We’ve said this before as well — if YouTube organized Fan Fest in Nepal, Swoopna Suman’s will be one of the most anticipated acts in the event. That’s the kind of fan following this YouTube sensation has. Currently with Arbitrary Records, the 21-year-old singer has garnered over 10 million hits on his 12 songs and videos released from the label’s YouTube channel in last 14 months.
We talked to Swoopna Suman to know about his journey so far, his future plans and a lot of other things. Excerpts.
1. What is keeping you engaged these days?
Well, I am currently busy doing various events and gigs inside and outside the valley. I am also making some new music.
2. Less than four months are left in 2017, how many new songs of yours can we expect to listen to this year?
We are planning to release a new official music video for one of my unreleased songs by the end of the year. If everything goes as planned, I might also release my debut EP.
3. Your covers and originals are equally loved — which one do you enjoy doing more?
Personally, I love creating and performing my own songs and music. Covers have their own positive aspects as well but I guess, original music is what defines an artist.
4. How old were you when you thought to yourself that you want to become a singer? Is there any interesting incident behind it?
I started singing at a very young age and always wanted to be a singer. Back then, it was just a fantasy and later on everything started falling into place. I think I was 15 when I knew what I wanted to do. There isn’t any special incident but only pure passion and love towards music.
5. You never took a formal training in singing; how did you train yourself?
Yes, I never took a formal training and YouTube has always been my greatest guru. I learned to play guitar by watching tutorial videos on YouTube and got some amazing tips on vocals as well from the videos there. So yeah, YouTube has been the best source of knowledge for me.
6. Who has been your biggest inspiration in music?
My biggest inspiration in music has to be Ed Sheeran. It’s because of him that I started taking songwriting seriously; and the way he sings and performs has always made me want to do better.
7. If you could collaborate with any artist in Nepal on a song, who would it be and why?
I would love to collaborate with Kutumba and make something wonderful. I really love their music and would love to create something I haven’t yet.
8. A huge singing reality TV franchise came to Nepal this year; didn’t you feel like taking part? Do you think we’ll ever see you take part in such shows in future?
Actually I did take part in a reality show before I started my career from YouTube. I had got selected but the show didn’t take place after its first round. So after that I have never wanted to be a part of any reality show. Nepal Idol is an amazing platform for rising artists but my aims and goals are completely different. So I guess I won’t be taking part in any reality shows in the future but I hope someone better gets the opportunity they deserve.
9. You left a music label and got associated with Arbitrary Records. Was there any particular reason behind it?
I had some misunderstandings and some personal issues with my previous record label which made the working environment unfavourable. So I quit and joined Arbitrary Group.
10. How has the journey been like with Arbitrary?
The journey with Arbitrary Group has been amazing so far. The people and artists here are really amazing and wonderful to work with. I feel really blessed to be able to be a part of this amazing team.
11. You are scheduled to perform in Australia later this year. Is this your first international gig? How excited are you about it?
Yes, we’ll be performing in Australia in November this year — if everything goes well. I am super excited about this concert because it will be my first ever international show. I am excited and nervous as well.
12. Talking about performing live; when and where did you perform live for the first time? How did it feel like?
I had my first ever live concert at Pragya Pratisthan in Kathmandu in 2015. I was really nervous and to make things worse, I got sick. I had a fever and the medicines had a negative effect on my throat. I felt like I couldn’t do the show but the amazing support from the audience made it possible. It was an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
13. Do you want to get into playback singing in future? If you did, which actor would you like to sing for?
Actually I do have a big wish of becoming a music director someday, so I definitely want to do songs in movies. As a matter of fact, I am doing my debut as a playback singer in the Nepali film industry from the movie ‘Intu Mintu Londonma’. I have written, composed and sung a song for the film. In the days to come I would love to sing a song for a film starring Anmol KC or Aashirman DS Joshi.
14. Do you want to have your band someday? Why or why not?
I don’t have a band right now and I perform solo but I would love to perform with a band someday because playing with a band makes a song a lot richer and it’s always fun not being alone on the stage.
15. Do you see a possibility in taking music professionally or do you take it as a hobby?
I have always taken music seriously and never considered it as just a hobby or a part time job. I want to contribute something to the Nepali music industry and for that I will be professionally indulged in it.
16. Who are some of your favorite Nepali and international singers and bands?
I love listening to Narayan Gopal, ALbatross, The Uglyz, Ed Sheeran, Bod Dylan, John Mayer, Damien Rice and Jack Johnson.
17. Your real name isn’t exactly Swoopna Suman. Can you tell us how did you become Swoopna Suman from Suman Thapa?
I never liked my name since my childhood. I used to study in a hostel and every Saturday they showed us movies and in most of the Bollywood films, the name of the actress would be Suman. I used to be embarrassed. I always wanted to have a grand stage name and I tried different names during my school days until I came up with the name Swoopna which sounded pretty cool and meaningful as well. So I took up the name — Swoopna being my stage name and Suman my real name.
18. You enjoy a good fan following; how does it feel like to be popular? Do you enjoy it?
Honestly, yes. Before I started music, I always used to dream of the things I am experiencing right now. All the love and support from people feels so overwhelming. I am just a normal guy trying to live his dreams but the way people give me special treatment and love my work feels overwhelming. I totally love, appreciate and respect their love towards me.
19. What is the craziest thing a fan has done for you?
Someone tattooed my name on her hand. That was unexpected.
20. A quick rapid fire round — you have to give straight answers without being diplomatic:
i. On a scale of 1 to 10, how challenging do you find doing covers and originals:
ii. Your personal favorite song of your own.
K Saro Ramri Bhako
iii. Your favorite fellow Arbitrary artist.
iv. One song that you can never get bored of listening to.
Ed Sheeran’s ‘The A Team’
v. Best gig so far.
Arbitrary Experience – on New Year’s Eve 2017 at Hotel Annapurna
vi. One song you would love to cover but haven’t yet
Malai Nasodha Kaha Dukchha (Narayan Gopal)
vii. Favorite cover of any of your original songs that you’ve come across so far
A Korean guy recently covered ‘Kasari Bhanu’. I don’t know his name but his effort was really commendable.
20. Is there anything about you or your music that we might have missed to ask and you want people to know?
I think there isn’t anything as such.
21. What would you like to say to your fans and well wishers?
I would like to thank all my well wishers for the love and support they shower on me everyday. I feel really blessed that my music could connect to them. I will definitely come up with more music in the days to come. Let’s love and support Nepali music and Nepali artists. And lastly, thank you NeoStuffs for letting me speak out my words here.
Let us know in the comments, which is your favorite Swoopna Suman song.