Candlelight is often associated with festive occasions, birthday celebrations or a meal enjoyed with someone special, but never with a band. The calming yellow candlelight shining upon their guitars on one of those load-shedding nights, when you turn off the world and tune into music, was what inspired this band to call themselves Pahenlo Batti Muni.
After only a couple of years in the music scene, Pahenlo Batti Muni is recognized as one of the best experimental rock bands in Nepal. This Kathmandu-based collective band is comprised of Bikram Bashyal (Guitar), Kus KC (Bass), Lav Jung KC (Drums), Pravesh Thapa Magar (Guitar) and Rochak Dahal (Vocal). “In late 2015, Pravesh, a schoolmate, called me to play together in a pub band. I didn't want to be in a pub band in all honesty, but still agreed to meet him. While we were practicing other songs, I played him a few of my originals and asked him if he would like to collaborate on them and that’s how we started composing together,” explains Rochak, who had also won many hearts as an active spoken word poet. Later, Bikram, Dipesh (Bassist at the time), and Kiroz (Percussionist at the time) joined the band to complete the lineup of Pahenlo Batti Muni. However, Dipesh and Kiroz had to leave the country due to unfavorable circumstances. So, while in search of new members, the talented twins, Lav and Kus came into the picture. Lav played drums and Kus played the bass, which was exactly what the band needed. Although they were into metal, they welcomed the change, and agreed to be a part of the band, which is still thriving to this day.
The journey of Pahenlo Batti Muni has been eventful. They had to struggle right from the start, with members leaving the country. “We started recording our songs, but didn't have enough to pay the studio fees. So we had to record one song at a time, make the payment and move on to the next one. We had to play in venues with below-par sound systems to be able to make some money. Having said that, we still enjoyed and are enjoying and learning from what we have been and are going through,” says Rochak. Fortunately, things are definitely getting better for Pahenlo Batti Muni. Gaining more and more fans with every gig they perform is a big leap towards success.
Pahenlo Batti Muni has released four singles till date with the first titled, ‘Bari Lai’ and the latest titled, ‘Kripaya’. Every single is equally captivating and one cannot help but hit that replay button. The band is working hard to produce their songs in such a way that while the song is interpreted by each member individually, a collective sound of Pahenlo Batti Muni is still heard through the interpretation. “Performing at the Hits FM Music Awards was one of the most exciting moments for us. It was televised, and our parents got to see us live on TV. We were able to show them that we are going somewhere with our music, and that had always been an important bridge to cross,” recalls Rochak.
Pahenlo Batti Muni looks forward to keep making music. Despite all the constraints, the ultimate aspiration is to pursue music with all their heart. With new songs and an album coming out soon, the band dreams of building their own small studio to experiment and try out crazy, yet wonderful ideas; travel and reach many places to share their music and learn a whole lot of new things in the process. When asked what advice they would give to aspiring musicians, Rochak says, “We are aspiring musicians ourselves. I believe that there is no ultimate destination in music. You can always learn and do more. We would like to ask ourselves and anyone reading this out there to keep at it. Let's build a community that thrives on creativity and thoughtfulness instead of instant gratification.”