Sudin Pokharel ‘DA’ is Back Again

  • November 13, 2019

Decades of dedication for one’s passion is not an easy task for all. Sudin Pokharel has been a proven gem in the Nepali music industry since the mid-90s. Despite living abroad for almost eight years now, Pokharel’s appetite for creating Nepali music has not budged an inch. Rap songs that dig into the deep-rooted malpractices in Nepali society as well as national politics are undoubtedly Pokharel’s fortes.  Talking to, Pokharel shared about his journey to the new album and about life as an artist living in Australia. 

What have you been upto these past years?

I was away on an eight-year-long vacation far from lights, camera and music. I have been busy with my family and friends, doing things that I wasn’t able to do when I was in the limelight. I’ve also been spending quality time with my wife and daughter, Maya, who is three years old, my dad and mum.

How is life in Australia as a Nepali artist?

Life is good here. I don’t know about other artists, but Australia is treating me well. I came here without any identity or as a regular guy from Nepal who had passion to learn more about everything. Being away from the spotlight has worked well so far.

Sudin Pokharel exploring nature. (Taken from Pokharel’s FB)

What is the survival tactic for Nepali celebrities living abroad and away from the fame?

The most important thing is you absolutely must forget who you were in your country, here you are a commoner. Secondly, try to be happy with whatever you have. Thirdly, don’t let depression hit you, and finally always be proud of your past achievements as an artist.

What is your new album about? What were the inspirations for your new tracks?

I am working on my album in a slow and steady manner. My first track JOSH will be out anytime soon. I am already done with its recording and music video. Currently, I am working with some young and raw talents who are studying and living here in Australia. They are good and they are happy to get a chance to work with me. JOSH is about my life (after leaving Nepal) – it answers why I left Nepal and what I am doing at present. The track is about my struggles and happiness. My family has been my inspiration for this track. The song also talks about some bitter truth of Nepali television and music industry.

Sudin Pokharel with Mistah Cham-Bling in the cover of Josh. (Taken from Pokharel’s FB)

Tell us who you are collaborating with and how did you manage to come up with the new album despite being abroad.

Well, I have a few solos and lined up and I am working with some good producers back home, including Lazy Boi, Sujil Karmacharya, Unity and we will be back at the recording studio pretty soon. I will also be working with Sugam Pokhrel to revive our old band called SUPOKS which we had formed back in 1996/97. I believe when you have passion, you can manage time from any corner of the globe to fulfill your dreams.

What do you think about the current scene of rap music in Nepal? Who are the new/young rap artists that you like (Nepali artists)?

Nepali rap is international now. The new generation has taken it to the next level and I am happy to see new talents emerging from different parts of Nepal. Among the new lot, I like Uniq Poet, Balen, McFlo, Laure, Yodda. Nonetheless, other artists are equally good.

What would you say about the transition in Nepali rap music? Do you prefer the old rap scene or new rap scene?

Old school rap is old school, there is no comparison. However, artists from the new school of thought are also good and getting better by the day. New artists have the potential to make an international impact.

How do you keep up with music-related news from Nepal? Do you read the news or do your friends inform you?

I think I am more updated and aware about the current happenings as compared to the people who are living in Nepal. I read almost all news portals. For music, I get my updates via YouTube. I am also active on Twitter @sudinpokharel.

Is the Nepali population supportive of Nepali artists in Australia? What is the situation like?

Yes, they are. You can see Nepali artists performing here every week.

Who are your rap inspirations, Nepali and international artists?

To be frank, I don’t have any such inspirations. Being from Biratnagar and a 90’s kid, one could only listen to Hindi filmy songs back then. Rap was rare for us. But GP (Girish Khatiwada and Pranil Timilsina) inspired me. Later, they also featured me in the song Ma Yesto Chu, which was a game changer for my career. It was only much later, when I had access to the internet, I started listening to Dr Dre, Ice Cube, Bone Thug and Harmony.

Sudin Pokharel appeared in a video published on Girish Khatiwada’s YouTube channel in 2018. (Screengrab via YouTube)

Do you plan on promoting the new album in Australia?

I am promoting everywhere; social media is huge these days. I am also promoting my new album in Nepal. I have friends at almost all Nepali media houses and they are helping me do so. I don’t have any concerts lined up at the moment, but will be taking shows later.

What kind of music attracts Nepalis currently living in Australia?

Pop, Rock, Rap and Folk genre artists come for shows in Australia. People here support Nepali music as a whole — they don’t go for a specific genre.

What do you miss the most about Nepal?

Everything. Apart from the television and music, I miss the festivals, Biratnagar, all chowks and gallis, and of course my friends and families.

Any merch under your name at the moment?

Well, I just designed my t-shirt with the ‘DA’ logo and people have shown immense interest in it. Let’s see how it goes.

Sudin Pokharel shows his new merch with his signature DA logo in Australia. (Taken from Pokharel’s FB)

How interested are you in Nepali politics? Does being aware about Nepali political scenario give you ideas to create new songs?

I believe every Nepali should have an interest in politics. Moreover, being a journalist makes me naturally keen so I try to keep a tab on almost all events. As rap somehow gets related with politics, I like to portray a positive vibe through my music and give the message ‘Nepal Bandai Cha’ (Nepal is under-construction).

How do you plan on influencing young Nepali music enthusiasts?

I encourage all new artists to write down their songs and bring their feelings out. It is, however, crucial that they start with a happy song rather than a sad one because we lack the feeling of happiness in our songs.

Anything you’d like to say to the fans?

Support Nepali music and artists.