“Chalna deu bata…”
“udai lagos yo sans…”
“samai rahanchu tyo…”
“baaki rahanjul yo saa…”
Not even kidding. This song’s everywhere, like everyfuckin’where.
If you’ve spent some time on the internet lately, there’s almost zero chances that you haven’t heard this song. The popularity of ‘Batash’ went through the roof when it hit TikTok a few weeks back. The song by Shashwot Khadka has been used in over 150,000 videos that have been watched over 20 million times on the video-sharing platform since then.
No wonder the TikTok fame worked for the song and it became an instant hit on other major platforms as well, including YouTube where the lyric video of the song garnered over 6 million views in two months. Believe me, that’s a huge number for a Nepali song, that too by an indie artist.
The song written, composed and performed by Shashwot Khadka has music produced by Sanjeev Tamang.
So who is this guy Shashwot and how did he become an internet sensation? I tried to find out as I interviewed the singer-songwriter. Excerpts.
Where the hell have you been all these years? I mean, you kinda apperared from, like nowhere.
I am a very quality conscious person. Although I have been doing music for almost 10 years now, I didn’t make my music public until I felt it had met the standard of a good musician.
Over 60 frigging lakh hits on the song on YouTube alone. That’s a milestone very few Nepali indie artists have achieved. How does that feel like?
It really feels overwhelming to have achieved this milestone. Let’s say a dream come true because I always wanted to do something big in music but I honestly didn’t think I would be graced with it this soon.
So how does it feel like to suddenly become so famous?
I feel like a huge responsibility is now upon my shoulder because now my words and action can affect many lives. I take this as an opportunity to make a change.
Tell me about yourself?.
I was born and raised in Kathmandu. I’m 19.
And what do you do when you are not making awesome music?
When I’m not making music, I’m focused on my studies or go for long walks.
Are you working on new songs at the moment? When can we expect a new one?
I am. Hopefully it will drop in a month or so.
Is it a lot of pressure? You’ve just given a massive hit, are you nervous about your future releases?
It actually is a lot of pressure. I have always made songs for fun and to express myself but now there is a constant voice in the back of my head saying “Is this song better than the last one”, “What if people don’t like it?”. But I know this is only natural so I take a deep breath and just do my thing.
What’s your writing process like? When and where do you mostly write?
First, I think of a theme or the mood I currently am. Then, I start remembering all the experiences I’ve had related to that theme or the stories I have heard from my friends and then I try my best to make my feelings sound poetic. That’s one aspect of my writing. The second one is that I try including nature and natural aspects into my song. I get inspired by nature a lot. That is why I take long walks quiet often.
You must be getting bombarded with messages on social media right now. How do you deal with them?
I try replying to my messages as much as possible but the rate at which they come is so fast that it simply isn’t possible to reply to all of them. But whenever I get the time, I check all messages and covers.
Coming to the current situation, what’s one thing that you’ve learned during this pandemic?
I have had a lot of time to scan and learn about myself during this pandemic. I have learnt not to live life in a rush and to enjoy the little things.
If everything were normal, you would probably have been getting a lot of gig offers right now. How does that make you feel like?
The thought of having people sing with me makes me really happy. I have had this dream ever since I saw my first live show in collegethat had Sushant KC, Chetan Karki and Girish Khatiwada,
What are the five most played songs on your playlist these days?
Lose yourself by Eminem, Jacob Collier’s ‘Hideout’, Kurakani by Sajjan Raj Vaidya, Juni Vari by Oasis Thapa and O Re Piya by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
Who has inspired you the most?
From music point of view, I am mostly inspired by Eminem and Sajjan Raj Vaidya but Les Brown inspires me to never stop the grind.
At last, future plans, albums, shows, anything?
All the love and support that I’ve received has made me positive that my music matters so there will be a lot of songs and some shows in the coming days.