Could you tell us a bit about The Arbitrary Group and how its musical journey began?
I had started this club called the Victory Lounge and had organized a concert of Bipul Chhteri. It was super successful, and the club was packed. Later on, I had this question in my head, ‘What is the difference between Bipul Chettri and other local Nepali music artists?’ I knew about a lot of great artists. Then, I came to this conclusion that Nepali artists are not managed properly. Their job is to make music and leave the other tasks like promotion, booking gigs, making payments, etc. to their manager. Thus, my friends and I started a record label that would become a platform for such artists. We invested in these artists, and now a few years later, we have big names like Swopna Suman, Trisala Gurung, and many more. We wanted to find a medium for people to hear these artists, thus we started our own YouTube channel called Channel Arbitrary, where we have a massive number of subscribers. So, I guess this is what The Arbitrary Group is about in a nutshell!
You sign a lot of young artists. What are the criteria of selection?
There no as such criteria on which we sign the artists. Every once in a while, we go out and hear a new voice. We then contact them and ask them if they interested and have faith in us. Then, we sign them. It is a bit tricky in Nepal, as record labels are rare.
You have an eclectic group of musicians; from solo artists to DJs. What sort of musical genius are you looking for next?
We just signed Srijina Shrestha and Abhishek KC of Underside, which is one of the biggest metal bands in Nepal. We are signing his new band with Srijina. This a very experimental band, as they have both rock and electronica music influences.
Having embraced social media, would you think of expanding to any other platform?
Yes, that is true. We are focusing now on digital marketing. It is the biggest thing that is going to happen. We are constantly doing promotions and fun activities via our Facebook and Instagram accounts. We are looking forward to collaborating with RJs now and do something new.
Why do you specifically focus on the youth of Nepal as your audience?
I think it’s the opposite way around! (laughs) We are not targeting anyone in particular, but it seems like they have embraced us!
What new genre would you like to focus on next?
We are actually planning to start something in electronic music. We have a few artists in mind and will sign them soon. Until then, it’s a secret!
What is the story behind your popular segment, ‘Me and My Guitar’?
We had a huge discussion about this. We had many original compositions ready, so why focus on covers. I insisted on doing only covers because it is difficult to launch original compositions. They prefer songs that are familiar. Through this segment, our artists have become famous because of their covers. For example, Trisala Gurung has not yet taken out an original composition, and she is so popular. But, it is going to be out soon!
How many artists are you currently managing?
I am not sure of the exact figure, but it’s around ten.
Can we expect more original compositions?
Yes, that is my next plan of action. We are planning to release at least five new original songs in the next two months. In 2018, we will be releasing new albums as well.
Could you tell us a bit about your tour to Australia?
Definitely! We had three artists; Nattu, Pryatna, and Swopna, who performed in Melbourne and Sydney. All of them were super-duper successful, and we have received calls from the organizers to perform again.
What are your plans for the future?
On the business front, we are launching a new digital marketing company called Arbitrary Digital Marketing, and I am focusing on it. On the musical front, as I mentioned, original compositions. We have a very creative team, and we come up with new and exciting ideas every day! So, look forward to some really good stuff from us in 2018!