A lifetime of dedicated faith, boundless enthusiasm, and true passion for the art of music has led BijuBajra into a sonic whirlwind of creativity, imagination, and inspiration. From his early days, he began to compose and produce his own stunning songs and considers music as an art that makes him feel alive.Born into a musical environment in Gulmi, Lumbini, BijuBajra was continually exposed to music:“When I was little, I used to love playing melodies on my harmonium, slapping tables, and clicking out rhythms on my teeth—basically making music from everything possible”.
Now, he runs a music recording studio, Bajra Creation Records, along with his two sons, Kobidand Bikesh, both of whom are ethnomusicology graduates.With hundreds of impressive songs like ‘BistaraiChayo’ by Karna Das, ‘Timi Ma Bhanda’ by SugamPokhrel, and ‘Mai ThuliBhai Chu Re’ by ReshmaSunuwar, BijuBajra is truly connecting music-fans to his rhythms and melodies. Friday was lucky to chat with this multifaceted artist and talk about his musical journey so far.
When did you start composing music? Who were you influenced by?
I started composing before I even knew what composing was. As a kid, I remember having tunes going around in my head that I kept improvising. Rather than being influenced from other artists, I simply consider the existence of a harmonium at my home back in Gulmito havemade me into a musician. In 1990, I came to Kathmandu and met amazing artists like Uttam Nepali, Nabindra Raj Bhandari, and ShashiBikram Shah, who played with colors in much the same way I wanted to play with music. Those artists had a big hand in establishing my name in the Nepali music industry.
What do you personally consider to be your incisive moments in your musical career?
My first recorded song, ‘Jun Ramro’, sung by PramodUpadhyaya, has a special place in my heart, but I consider my incisive moment to be when I got the opportunity to compose a theme song for Kids Guernica, an art project where 28 countries participated. Also, the song, ‘BistaraiChayo’, sung by Karna Das, is the song that made me rise to fame and be renowned as a successful musician in Nepal.
What do you usually start with when composing?
Music for me is storytelling, so I usually start with an intention to make my feelings, my story, come alive through music. Once I have that in mind, I sit in my studio with a sound recorder (before, a Walkman), either with my harmonium or guitar, and start going with the vibe. There are times when a composition takes only an hour to be completed, but some also takes months. It’s a mixture between intention and chance.
How would you describe your “sound”?
Many of the artists I have worked with have observed this fact that I make easy-to-listen-to songs that are strangely very hard to sing. I’m drawn to more melancholy harmonies with textures that can make people feel something. However, as a commercial composer, I try to be versatile and make music to the needs of the creative goal.
What’s in the pipeline of dreams and future plans?
Working as a musician is what makes me happy and being happy is my ultimate lifetime dream. With that said, I will be producing more good music in the upcoming days and will be working along with my sons at our studio, Bajra Cre