Each year brings with it hundreds of new releases on the music scene but there are only a handful that go on to define the year. The curtains are almost closed on 2016 and what a tremendous and unexpected year it has been musically. It has been filled with surprise albums, epic tours, some jaw-dropping behaviors and multiple farewells to some of the biggest legends. But still, at the end of the day, the only way to relive the magic of the rollercoaster musical year is to go back to our playlist. Here, some artists talk about the songs that ruled their 2016.
Kali Prasad Baskota
Song of the year: Cheap Thrills
You could say I officially became a fan of Sia in 2016. This year, her new album ‘This is Acting’ proved to be the best.
I think in the last few short years, Sia has gone from subverting the mainstream to being the mainstream. She is not only a vocal powerhouse but also a talented singer and a songwriter. I really liked her style in this new album and the compositions are really the best of the year.
Catchiest tune of the year: The break up song
This Ae Dil Hai Mushkil soundtrack has been very hard to miss. It is literally everywhere from weddings, dance parties to the barber shop and every now and then I find it playing in my head as well. Not that I mind it. It’s a catchy tune in good way. My brain has a habit of ignoring the bad tunes and only the good ones get stuck in my head.
Discovery of 2016
There is a new, promising talent, Sushant. He hasn’t released an official album yet. The public is also largely unaware of him but among the industry insiders he is making all the right kinds of noise. Sushant is a singer and composer and I heard his work through a couple of my friends. He does both acoustic as well as more up tempo, dance sort of music and I think he shows a lot of potential. It shall be interesting to see how the market reacts to him in the future.
Song of the year: Junkeri
Firstly, the title of the song itself had me intrigued. I just think it reflects Bipul Chettri’s unique charm. So when he released a brand new album called Maya online, I had to check it out.
Some might say there is a lot of similarity between his new work and the first album but I actually find that quite endearing. I’m glad he doesn’t succumb to western influences and makes music that upholds our folk roots. Out of all his singles in Maya, I thought Junkeri was the best.
Catchiest song of the year: 1,2,3,4,5 dance song
Chakka Panja certainly gave us some of the biggest viral hits of the year. This dance song probably stuck with me for the longest time. As it is, I like singing to myself while riding my scooter or walking around and doing my chores and this is just a fun song to sing. I think the energy in the song is what makes it catchy.
Discovery of the year: Bikash Chamling
As I mentioned, I like songs that have a certain Nepali flavor to it. Even though I listen to songs from other genres and international artists, I put in more effort to discover artists who sing in Nepali. This year I was pleasantly surprised by Bikash Chamling. He is another singer from Sikkim and I heard about him through other colleagues in the studio. I like having his tunes in my playlist. They are incredibly melodious and soothing.
Pavit Maharjan Song of the year: Berkeley University student’s cover of A.R Rahman
This performance really struck a chord with me. It is only natural that music students find inspiration in Rahman. Berklee College of Music’s Indian Ensemble covered some of Rahman’s best songs, ranging from Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera to Dil Se Re.
It gives you goose bumps and really encourages you make music your own. It’s about putting your own flavor to it and it’s the sort of message we want to pass on as well.
Catchiest tune of the year: Pirates of the Caribbean theme song
I couldn’t shake off the main track of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie this entire year. It’s epic with grand orchestra arrangements. What’s more, there is a touch of Celtic music influence as well and since this time around our band is also focusing on that kind of music, I guess, I was more fascinated by it.
Discovery of 2016: Navneet Aditya Waiba
Navneet Waiba is from the Nepali folk genre. She is a singer from Silgudi and has been compiling an album paying tribute to her mother, Hari Devi Waiba who happens to be a renowned singer in her own rights. She had earned a lot of respect from the Nepali music industry and it’s been interesting discovering her daughter’s work this year. Navneet’s understanding of music is pretty impressive.
Song of the year: Nepali OST
Rajan Raj Siwakoti, Kali Prasad Baskota, Bishnu Chhetri have ruled my playlist this year. I think this year the Nepali soundtracks were really able to sway the public interests.
Even for people like me who follow the English charts, there were the usual suspects like Rihana and Justin Bieber delivering hits but I think we all had the most fun when we were singing along to tunes like Jaalma. These composers were able to give us fresh tunes without losing our folk roots and that is commendable.
Catchiest tune of the year: Purba Pashchim Rail
I was actually in America when I first heard of this tune. Even there, people were feeling the song’s vibe. I think everything associated with the single from its music video. Priyanka Karki’s acting, the beat, lyrics, everything came together really well. It had a certain infectious energy to it so I couldn’t stop singing it.
Discovery of the year: Tribal Rain
This free style, experimental band from Sikkim has, hand down, been my favorite discovery this year. A friend send me their videos on WhatsApp and from there on, I have been hooked. They are amazingly talented young musicians who are passionate about what they do. I recommend them to everyone. “Narisauna” and “Bhanai” are my favorites.
Rohit John Chettri Song of the year: 24k Magic
I just simply love Bruno Mar’s personality. He dropped this tack from his third studio album around mid November and totally blew all the competition out of the water. Bruno is just dripping with swag yet the fact that he can perform slow ballads, soul, R&B and funk, makes him one of the greatest artists of the moment. 24K Magic is just pure joy to listen to. It easily earns my vote for the best tune of the year.
Catchiest tune of the year: Nira jaile risaune
There have been times I have heard this song in the morning and found myself singing it in my head all day long. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be the entire song – just a line or two is enough to get it stuck in the head. And I have a feeling I’m not alone. The tune just is irresistible and personally, I don’t mind it because I like the lyrics.
Discovery of 2016: Daft Punk
They may be considered one of the most influential musical acts in the last 20 years but I only got into them recently. It’s only been around two to three months actually. Though I had heard of their hits before, I didn’t quite like it. But then this year, Prajwal from What the Funk covered one of their songs and I also have their full album so now I have been officially converted.