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How Lockdown affected Abhaya

2021 Aug 28, 12:20, Kathmandu
Abhaya & The Steam Engines Photo: Abhaya Subba Instagram

Technology has found its way into Nepali music and it has helped the industry evolve a whole lot. New musicians and artists are seen experimenting with different styles and technology with their music.

Even though music enthusiasts may criticize this change, AbhayaSubba, Nepali singer/songwriter and front woman of the rock band Abhaya and the Steam Engines, sees this as a positive thing. “Some artists and music fanatics may find usage of technologies in the music industry to be unfair and unjust. It is natural to feel replaced by technology”, she says. “However, every generation needs to find their own way of expressing themselves. And it is very important for us to adapt to it and move along with time”, she adds.

Photo: Abhaya Subba Instagram
Photo: Abhaya Subba Instagram

With the whole world stuck inside their homes, live artists like Subba struggled hard during the lockdowns. Nothing went according to plan and it started taking a toll on her mental health.

Subba then decided to create content with what was available and came up with Grooving with The Steam Engines, a YouTube series where the band talks to other artists and collaborates with them. Subba has recently released a podcast series with them under a low budget and still managed to put out 6 episodes with songs. Given her limited resources and funding, she is quite happy with what she has been able to put out however the views might need a bit of an increment.

Subba has also given an insight on her upcoming song where she collaborates with several artists and DJs to create a mixture of EDM and lo-fi music genres. “The song is already done, however, the video might need some more time to be ready.”, adds Subba. Being a strong, independent woman, Subba has always been a strong influence when it comes to women empowerment. “There are a lot of young girls who are up and coming artists, I love listening and cheering them up.”, says Subba.

Photo: Abhaya Subba Instagram
Photo: Abhaya Subba Instagram

Having been in the Nepali Music Industry for such a long period of time, Subba expresses her views regarding the evolution of Nepali music. “We definitely need some kind of professionalism in the industry, in terms of having a label and help you to go places from A to B.”, explains Subba. She describes how the soul of a whole song is being diminished to mere 20-30 seconds Tiktok video. “It’s just that everyone wants to be famous and trending so we lack new songs which have a longer everlasting effect on people. It’s almost like people are listening to new songs in hopes of finding a perfect verse for their Tiktok videos:, she adds.
Subba further goes on to explain how there is a constant need to stay relevant nowadays. “We used to take a whole year to put out one album containing 8-10 songs and it used to be almost like a story, now it’s just about putting out a new song every month or else you have this constant fear that people will forget you.”, she explains.
Amidst this pandemic, Subba really misses the whole scene of touring. “The live music, the feels, the anticipation and the humdrum of getting to and fro from the venue is dearly missed.”, she reminisces . Subba fondly remembers her 2017 US tour and how it was one venue after another with very little sleep in between and yet, was very memorable to her.

Photo: Abhaya Subba Instagram
Photo: Abhaya Subba Instagram


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