August 25, 2017 09:20 AM NPT
Abhaya Subba, the lead vocalist of the rock band Abhaya & the Steam Injuns, is famous for her progressive music. We have all heard her tunes but how much do we really know about the artist?
Subba started her career in music with a local band Parikrama in India. She was then affiliated with other rock bands as Red Skywalkers and Punchtatva, before she founded Abhaya & the Steam Injuns and there has been no looking back since then. Subba also produced the Sprite Band Challenge – Freedom to Rock, a talent show on Image Channel, giving many underground rock bands a chance to showcase their music on a national platform. The Week’s Ashma Chhetri caught up with Subba to know more about this versatile musician and her foray into the world of music.
How did you start singing?
I would say I was born with music. The beats of music feel like heartbeats to me. My father was the one who introduced me to it. I remember the days when my sister and I learnt classical tunes from him. My sisters played the cello and violin. I being the youngest used to play the piano. Initially, I started singing English cover songs. But, later on, singing Nepali songs made me feel like I was doing something good for my country and culture. That’s how my journey into the world of music started.
What would you have been had you not been a singer?
I feel like I would have become a lyricist or an author. Else, I would have ended up being a filmmaker. No matter what I’m sure I would be doing something creative rather than a routine-nine to five job if I hadn’t been able to pursue a career in music.
Tell us about a major challenge you faced in your musical career.
One of the major challenges I faced would definitely be all the domination that goes on when you are a young girl in the industry. I had many backbiters and backstabbers who were just looking for an opportunity to drag me down. It was almost as if our patriarchal society thought a girl shouldn’t be doing so well. There was a time when I spent hours on a song, didn’t eat or sleep trying to compose it right but the credit was given to someone else when it was done. Standing up for myself when I had to face such situations was a thing I had to learn to do.
How do you handle stressful situations?
I must confess that I transform into a really terrible person when I’m stressed. I don’t have the patience or tolerance to deal with bad things. This nature of mine forces me to speak up whenever I think something is not right or justified. While some people many think of me as a straightforward person, it also rubs many people the wrong way. But, for me, that’s how I prevent bad situations from becoming worse.
What are the three characteristics that describe you best?
First, I am an eccentric because sometimes I feel like I am very strange and unnatural. Second, I am a big mood swinger. If a moment ago I am happy, than after a moment back my anger creates hard time for people around to bear me. And third, I am also a loner. It may be because of my above mentioned behavior I lack in making friends. However, I enjoy being myself. I prefer to go shopping or have a cup of coffee alone rather than hanging around with bunch of mates faking about myself.
Can you tell us about your future plans?
Ever since I’ve forayed into music my aim has been to be known as a good musician rather than just have a celebrity tag. So I’m always working to bring out new music. My main focus has and always will be that. But besides that I also want to work as a mentor for all the young girls who dream of making a career in music. Our society seems to believe that a girl pulls back another girl. I want to do my best to show them that’s not true and help as many girls as I can.
What suggestion or advice do you have for aspiring singers?
I would suggest them to live in the moment and focus on their music. One can never succeed if they burden themselves with the fear of failure and criticisms. Also, if you feel you have an idea for a composition, immediately start working on it. If you think your songs are good enough, just record or produce it as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the right moment because you might just miss it.