career in music. Her voice and songs aren’t just for the ears, they are also for the soul. She is only nun of nepal who has performed at concerts, singing for mainstream audiences across the world. She is also the founder of all girl instrumental band Shree Tara where dynamic trio have united and are rocking stages since 2009. “People like to put you in a box,” she says. “I always disappoint them, and I always wanted to disappoint them. I’m a nonconformist.”
Despite lot of criticism Indhira lachhimasyu picked up a Dhime baja as her hands were itching to play newari drum and two-and-a-half decades after she proved her doubters wrong by mastering the instrument and become one of Nepal’s first ‘dhime girl’. Now she conduct dhime lessons at schools around Bhaktapur and encourage females to play instruments with confidence.
Sarada Dongol percussionist and madal player of all girl Nepali band Shree Tara. She started playing madal since her school life, her family always supported her but never accepted it as permanent carrier, so she continued her studies and music together. She can play 12-13 madal at once. She is also a founder of DhingTang Nepal which encourages women to play music instruments via courses and lessons. And we bet her madal solo can make dead dance.
Bartika Eam Rai
Bartika Eam Rai is a Nepali singer-songwriter, and a poet. She is based in New York City, United States. In late 2010, Rai became the vocalist for the underground Kathmandu metal band Gothica and spent a year performing with them. In 2016, Rai launched her solo music career with the release of Bimbaakash. She then released Taral in 2018.
Sujina Bajracharya sarangi player of all girl Nepali instrumental band Shree Tara is one of the few female sarangi player. She was only female instrumentalist to took part in Gyeongju World Traditional Wind Instrument Festival – 2017 which was held in South Korea where 30 different countries took part.
Suzeena Shrestha is a Nepali singer-songwriter and guitarist. She formally started her music career from a metal band Daiblo and later joined Kramasha Nepal and Recently she has formed her own band named The Act. She had also released her solo song named Tero Bau Ko Sampati. Her new official video with The Act ‘Haraeko’ is one of the best creation which is an awareness video related to mental health issues. She has been linked to Arbitrary Channel on YouTube which is a famous channel.
Renu syangbo was former bassist of all female alternative rock band JOTs and recently active on another all female rock band Gorkhali Girl Band. In grade eight, Renu Syangbo was inspired by a remark her brothers made about the lack of female musicians in Nepal. she asked them to teach her a few chords and practiced for hours on her own. And nearly after 14 years later she turn out to be one of the well known female bassist in Nepal. She also recently got featured in suncha vox My Five Fave Riffs series.
Jerusha Rai is a singer-songwriter, music producer and visual designer currently based in Texas, United States. Rai produces ambient soft rock music and electronic music with an ethnic flavour. Her calmness and creativity can be felt in her songs. A Dark Place To Think is her 1st album and she also released her 2nd album Sunsan recently.
Nepali music industry got so many talented female musicians that including everyone lead to writing a book. So even if we dont want to, we have to drop our pen now but these are equally talented female artists mentioned below, don’t hesitate checking them out too.
Honorable mentions: Rojina Dongol– flutist of Shree Tara, Supriya Moktan– keyboardist and vocalist, Gorkhali Girl Band, House Of Hopes, Garima Gurung- singer-songwriter of Mental Radio, Archana Joshi- vocalist of Alchemist, Dissonance, Rina Giri- vocalist of Melody Band