KATHMANDU, Sept 26: Samir Ghising, popularly known as VTEN, is a rapper cum hip-hop artist who has brought a different flavor to the Nepali music industry. The 23-year-old is the talk of the town amongst youngsters. His hit song ‘Hami yestai ta ho ni bro’ has been viewed more than 17 million times on YouTube.
Originally from Chandrapur, Rautahat, Ghising moved to Kathmandu at 13 with his uncle to work at a Thangka painting workshop. Samir enrolled in a high school in Kathmandu but dropped out after he failed twice in the first year. He was also kicked out of his uncle’s house.
As he went through difficult times, suicidal thoughts overwhelmed him. That was when he decided to get a tattoo of hanging rope on his face. He would often look at the mirror and see the tattoo to overcome his suicidal thoughts.
“VTEN’s song is very entertaining, I found out about him through trending Nepali memes based on his most popular song ‘Hami yestai ta ho ni bro’; his songs are played at almost every party that I go to these days,” said Aryan Shrestha, 19.
At a very young age, Ghising established himself as an amazing Thangka painter and managed to send some of his income to his parents back home in Rautahat. However, after the devastating earthquakes of 2015, Samir’s workplace was shut down.
Despite multiple attempts to find a job with decent pay, he failed. And that was when he decided to pursue music.
Samir Ghising was into hip-hop and rap music from a very young age. Eminem and Mc Flo are some of his inspirations. Samir has been rapping and doing b-boying since 13. He first gained popularity after releasing his first song ‘Churot’ which has been viewed over 5.7 million times on YouTube.
“Rap is something that came from the rebel background. What VTEN’s songs contain is the freedom of expression which I consider to be good,” said Rohit John Chettri, a renowned singer-songwriter.
His recent song ‘Hami yestai ta ho ni bro’ has gained fame not only in Nepal, but in other countries as well. His rise to fame from humble Thangka painter is what everybody is talking about in Kathmandu.
Despite his huge fan following, there are many who think Ghising’s music is a bad influence on teenagers.
“His choice of words is disturbing, and the lyrics of his songs do not make sense,” said Sushma Adhikari, 29. In ‘Hami yestai ta ho ni bro’, Samir talks of smoking weed, being drunk and being physically involved with Thai prostitutes.
His use of vulgar words in songs and corresponding inappropriate video content has received a lot of criticism. “His song is a bad influence for Nepali teenagers,” Adhikari added.
However, Ghising defends his music. “I do not care about what people think of my music. People who like such music will like it, people who do not like it will hate it,” he said, adding, “I do not worry if people do not like my music because I don’t rap for them, I rap because it makes me happy.”
VTEN claims that his songs do not really have a meaning, they were just written as jokes. Ghising thinks that his song ‘Hami yestai ta ho ni bro’ gained popularity as this song is ‘fun-filled’.
VTEN’s story to fame may be an inspiration to many, but his outlook about life may not be worth emulating.
“Despite the inspiring story about his struggles in life, I still think that his choice of words should be a little less vulgar as it sends a wrong message to the younger generation,” said Namuna Khadka.