Mukut aka The Musical Headgear relates to an invisible crown that guides the band’s musicality whenever they perform. This progressive rock band began their musical journey way back in 1999. Their story is the culmination of the renaissance of the Nepali rock scene and how band members Girish Subedi (rhythm guitar, lead vocals, harmonica), Roshan Kunwar (lead guitar, lyrics, compositions), Sanjay Tuladhar (bass guitar) and Prajwal Basnet (drums) got together to combine their musical knowledge and passion to create music. The genre of their music was relatively new in the country at the time, as only a couple of bands had tried it in the past.
The four members initially formed the band when they were studying at the secondary level in Little Angels’ School back in 2002. Previously, Roshan and Girish had already performed with several other musicians at an open air concert, auditioning for Shikhar Beat Contest with their school seniors and performing at various other school functions. Mukut released their first album entitled ‘Marubhumi’ in 2004 and were one of the few rock musicians of their time to record their whole album live in a studio. Girish Subedi explains, “The band’s first album containing the song ‘Marubhumi’ was dedicated to the twelve Nepalis who were brutally murdered in Iraq. The incident got considerable coverage on television and radio programs which made us feel a sense of responsibility towards the Nepali society as musicians.
Roshan and Girish then teamed up with other musicians like Udesh Lal Shrestha (bass) and Kumar Maharjan (drums). Later, when the band started working with bassist Dona Gurung, they decided to start working on their second album. They performed at the Dashrath Rangashala Stadium with the Bombay Vikings and 1974 AD, at the 9th annual Hits FM Awards with the Arun Thapa tribute lineup, ‘Mukut live at Kathmandu Mall, and ‘Mahashivaratri Festival – Bhrikutimandap’. The band also teamed up with numerous drummers and performed at events such as the 11th Annual Hits FM Awards with singer Nabin K. Bhattarai and later traveled with him to Pokhara for live performances there.
With increasing popularity, several outdoor gigs followed the release of their studio album ‘Jungali’ in 2013 which featured drummer Sanjog Pradhan. Three music videos were also released with the new album. Since then, the two founding members have worked with bassist Bishesh Dewan and Sarad Dyola (current member). At the moment, the band is working on their third self-titled album in their own audiovisual production studio named R.K. Studio Nepal, which is run by Girish and Rosha, along with their band manager, Sandesh Thapaliya and photographer, Bibhushan Dahal. Even though the lineup has changed, ex- members of the band do communicate online to collaborate on compositions with the new members. Hence the brotherhood among the musicians under the musical headgear still thrives.
A full length album
The album launch of ‘Marubhumi’ was a big leap of faith for Mukut and even more so with their second album ‘Jungali’. The album was released at a concert of ‘Jungali’ that was held at Attic Restaurant after a gap of almost ten years. The band was in fact surprised to see the venue packed with friends, family, admirers and people from the local media. They were also wished well by ex-members via phone calls, video chats and promotion of the album wherever possible. “The tremendous love and support we received for our music is still the fondest memory and the biggest achievement of all these years,” exclaims Roshan. The band is and always has been working hard to give continuity to their music. Despite numerous hardships that life presents, the band continues to compose and carry on doing what they do best, which is making music.
The pipeline of future plans and dreams
Since the band members now run their own audiovisual production studio, things have been much easier for them when it comes to recording and finalizing their musical creations. Naturally, a lot of songs and music videos are in the pipeline. Their collaboration with emerging as well as known musicians is also a strong possibility in the near future. Further plans include new single releases accompanied by their respective music videos. The band dreams of performing in major local gigs and also alongside former band members in the countries where they reside today. Moreover, the band hopes that the impact of their music, lyrics and visuals will help uplift and encourage their audiences to do something unique themselves.