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Profile | Dikyi Ukyab

“I was interested in music from a very young age. But it was only after going to New York that I took up formal training,” says Dikyi Ukyab, a new singer taking her first steps in the Nepali music industry. Ukyab comes from mixed roots; her mother is from Nepal while her father is Bhutanese, and she lives in New York. At the moment, she is in Nepal to finish up her first album, Silver Lining, which has been in production for over two years and will be launched within the end of this month. Videos for two songs from the album are also in the process of being made.

Silver Lining consists of eight songs and while most have been penned by well-known lyricist Durgalal Shrestha, and composed by music director Nhyoo Bajhracharya, two songs—both English tracks—are Ukyab’s own compositions. “The songs in the album are versatile. Some of them are love songs; some are patriotic while others carry positive messages about life in general,” she says. This diversity is clear in terms of style as well; despite being trained in western classical music, she has experimented with everything from pop, slow rock to folk and fusion in this album. Ukyab says that it was hard for her initially to hone her spoken Nepali for the songs. But with hard work and regular practice, it was no longer an obstacle.

“Dikyi has the ability to really feel the songs that she sings and that sort of emotional connection is the best quality a singer could have,” says Bajhracharya, himself a prominent name in the industry. He adds that one of the driving forces behind the album was her wish to pay homage to her roots. “Keeping that in mind, I have attempted a distinct fusion of Nepali folk and pop in these songs. It is an experiment for me as well,” he says.

Ukyab had been in her high-school choir and eventually trained in classical western music. Alongside, she has also been very active in musical theater and has a versatile voice. Currently she is studying Political Science at the State University of New York, while simultaneously studying music and singing in an acappella group. And if that wasn’t enough, Ukyab also writes poetry, inspired largely by her mother. “My songs are mostly poems themselves, words that I like to blend with the sound of my guitar,” she says. This musical affinity extends to her father as well, who has organised quite a few Nepali music programmes in New York.

Although living overseas, Ukyab has always had a soft spot for Nepali music and dreams of finding a niche of her own within the industry. She loves contemporary pop songs in particularly and had performed with Prashant Tamang in 2010. Ukyab is of the belief that music should not just be a means of personal satisfaction, but a medium of conveying important messages globally. At the moment, she is solely focused on last minute details with her album, and keeping her fingers crossed.

Source: eKantipur.com

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