With a dream of becoming a successful singer, Milan Newar (previously known as Milan Amatya) came to Nepal from Assam, India. Though the Nepali audience was new to her, Newar was already a well-known Nepali-speaking singer in Assam, and she was excited about the new journey to Kathmandu.
Yet, for someone like Newar who was already a hit singer in her hometown, it was a challenge to begin everything from the scratch in Nepal.
It was 13 years back. But today, Milan Newar is a household name. Yet, this celebrated singer says she is not happy with her performance as she has a deep desire to change the genre and go more classical.
The turning point
Newar says she decided to come to Kathmandu as her father always wanted her to do music in Nepal, which was his ancestors’ land. Following the decision, she contacted her sister and brother-in-law, who were in Kathmandu, and came here to stay with them.
In the early days, her brother-in-law used to take her to a recording studio as she was preparing for her debut album, Milan. Her song Jahile Dekhi from the album was a hit and the rest is history.
Gala Ratai, released in 2015, became the next turning point for Milan Newar in her musical career as this song from the film, Notebook, introduced her to a larger mass. Prior to Gala Ratai, she also recorded Ma Panchhi Hu for another film, but the release of the song was delayed for five years.
Growing out of the problems
While the graph of her success in music was growing every day, she also went through some personal issues. However, she believes that those problems helped in her growth.
“Without ups and downs in life, one cannot grow. The twist and turn in life help in distinguishing good and bad things,” she says.
Milan Newar is a stage-friendly singer. She loves performing on stage by interacting with the audience. According to her, the studio helps the song reach the audience, but the stage examines the actual potential of the performers.
One can be a complete performer only after performing live in front of an audience, Newar says, adding the stage hence is similar to the examination hall. Newar, who has recently performed in different parts of Nepal and South Korea, says her guru has taught her that the stage is the battlefield of artists. The artist should step onto the stage by being well prepared from all sides.
The road ahead
Recently, Milan Newar released a lyrical video for Sunsan Raat 2, after which she learned about the expenses and unhealthy competition in making the music videoes.
In the same context, when asked whether the song is made to listen to or to watch, she replies that musicians should create according to the demand of the time. “Music is made to listen, it refreshes the ear,” she adds, “Music is made to feel and have the imagination of your own to enjoy to the fullest. It is not good to prioritise videoes.”
The inadequate budget has hindered commercial artists from making music videos. To overcome the excessive expenses, singers themselves are seen doing modelling in their songs.
Meanwhile, Milan Newar does not merely want to be restricted to modern songs; she says she also wants to work on classical music claiming she belongs to the same background.
She believes she still has not got a proper opportunity to sing classical songs and wants to grab one whenever possible.
“In classical music, there are rules that strictly needed to be followed. Commercial songs are relatively easy to sing, that’s why the audience also easily accepts such songs,” says Newar. “But classical music has a different kind of feel.”
This story was translated from the original Nepali version and edited for clarity and length.