James Shrestha is currently one of the most prominent names in Nepali YouTube scene. The 24-year-old singer, songwriter made his debut with ‘Timi Nai Timi’; however, it was ‘Yo Timilay Garda Ho’, his second single released in 2013 featuring GX Soul, that gave him the much needed (and deserved) recognition as an artist. He then gave a number of other hits, including ‘Timi Meri’, ‘Falling For You’, and ‘Timilai’, among others.
Shrestha, who is one of the few Nepali artists to have a Vevo YouTube channel for his music, has over 135,000 subscribers on his main YouTube channel.
His last song ‘Timilai’ was released over two years ago; and currently, he has established himself as an entertaining YouTuber who constantly shares fun videos and vlogs. Earlier this year in February, he had posted a vlog to officially announce that he has quit music and the reason was – his extremely busy schedule.
Originally from Chabahil, Kathmandu; Shrestha has been living in the UK since he was ten. We talked to him about his life, YouTubing, possibility of making a comeback in music, and a lot of other stuff. Excerpts.
What is keeping you engaged these days?
I have been very busy these past few months or you could say, this whole year has been pretty busy yet fast for me. My full-time job definitely occupies most of my time throughout the week. The remaining time I have left I make sure to focus on YouTube and spending time with my family and friends.
You are currently one of the most popular Nepali YouTubers. How does that make you feel?
I have always been the type of person that endeavors to accomplish their goals. With many sleepless nights due to editing, hours of recording, countless amount of time spent on research to come up with content that my viewers could enjoy and so many more, I most definitely cherish my achievements and stay humble about it for sure.
We still can’t get over the fact that you quit music. Earlier this year, you announced it through a video and said you don’t have enough time for it? Is that the only reason behind quitting music or is there anything else as well?
Music has always been a huge part of me and will continue to be so. However, as I mentioned I have a full-time job and with YouTube that needs focusing, a person can only do so much. Additionally, to be able to create good music that everyone could come to love will undoubtedly require time, effort, and energy. Currently, all those factors are divided into my work, YouTube, and my personal life. One of the main factors, an extra motivation that an artist entails in order to create any sort of art, in my case, “music”, is very challenging when after long hours of work all you want to do is go home and sleep.
Yo Timilay Garda Ho’, ‘Timilai’, ‘Falling For You’, among others; you’ve given some good hits and there are fans who love your music. Is there any chance you can make a comeback?
I am very appreciative towards my fans for all the love and support that they have given me. A huge thank to them. They are one of the main biggest reasons I am where I am. About making a comeback, if time is on my side in near future, who knows.
Tell us about your vlogging journey. How long has it been and how do you see it?
Well, I created my YouTube channel in April 2015 but I started YouTubing fully from the end of February this year. I started giving vlogs more focus since June 2017. That was when my girlfriend came to visit me and my family. I had always been interested in vlogging. The idea of recording my journey, sharing a part of me and my life with my loved ones in order for my fans to get to know me in a deeper level was very appealing to me. Consequently, her being here and the trips we decided to take, gave me an opportunity to do so. Furthermore, I wanted to give her as much time as I possibly could as we only meet once a year. Comparatively, vlogs are lot easier to edit than my normal videos.
Is YouTube just a hobby or has it been also supporting you financially? If so, are you satisfied with the YouTube earnings so far?
Although, I do not know what my future holds for me, as for now YouTube is my hobby that I work on my free time. Making a satisfying earning from YouTube takes time and patience. Does it support me financially? No. The earnings made from it are rather a good chunk of pocket money. I have got my career that keeps me financially stable. But I can’t complain, I am blessed to be rewarded for my hard work, doesn’t matter how much it is.
Do you follow other Nepali YouTubers? Who are some of your favorites?
Yes, there are few Nepali YouTubers I follow but I do not have any favorites.
Which ones are your favorite three videos of yourself?
VLOG: “MY GIRLFRIEND IS HERE” – Vlogging my journey to the airport to pick up my girlfriend and her sister. First ever vlog on my channel.
REACTION ROAST VIDEO: “REACTING TO NEW BHIM NIROULA! (Roast)” my new video where I react and roast a flop Nepali music video for fun.
CHALLENGE/PRANK VIDEO: “I GOT PRANKED – FIRE SPICY PANI PURI CHALLENGE (Gone Wrong)” where I got pranked for the first time by my brother.
If you could collab with any YouTuber – Nepali or international – who would it be and why?
Internationally, I would love to collab with KSI because he is a crazy YouTuber like me, maybe even crazier! I have had conversations with few of my Nepalese YouTuber friends about the collaboration for next year when I visit Nepal but I can’t say any names at the moment. It’s going to be a surprise.
Let’s talk about music. Are you following NepHop lately? What do you think of it?
When I was still back in Nepal, I used to love listening to Nepali pop songs. However, after moving to U.K., I found inspiration on western pop songs as well. From there on, to be honest I lost track of it. Ever since I started focusing more on my career and YouTube, I have hardly had time to able to sit down and search for songs that aren’t already on the radio. I do wish I had more time to be well informed in this area for sure.
Tell us more about yourself. Apart from YouTubing, what else do you do?
Family has always and will always be a huge part of me. I am a big family guy. I enjoy and cherish spending quality time with my parents. Whether it is helping my dad around the house, he is very big on DIY, or cooking for my family when I am off to help my mom, I enjoy it whole heartedly. Along with that, you will mostly find my phone line busy as I am on the phone with my girlfriend anytime I am free. Regardless of being in long distance relationship, we try to make up for it. Lastly, I love watching movies; especially horror movies in general are my favorite.
Quite a number of Nepali films screen in the UK. Are you into Nepali films?
Sadly, the theaters that play Nepali movies are in London area. I live almost 4 hours away from it, which makes it less than convenient to be able to go watch movies when I comfortably can. However, I do hope to promote Nepal movies and music through YouTube.
You are a good looking guy with a good physique. If a Nepali filmmaker offered you a film, would you do it?
I have never really thought of acting in movies. Although, you do see a lot of acting and over acting in my videos, which are meant to create humor, I never actually thought of having a career in it. Mostly due to where I am situated at the moment and my career plans, acting in movies do not add up to those equations.
What according to you are the three most important qualities one needs to become a YouTuber?
I hope I am at a place to be able to advice others in it, as I feel like I still have long way to go to be able to thoroughly give objectives on how to be a qualitative YouTuber. However, since you asked, I will answer them to my best ability — a very strong personality, talent and creativity.
Do you think an introvert who doesn’t go out very often and doesn’t like to talk much; in short, a person like me; too can vlog? Why or why not?
Honestly, you absolutely can. Vlogging doesn’t always require a person to be chatty. It is merely you capturing an event or sharing your journey through places and time. You don’t necessarily have to be talking all the time. If you can come up with eye catching content that is perfectly edited, you too could become a vlogger.
Which cameras, gears and devices do you use for your videos?
I use Canon G7x for vlogs, comedy and prank videos; and Logitech C920 Pro HD Webcam for reaction videos. For reaction videos, the mic I use is Blue Yeti Pro USB Microphone – Blackout Edition. I have a Joby Gorillapod Hybrid tripod and I use Sony Vegas Pro 13 software to edit my videos.
What’s your definition of success? Do you consider yourself a successful person?
Success for me is when you reach a point in your life where you are able to help others reach their success. A place where I am satisfied with how everything is, and have accomplished my goals no matter how big or small it may be. A place where I am left with feeling of content and happiness. In terms of whether I consider myself successful person or not, yes, I most definitely do. I have met my goals on various aspects of my life that I had set for myself to achieve and many others envisions that are on track that I will continue to endeavor.
Who is your role model?
My parents are my role models. For me they are equal to god. They are the most hard-working people I know. I will forever be grateful for all their love and affection and hard work they showered on me to raise me the way I am today. They are the definition of ideal couple for me, definition of an achiever and love. When I feel like things are hard and unmanageable at times, I think of the hard work my parents have done in comparison. That is when I become conscious of the fact that simply our mind grows tired, making one feel like they should give up but our body is capable of so much more.
If you could be someone else, who would you be?
I have never idolized someone in that manner. Also, I am in content with who I am to want to wish to be someone else.
We are at the end of this interview. Is there anything that we missed to ask and you would like the people to know about you. Something super interesting, or boring or whatever – just anything you would like them to know.
Yes, I would like to share my upcoming plans to everyone so they know what to expect. I will be promoting Nepali movies by making reaction videos on the newly released movie trailers expanding on the storyline and the plot; anyone interested from the film industry can contact: [email protected] for more info about promotions etc.
What do you want to say to your fans and well-wishers?
That I have an immense amount of appreciation towards them for being so loyal, and supportive of my work. The amount of love I have received from them is so overwhelmingly amazing. I hope they will continue to do the same in the future.