Singing in many tongues
Jan 27, 2015-
Milan Amatya is one of the most sought after singers in Nepali pop music. Born to a Nepali family based in Assam, India, the singer is well-versed in multiple languages and has sung songs in Assamese, Bodo, Mishing and Rajasthani. The talented singer shared her passion for music with Simone Rawal and Smriti Karki. Excerpts:
What have you been working on these days?
Right now, I am working on my new album.
Other than work, what do you like to do when you have some time to yourself?
When I’m free, I like to relax and watch movies. I love listening to songs and like to dance as well.
Travelling is another passion of mine. Till date, I have been to seven countries, and want to visit more.
Any specific country you would like to go to?
What about your favourite place in Nepal?
What kinds of films and songs do you like?
My choice of music ranges from melodious and sentimental tracks to dance numbers. Anything that has melody catches my ear.
As for movies, I like ones that have beautiful storylines and strong plots. I also like watching romantic flicks.
Who is your favourite singer?
I mostly listen to old Nepal songs. So, I truly adore artists like Tara Devi and Aruna Lama. I also like to listen to Deep Shrestha.
Do you like to read novels?
For me, reading is all about mood. It’s quite difficult for me to sit down with a book unless it is exceedingly interesting. To put it simply, I’m not a very keen reader. Honestly, I hardly ever read books.
Do you have a favourite writer, though?
I don’t have a favourite author in particular. I recently read Rashmi Malhotra Ka Upanyas Sangraha by Rashmi Malhotra and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Do you like to try new dishes?
Of course I do (laughs).
Are you interested in cooking?
Yes, I do cook sometimes. But I experiment a lot while cooking. For me, cooking is mostly about experimenting with different ingredients (laughs). But everybody tells me that I cook chicken very well.
What would be your last meal on earth?
I’d want to eat something green, if it would be my last meal on earth. Spinach would be a good idea. And besides, spinach isn’t very difficult to find and that would make it quite convenient.
Are you brand conscious?
No, I don’t follow brands religiously. I buy clothes that I think are well designed. I like to wear both traditional as well as casual outfits.
But for my shows and performances, I get my attires from Uttam Creations, which is a really good boutique.
Is there anything you bought recently and you are really fond of?
While returning from Denmark, I bought a Swiss watch. I really like it. I can’t wait to put it on, but I still need to cut the wrist chain so that it fits me.
Do you look up to anyone as a source of inspiration?
My aunt Dukuna Newar is my source of inspiration. She is a singer from Assam and is great at what she does. I have been listening to her songs ever since I can remember, and she has inspired and fascinated me a lot.
Since when did you start singing?
I’ve been singing from a young age. My father always tells me that I used to sing even as a child. But professionally, I started singing from the age of 13.
Any memorable incident that you would like to share with us?
The year 2003 was the biggest turning point in my life. I entered the Sur Sangam International Competition in Jaipur that year. Naushad Ali, who has been conferred with the Padhma Bhushan, and ghazal singer Penaz Masani were seated as the judges. In the contest, I won the first-runner-up award in the folk and ghazal category. That incident is one of the most memorable moments of my life, and I haven’t looked back since.
Is there anything you are really scared of?
I am scared of darkness. I leave the lights on when I go to bed.
Is there anything you would like to change about yourself?
I am a very easy going person and I tend to trust people too easily. This proves to be an ordeal at times. I’d like to change that about myself.
If not in this field what would you be doing?
If not singing, I would have definitely spent my life serving the nation by joining the police or the army.
Is there a song that you are emotionally attached to?
The song Jahile Samma Sansaar Ma Rahanchan Gham Joon Tara, from my first album, is very close to my heart.
Do you play a musical instrument?
Yes, I play the harmonium.
What role does music play in your life?
Music is my passion. My relationship with the art is similar to the one between the soul and the body—the body is nothing without its soul. Music is the soul in my life.
Do you want to collaborate with any international/national artist?
There’s a long list of artists with whom I’d like to collaborate. In the future, if I get the chance, I would like to perform alongside my favourite singer Sonu Nigam.
Any advice to aspiring singers?
You should come into the business well prepared; be ready for competition and don’t give up.
Just because you may be struggling now doesn’t mean you will never be successful. Have faith in yourself. Don’t just learn to sing but try to understand the music as well.
Published: 27-01-2015 09:08