Bibash Paudel, a composer and arranger in his own right, brings in his first solo A Cappella number Timi Nai Hau. In the process, he has become the only singer in Nepal to release a song completely in the genre. Fr!day talks to the experimenter and digs into the making of Timi Nai Hau.

 

Hundreds of singles enter the archives of coveted FM stations every day. From established to emerging singers, from professionals to hobbyists, and from people with good music background to just a good voice – all compete in the race to top the charts. In this cut-throat competition to make it there, flavors matter. To those who can bring in experimental music technique, untried and untested vocal variety – the industry is always open.
Enter Bibash Paudel. Even though he is not new to the industry, with more than 20 songs of his own, Paudel has attempted to play with the raw form of music – A Cappella, a technique very much new in the Nepali music scene.


 

A Cappella translates to “without accompanying a musical instrument”. Generally meant to be accompanied with musical effects made by mouth, A Cappella has gradually transformed to make way for beatbox, slaps and kicks, and even imitations. Popular in churches since the 19th century, these days however, A Cappella has gained much popularity in musical compositions, ad hoc performances and sometimes seen in a flash mob, too.


Paudel released his first A Cappella song, along with the music video and the making, earlier this year. He did a cover of 1974 AD’s Parelima, which amassed positive nods from the audience. Paudel says, “Challenges in A Cappella are a plenty. You need to deliver. It’s not just the song or the music that matters, but the sound effects produced need to be convincing as well. The cover was released primarily on YouTube so that people could relate to the sound with the visual and actually see that sounds were produced by the mouth and the body, and not with any instrument.”


After the cover song, Paudel’s solo with Timi Nai Hau was released on 5 July, simultaneously on YouTube and on TV. The lyrics, composition, vocals and A Cappella effects are done by Paudel himself, whilst the music video is produced by Shivram Shrestha on camera, Jivan Rijal on assistant camera and edited by Bharat Regmi. The making of this song has taken a span of over two months and rigorous making-remaking in the process. Paudel says, “I first wrote and composed the song using everyday musical instruments. But after watching Alaa Wardi’s A Cappella video on the Internet and making a cover of Parelima, I took it to myself that I wanted an A Cappella for my own song. And here is Timi Nai Hau. This song has not been made separately with musical instruments, but is a standalone A Cappella number.”


The song showcases a range of vocally produced sound effects of guitar, synth sound, bass effects, and also comprises sounds of kick, clap, thumps with percussion sounds created with slaps, vocal beatbox. The music video of the song also illustrates how the music has been created, how much manipulation is done on the sound produced by mouth. Paudel says, “I have not been able to put all the effects in the video though. It’s a life-lesson and making an A Cappella is not as easy as it looks.”


You can find quite a few A Cappella numbers on the Internet, most of them created by a single artist and almost all of them are covers. Since A Cappella is always experimental, getting the job correctly done is the biggest challenge to the artists. In Nepal, this experiment has hardly been conducted. Paudel says, “I don’t know the history of A Cappella in Nepal. Nima Rumba’s number Euti Pari Chha was predominated by his vocals, but that’s not an A Cappella. Maybe my research is incomplete, but I have not found any other A Cappella performances in Nepal yet.”
When asked if an unheard song like Timi Nai Hau can

make its mark with A Cappella alone, Paudel says, “I don’t know. To many extents, the song truly stands on the trials of time.” Experimental songs in Nepali music industry have been taken well, be it by musical methods, vocal methods or even with lyrical variants. What’s in future for A Cappella is yet to be seen.!