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Drumming his way to success
KATHMANDU, Dec 23: It is difficult for any musician to follow their passion for music, if he/she has to earn for the family in Nepal. As such one can barely give time to the music where the parents prefer their children to pursue secured jobs over music. Like common middle-class families in Nepal, the family of Susan Pahadi, an aspirant drummer, initially did not support him.
“Initially my family believed that pursuing music could hardly feed me. So, they always tried to make me study hard and forget my passion,” said Pahadi. But the zeal to be a top musician led him to become the winner of ‘First Drum off, 2016’. The program was organized by Tone Music. “Now, I succeeded in winning their heart, as they witnessed my achievement; a collaboration with many good artists in Nepal,” he added.
Pahadi grew up in a family of music enthusiasts. His brother and cousin played guitar in front of him. Moreover, he also joined his brother in gigs. The drums played on gigs fascinated him. He then tried to understand the concept of beats. He played on his ‘home-made drum’: a drum he made with books on a clipboard on two small tin boxes. “One day I went to a gig with my brothers and got a chance to play the drum for a while. They were surprised to see me playing drums at such a small age. Moreover, I had never practiced drums before. It was that motivation which dragged me to learn playing drums,” Pahadi shared.
Initially, he studied on his own about drumming. This went on for a year. He watched others playing drums. He also fetched some ideas from YouTube. Later, many of his friends asked him to teach them on how to drum. But, as he never technically learned the theories on drumming, it was hard for him to teach them. He later enrolled to Nepal Music Centre and enhanced his drumming skills. Nikhil Tuladhar was his mentor. Nikhil helped him understand the concepts of a beat. He also helped Pahadi on enhancing creativity in music. He learned music from Nikhil for six months. The skills still assist him while he is drumming. Before traveling to China, he also took jazz classes from Kiran Shahi. Pahadi shared, “Learning jazz was very creative. Now, I learn from YouTube online lessons and also from books.”
He was an eighth grader when he had his first concert. He was lined up as a backup band in one of the inter-school singing competitions in Bhaktapur. Luckily, one of the judges was Dev Rana. Witnessing his drumming skills, Dev Rana, a pioneer drummer of Nepali music, gave him positive feedback. “It was a big challenge and opportunity to beat the drums in front of a legendary figure like Dev Rana. I got a big appreciation from him that day and still remember him saying “Babu! You have done a wonderful job. Keep it up,” he reminisced his earlier day.
‘Oi Hepchhas’ was his first recording. He did seven other songs from the album ‘Life to live on’ by ‘Himalayan Hendrix’.
He started listening to Linkin Park and Red Hot Chili Pepper initially. Later, he listened to Dream Theater and turned out to be a fan of the band’s former drummer Mike Portnoy. he slowly got more into progressive rock bands like Tool, Porcupine Tree, Spastic Ink, Neal Morse, Aristocrats, Polyphia and many more. Besides, he also listened to Gospel Music like Hillsong United, Planetshakers, Skillet and The 4korners. “There is no particular music or band that I love now because I love every genre of music.”
According to Pahadi, there is no particular technique, actually. For getting good speed in druming he explained, “You need to first set your goal and know what you really want to achieve in your drumming. Then, you need a regular routine to practice on the drums. Along with that you need to be patient and keep practicing. No one in this world has turned out as the best drummer in a day. At the end, discipline is the key to your achievement.”
Currently, he is in China for music related works. Earlier, worked in one of the best bars in the Yinchuan city, Ningxia called ‘Liang Yuan live music bar’. He now works at a five-star hotel called ‘Kempinski’. Besides, he is also giving free drum lessons on YouTube and run drum classes in the city he lives. He also has recorded his original track marking the Christmas.
He has been collecting equipment for setting up his own recording studio in near future. “I will return to Nepal. I am planning to start my studio and do many projects with my talented brothers in Nepal,” he shared.