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INTERVIEW: Singer-songwriter Pragabh, who hails from Kathmandu, Nepal

Hailing from Kathmandu, Nepal and having lived and performed across Nepal, India, the United States, and Mexico, Pragabh has a distinct baritone with subtle swing influences. His sound is light and could be described as groovy-pop.  His live act consists of original songs in English, and covers in English, Spanish, and Hindi. His first Single, “Helsinki”, dropped on November 1, 2019. Pragabh is currently based in Cholula, Mexico.

  1. How and when did you first realize that music is what you wanted to pursue seriously?

Pragabh: When I was younger, I’d always been fascinated by music and art. I began playing around with poetry early on and eventually realized that music was something I enjoyed very much. However, I didn’t have the time or opportunity to seriously pursue it until very recently when I moved to Cholula, Mexico.

  1. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

Pragabh: I listen to an extremely wide range of genres today so that’s a tough one. But my early influences would probably be artists such as Louis Armstrong, Bob Marley, and The Beatles.

  1. Who do you consider among the most influential artists for you in the music today?

Pragabh: I enjoy listening to artists that create their own style and there are so many of them today. Chance The Rapper, Passenger, Ed Sheeran, and Hozier are a few that I like.

  1. You have travelled extensively. What has been the most rewarding part of this experience?

Pragabh: I enjoy meeting and talking to new people wherever I go, and it’s been a rewarding experience every single time. It lets you see places, ideas, and cultures through someone else’s eyes and I think that’s awesome.

  1. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough business?

Pragabh: I think the most important thing is to love what you’re doing. It’s simple. And I love my music.

  1. Which ingredient do you think is most essential ingredient in making your music sound the way it does?

Pragabh: I like to use inspirations around me to write and it’s the collective reflection of all these experiences that make my music sound the way it does.

  1. You just released the song “Helsinki”. Every song usually has a backstory or anecdote behind it. How did this song come about?

Pragabh: Helsinki is a beautiful city that I’ve wanted to visit for a while now, and I took that idea and began writing a song. I decided to make it reminiscent of many different moments all at once. After that, everything else fell into place, and Helsinki came about.

  1. Do you ever write a song with current trends or listener satisfaction in mind, or do you only compose what comes naturally from inside you?

Pragabh: I write music that I feel like writing. No one is going to like your songs if you don’t like them yourself. I just make sure I am doing what I enjoy, and the rest comes naturally.

  1. How did you go about recording the aforementioned track? Did you play, produce and arrange the instrumental?

Pragabh: I recorded Helsinki in Cholula, Mexico. I played, produced and arranged the music over the course of a few weeks, and then put it all together in the studio.

  1. Did you compose the both the music and lyrics for “Helsinki”?

Pragabh: Yes I did. I wrote all the music and played all the instruments except the drums, which I got one of my friends to play.

  1. Did you encounter any specific difficulties while completing this track? And did the final production come out exactly as you intended when writing the song?

Pragabh: I realized that the music industry is a whole lot of work! But I had so much fun making this song, and am absolutely happy with the results.

  1. Do you perform live music events/gigs? And if so, which do you prefer more – live gigs or studio work?

Pragabh: Yes I do perform live. In fact, I prefer live performances (whether mine or someone else’s) over studio work for the simple reason that there is more to music than just the sound. The lights, the background noises, the company you’re with and the very moment itself are all part of the musical experience. So live music wins every time.

  1. Has “Helsinki” been performed in front of an audience yet? If so, what was the crowd response like?

Pragabh: I have performed Helsinki a few times in front of an audience and the feedback has been phenomenal! I’m glad people are enjoying it as much as I do.

  1. From where do you mostly draw your inspiration for your songs?

Pragabh: From everything I see, hear or experience. I don’t have to look very far for inspiration because there’s so much in the world around us to draw from.

  1. Do you have any upcoming tours or shows that your fans would want to know about?

Pragabh: I am playing at a festival called Piso Cero in Puebla, Mexico between from the 5th to the 7th of December. It’s a celebration of art, music, poetry, and food, and much more, and I am very excited about it.

  1. What do you think mainly separates you from the massive crowd of artists emerging right now on platforms all over the internet?

Pragabh: I like to think every artist is unique in their own right, and so it is less important to focus on being different and more important to focus on being yourself. I am Pragabh. That’s what makes me different.

  1. In general, do you consider the Internet and all of the social media platforms as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

Pragabh: Absolutely! The internet is the biggest platform for musicians today and is a gift to artists. I have a good relationship with the technology today as I studied marketing and have a significant amount of experience in that field. The internet facilitates an easy link between artists and fans. However, at the end of the day, it’s about making a connection with your listeners, rather than just feeding them your art.

  1. How do you handle criticism and/or naysayers in general? Is it something you pay attention to, or simply ignore?

Pragabh: I love criticism. It makes all of us better so there’s no good reason to ignore it. I would rather hear the truth than receive a meaningless compliment.

  1. And do you have a specific vision or goal set in your mind that you would like to achieve in the near future?

Pragabh: I’m working on an EP at the moment, and also trying to get better at Spanish during my time here in Mexico. I don’t fuss about details because nothing ever ends up happening exactly how you plan it. The only goal I have in mind is to have a good time here.

  1. So besides music, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing / producing / recording / playing etc.?

Pragabh: I absolutely love traveling and one of my favorite things to do is meet new people from all over the world!  I like playing tennis, am an avid reader, and I also enjoy adventure sports such as skydiving and rock climbing.


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