A look back into Nepali music industry 

Nepali music

In February, social media got frenzy after the song Pirai Pir by Bhupu Pandey was released on YouTube. Many Nepali youths found the song relevant. The song shows the struggle of unemployed Nepali youths. Pirai Pir is one of the most popular songs of this year (according to the Gregorian calendar). As of writing this piece, the song has crossed 7 million views on YouTube. 

This year the song on social issues became widely popular in Nepal. Songs by Prakash Saput, Damai Raja and Jale Rumal Fatyo, both based on social issues, earned immense hype. 

There is no exact data on the number of Nepali songs released this year. However, if we assume that about one and a half dozen songs were released daily on YouTube, more than 6,500 songs were released this year according to Bikram Sambat Calendar. However, only a few of them were well received by the audiences. 

Currently, there are various digital platforms to release songs. However, YouTube is still the major source to listen to music in Nepal. The status of songs on YouTube determines the popularity of the song. 

Based on the views on YouTube, Areli Kadaile Malai Chwassai by Shanti Shree Pariyar can be considered the most popular song of the year. Likewise, Sarangi of Sushant KC, Katta Handinchu of Eleena Chauhan,  Rimai of Melina Rai, Damai Maharaja of Prakash Saput and Shanti Shree Pariya, Fulthunge Rani of Sujan Chapagain, Sustari Sustari of Yash Kumar, Uta Pareli Jhim Jhim Bho of Hemanta Sharma and Asmita Adhikari, Mutu Katakai of Prakash Saput, Kushal Belbase and Pratap Das and Kasari of Yabesh Thapa are also the popular songs of this year.  

According to observers, although many songs were released this year, there was an absence of songs which could remain evergreen. According to musician Alok Shree, the Nepali music scene could not get notable songs this year. 

“Even the hit songs became popular just for a couple of months. Last year, the song Ke Lat Basyo by Tilak Singh Pela came out as an evergreen song,” says Alok Shree. “Overall, this year we could not get a song that significantly contributed to the Nepali music industry.” 

Popular singers like Shiva Pariyar and Pramod Kharel earned mediocre popularity this year.  Kharel’s songs Timro Saath Bina, Timro Maan Badliyo and Ganga Jamuna became popular. Similarly, Timi Hau Sabthok, Timi Ra Ma and Dhokebaj Hau Timi-3 were some of the popular songs of Pariyar. 

“I don’t know whether it is due to the limitations of singers or the changing musical taste of the audience, this year we could not get remarkable modern songs,” says singer Shiva Pariyar.”The singer has become stage-oriented due to which they have done something unfair to their main genre.” 

On the other hand, pop singers Sushant KC, Swoopna Suman and Yabesh Thapa continued to shine. 

The filmy songs, which once used to rule the entire music sector, fell short of expectations this year, says musician Alok Shree.  

“The filmy songs these days are no more intriguing. The practice of featuring songs in film is also decreasing.” 

Busy with stage and studio  

Nepali music
Singer Eleena Chauhan

The stage shows, which were revived last year, since the Covid, engaged artists even more this year. From the established artist to the artist with a few popular songs, everyone got busy with the national and international shows. Singers like Asmita Adhikari, Prakash Saput,  Shanti Shree Pariyar, Eleena Chauhan, Rachana Rimal and Samikshya Adhikari did a massive number of shows outside Kathmandu. 

Similarly, Ram Krishna Dhakal, Yam Baral, Rajesh Payal Rai, Anju Panta, Pramod Kharel, Shiva Pariyar and  Melina Rai got busy on both the stage and studio. New generation singers Sushant KC, Sajjan Raj Vaidya, Yabesh Thapa, Swoopna Suman and V-Ten also did a lot of national and international tours. 

Folk rock band Nepathya showed a strong presence in the concerts. Along with different parts of the country, the band also travelled to Australia, Canada and Japan for the shows. Similarly, Kandara made their comeback by performing in their hometown Pokhara. 

Gone but not forgotten  

Bhakta Raj Acharya
Bhakta Raj Acharya

This year Nepali music industry lost a gem. Singer Bhakta Raj Acharya, popularly known as Bhajan Siromani, passed away at 82. He was the contemporary of Narayan Gopal and Prem Dhoj Pradhan

“We have lost a remarkable musician,” says musician Alok Shree. “Since the day Acharya was forced to stop singing, Nepal’s music industry has been grappling with a shortage of quality music.”

This year the Nepali music industry also lost singers Yogesh Vaidya, Dil Maya Khati and Robin Tamang

Exploring other platforms 

Ever since its launch, Spotify has been a hit among music listeners in Nepal. Photo by Imtiyaz Ali on Unsplash

YouTube is still the most popular platform to listen to music in Nepal.  When it comes to releasing a song on YouTube most of the artists also prefer to make a music video. YouTube has been a great source of income for the majority of Nepali artists. 

But there are also platforms where artists can upload just an audio of the song and earn from it. Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music are some of those. 

“This year the number of artists who have generated income from these platforms has increased,” says Rajendra Aryal, an IT expert, who also has experience managing the social media of popular artists. 


In general, musician Alok Shree believes that this year Nepali music remained mediocre. 

“We could not get good new singers and evergreen songs,” says Alok Shree.   

Singer Pariyar says that we should run behind stage-oriented songs. 

“As everyone became stage-oriented this year, we got only a few good songs,” says Pariyar. “We should seriously review it and move ahead.”  

Pariyar also echoes Alok Shree, saying that the music industry this year remained mediocre. 

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Risal is a desk editor at Onlinekhabar.

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