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Asmita

Carl J. Nelson
Independent Staff Writer

MARSHALL < Sheıs been hailed in her native Nepal as a singing star, and her fans wept during a radio show when she left Kathmandu Asmita who bears the last name of her country, is currently living in Marshall with her family.  At present, she is a homemaker while her husband Prakash studies Biology at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Cheryl McChesney, who works in the Family Literacy program through the Adult Basic Education in Marshall, met Nepal in one of her classes. 

"One day in a bit of non-academic conversation, she mentioned that she could sing," said McChesney.  "She borrowed a CD to me to take home and listen.  I enjoyed it very much."

In her newest Asmita album (cut while she was still in Kathmandu), she combines a variety of eastern classical music, and country (Nepali folk) songs.  Prakash said that most Nepalese songs follow a format where the first two or three verses are the chorus, then a musical intro., the first verse followed by the chorus, another musical intro., a second verse, and then the song ends with the chorus.

According to a Nepalese radio station, country songs often include the subjects of romantic love, longing, and desire.

At the close of her album, Nepal fulfills this expectation with a love song titled "Din Raat Jata Tatai," which has brought her acclaim in the top five Hits Countdown in Kathmandu and in other cities in Nepal.

"Itıs a love song that is very sentimental...about a boy that moved away and then came back again (to his love)," she said.

Nepalıs soprano voice carries the song with techno rhythms, synthesized overlays, and piano accompaniment.

Singing in many vocal competitions while in school, Nepal recorded "Din Raat Jati Tatai" in 1997.

Since that time, her music has also been in a film titled "Majdoor." She has also joined in singing duets with other Nepalese singers like Anand Karki and Gajen Bantawa.  Nepal has received air time on many Nepalese radio stations and also in music videos on T.V.

Her husband explained that any appearances that she makes on Nepalese radio or T.V. does not benefit her career like celebrities in the United States. Although she is not paid for her music on radio and T.V.,

Nepal said that the advertising is helpful.

"Any revenue that she gets is from the sales of her CDıs," said Prakash.

"Artists also pay for their own recordings and are not often backed by major music companies in Nepal."

Nepal and her family will be moving again soon to the Boston area where Prakash will continue his nursing education.

"If I get a chance I will do some singing there," she said.

Upon returning to her native country within the next two years, Nepal said that she will continue with her singing career.  Prakash said that he looks forward to seeing her music career continue to grow.

"I very much enjoy her music and I encourage her to continue in the industry," he said.

"Asmita is into classical-based singing, but the modern music is more popular. We hope to bring out more of the grassroots folk songs," he said.

Said Nepal, "I like the sentimental modern songs because they have a good beat and they are catchy, but I like to sing country songs."


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