9 Years and now Wembley Arena will grace Nepathya

This one is a special blog we share the steps ahead for a Nepali Band reaching it at Wembley Arena. 

Kiran Krishna Shrestha from nepa~laya dreamt of this back in 2003 along with Nepathya too for it . A speech made by Kiran back in 12th of October 2004, at the First NRN Meet held in Kathmandu was where he shared his dream for a Nepali band performing at Wembley Arena  and now after 9 years span of time the dream is turning into action.

Nepathya has reached the final stage of preparation for the Wembley show and will be leaving for London on Tuesday, 30th of July with a 9 member entourage.

“It is like a dream come true that our Wembley show is materializing. The stage has a great history and we are glad to be performing there.” Shared Nepathya front man Amrit Gurung.  “I am sure all Nepalese in the UK and around are excited to be part of this historic moment for Nepali music.”

Nepathya has been in Nepali music scene for more than two decades. With 9 albums to its credit, Nepathya has in the past two decades been amongst the most consistent band in terms of delivery and popularity. Founded by Deepak Rana. Bhim Pun and Amrit Gurung, Nepathya has since seen many faces come and go. Amrit remains the sole remaining founding member of the band. The band has in these years done numerous tours within the country and beyond. Its international shows spread from Sikkim of India to Sydney of Australia. Israel, Hong Kong, South Korea, USA, Finland, Holland, Belgium… and the list goes on. The current trip to the UK is to be Nepathya’s first appearance in the Kingdom.

The show is being coordinated by Nepathya’s management company – nepa~laya in association with UK based Subsonic Routes and Parcha Productions.

“Many friends from around UK have called us expressing their excitement. I already know few people who are travelling from Holland, Belgium, Norway and also the USA to attend the show,’ shared Kiran Krishna Shrestha of nepa~laya, Nepathya’s management company. “It is indeed very encouraging for us to see Nepalese uniting to be part of the show,” he added.

 “The stage where all the major names in music have performed is going to host Nepathya, our Nepali band. Even recently The Who and Santana made a powerful show there. This is an attempt to present Nepali music on the World Stage and I am confident this is just a beginning” says Shuba Giri of UK based Subsonic Routes who is co-organizing the show with Parcha Productions.

While as what we started with we share you the speech by Kiran Krishna Shrestha  -


Kiran Krishna Shresthain the good spirit of Nepali culture...I am waiting for this dream of mine to come true...

It was April 2003 - The Rolling Stones were performing live in India. Curious to see, or rather observe a concert of International Standards, I along with my team from nepa~laya travelled all the way to Bombay. It was a wonderful concert and more than that it was a very motivating event for a person like me related to similar business. A month prior to this, back in Nepal - we along with Himal Association had organised a Mega National Musical Tour - Sundar Shanta Nepal.

Of course, resources wise our concert and theirs remain incomparable. But it was very inspiring to see that - the management style of the entire event was very similar to what we had been following. The event was pre-poned by one week due to the SARS epidemic in the Southeast, the tickets were very highly priced at INRs. 5,000, 2000, 1000… and yet people came in such high numbers - it was an almost sold out show. Since then - I am nurturing one question in my head -

Why can't we do a show of such magnitude with a Nepali Artist ?

Nepali Music Scene - a brief background

Nepali Music in recorded form started gaining momentum after the establishment of the state owned Radio Nepal during the early 50s. Commercialisation of Audio products was then initiated by yet another state owned - Ratna Recording.

But commercialisation of Audio products in true form only started during the mid-eighties. Amongst the first albums considered to be produced during this period was Jayananda Lama's album of folk songs. A private company - Music Nepal, took this initiative.

Since then it has been no looking back - for Music Nepal and for some 70 -80 music companies currently existing in Nepal. Influx of Private Radio stations (number of which has now reached close to 40), and private TV channels have aided in popularising Nepali music within Nepal and beyond.

Today Music is considered as a lucrative business, and being a singer / musician is considered a well to do profession. Due to all these, there has been a lot of quantitative increase in the number of artists and this has certainly exposed some extremely good talents as well.

Nepali melodies have already proven it's universal acceptance.

Few examples to support this statement here would be:

  • Phil Collin's hit - Mama and our Tamang Selo have a very similar rhythm base.
  • Renowned Bollywood Music Director R.D. Burman's first hit - Divana Mujhsa Nahi... iis amber ke niche... was a copy from Ambar Gurung's … He Kancha malai suun ko tara khasai deuna... (Burman himself later acknowledged this fact )
  • A Hindi Film Pyar mein Kabhi Kabhi recently took in The Himalayan Band's Musu Musu Hanshi deuna... as a title track - the song became a big hit but credit did not reach the Himalayans...
From The Himalayan Band to Nepathya, and from Narayan Gopal to Navin K. Bhattarai, Nepali music has seen a lots of ups and down - and as time passes the musicians are getting more serious, focused and musically matured.

Now it is high time Nepali music receives a wider first hand international exposure. but...

Attaining this target cannot be done with an individual effort of an artist or an art lover. Active support from as many individuals, groups, organisations are required.

If all of us - Professional Art based organisations from Nepal and the Nepali community living all around the globe can set up a network and start communicating - I can already see it happening.

Music is now considered an international Language

In today's world when we are talking about the world coming together as a Global Village- no music is confined to languages- it is considered as an international language. The only categorisation it has now is - GOOD music and BAD music.

With Nepali musical bands like Nepathya trying to make their move into a genre of World Music - Nepalese music certainly has a great potential. Nepalese melodies always had potentials.... and now Nepalese musicians are getting mature and more competent. Nepathya's new album (schedule to be released by November end 2003) certainly qualifies to be called World Music... the melodies are all typical Nepali and performance is western rock based... It is very amazing to realise that- Nepali Folk Melodies have very close resemblance to Rock.


If some Arabian, African, or Spanish songs can be universal hits, why can't a Nepali song be one? e.g. who in Nepal or in Kiribati understands

Ricky Martin's Un, dos, tress... or Ritchie Valens' Labamba... (later sung by Los Lobos), or Algerian - Khalid's Didi... Los del Rio's super hit Macarena

but yet it was equally hit in those places as in the US and Europe. We need to make Nepali Music popular and take it beyond.... All it requires is a good PR to start with and make the international Press favourable towards Nepali Music. Places where Nepalese live in abundance should pressurise the local radio stations and TV stations to accommodate Nepali songs as well.

A separate Nepali channel is always helpful, but not a necessity to bring this to practise.

Nepali Music and NRNs

The number of Nepalese speaking communities living outside of Nepal easily exceeds seven figures. The NRN population beyond the SAARC boundaries itself crosses a million.

Now this is the population I would categorise as - sentimentally 'very' attached to Nepali culture.

In the past this segment of Nepalese have been well exploited by a lot of shortsighted middlemen... thus creating a negative impact.

e.g. recent reports say - in Malaysia, so many shows has been called off after selling the tickets - that, now the audience do not show interest in any events.

Shows are publicised, tickets are sold - but when the time of the show comes - nothing happens. The money is wasted - and more than that people's impression over such programme diminishes.

LACK of CREDIBILITY of the people behind such programmes is the major reason behind Nepalese art being badnam amongst Nepalese.

But fortunately there are NRNs already seriously working towards promoting and organising Nepali Music - but they too face problems. Some of the common problems they face are:

  1. efforts made on Individual or sometimes communal basis, fail to cater to the larger NRN community in their locality / area.
  2. The shows organised does not become technically professionals.
  3. A lot of obligatory factors come into practice - making it very difficult to function.
  4. A threat of the Artists - overstaying in the visited country - always remains.

We have been doing it on individual and communal levels - but now we need to push it to an international level.

One straight solution to all these problems is - to institutionalise these practices.


  1. Identify and promote quality music.

    Only promote music that has something original - promoting a Nepali cover version of a western song will not help us as we will not be able to defend it's originality. Especially when we are talking about getting it in the radio stations... and trying to get Nepal loving bideshis to be the customers of the Nepali Music. To start with Nepal Loving Bideshis can be considered as those who have visited Nepal. Local Data Base on these people can be initiated by local chapters of NRNs.
  2. Work with an agent...

    Past practices has been - all artists in Nepal are their own managers - but now things are changing. Try talking to the artists through an Agent / promoter.
  3. Promoting Nepali Art and Culture abroad could be a very profitable venture.

    Business related to Nepali music and organising events... could be an opportunity to explore. Make Art a Professional Affair than just a voluntary - charity affair.

    We should rise from the conventional practice of affiliating clubs, societies... to making this a more professional affair. This new practice will help develop a professional commitment towards Music from people involved in it. This will also, in a long run, help to promote Nepali Music in the International Market, and whoever gets into it will make both - name and fame.
As we (nepa-laya) have proved in Nepal.

When we started it 2 years back- everyone thought we were nuts - but now we have proved it in - not only Kathmandu but all over Nepal.

Today we have a very strong national network throughout the country.

Last line

nepa~laya aims to build an international network of organisations / companies / individuals committed to promote Nepali Culture...

Paper presented on 12th of October 2004, at the First NRN Meet held in Kathmandu

Kiran Krishna Shrestha
Team leader
event nepa~laya
foundation nepa~laya

Source - NRN, Nepathya, nepa~laya


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