“Timilai heri heri heri rahane, baani parechha; timi sanga boli boli boli rahane, baani parechha”, I know you can’t get enough of this song lately, and think it’s everywhere — because it is actually everywhere. Released on YouTube on April 6, the song jointly written and composed by Subani Moktan with Kamal Khatri, has hit the one million milestone on the platform in its third week, becoming the second Subani Moktan song to do so after her 2021 hit ‘Maya Ho Ki Maya Jastai’.
I had a chance for a chit-chat with the singer-songwriter, RJ, VJ, voice-over artist, reality TV judge. No, that’s not five different people; it’s just Subani Moktan. Here.
‘Baani’ is already your second biggest hit in terms of YouTube views. How does it feel?
Incredible! We worked super hard and it’s amazing to see the hard work yield awesome results.
With the kind of stats it has, it might surpass the views of ‘Maya Ho Ki’ soon. What do you think?
I hope so. You can’t really say for certain because these things are tricky. But you know, fingers crossed.
‘Baani’ is a major hit on TikTok as well with over 160k videos already. Have you been seeing some of them? You’ve got any favorites?
There’s actually over 300k videos on TikTok. Two sounds are trending, each with over 150k videos. So it’s huge, for me at least. And I have been seeing some of my favorite content creatros us eth esound and other incredible videos. Most of them have been using it with cute videos of their babies; and it’s such an honor. I love each and every one of these videos.
How important do you think it is for a song to go viral on TikTok these days for the overall success of the song?
Well, this is the TikTok generation. In the not so olden days, songs that were played on the radio the most were successful. Now songs that perfom well on TikTok do well. It is just what it is.
In the process of making a song, do you feel like there has to be a part that needs to trend on that platform; and may be, work on it?
I never start writing a song hoping for it to go viral but when it’s done, I do mull over which parts migh do well on TikTok. I upload snippets of pretty much the entire song and then let TikTok do its thing. the part that resonates picks up. Like my last song, a snippet got quite viral but didn’t result in YouTube views. When I sing it on stage, everyone sings that line with me and don’t know the rest of the song. So it’s funny and confusing at the same time.
Last song? Would that be ‘Rahar’ or ‘Naaso’?
‘Naaso’. ‘Rahar’ had done well previously on TikTok but didn’t do well after the entire song released. That’s just what it is . I have no idea how it works but I do it anyway.
What’s your writing process like?
It’s not definite. Sometimes it’s lyrics first, and sometimes music. Sometimes it goes together.
Are you working on new songs already or we are going to have to wait?
I have a couple of unreleased music. I might release one in the next couple of months. Right now, I’m riding the ‘Baani’ high.
Who are some of the new artistes that you think are promising?
There are so many. I loved The Outsider’s new music. Sushatn Ghimire is making waves too. Prabesh Kumar Shrestha is awesome.
What was it like judging a major show like Nepal Idol?
It was a privilege. Being invited to judge such a major franchise was a huge challenge and I am so grateful to have been able to give my best and received so much love and support from the viewers.
Any talks about being part of the season five yet?
Season five is in the preliminary stages where the producers are figuring out the logistics. I hope I am part of it, but nothing is definite yet.
Which is your favorite city to perform live in?
I actually love performing in rural parts of Nepal. It’s incredibly fun and humbling to perform in Mahotsav. It’s fun and you really get to see the love from your audience.
Doing your own songs vs playback singing; which one do you enjoy more? What’s the difference?
Own songs have creative freedom, playback singing is adhering to what other people want. But they’re both enjoyable and I love them both.
Who is generally the first person you take feedback from about a new song?
My family, always. They’ve always got my back and are super sincere about my work and what needs to be improved.
This is most probably the most asked question to you; what is it like to e part of such a legendary music family. Does this privilege come with a lot of pressure?
Like you said, it is a privilege and one that I don’t take lightly. There’s some pressure, of course, but I welcome it really, because that’s how diamonds are formed.
‘Sanu Ma’, a music video from almost two decades back. A beautiful song by Prem Lama and working under the direction of Alok Nembang — what was it like? What are your memories?
It was an impromptu thing. Alik uncle asked me if I wanted to do the video and I just said yes. He felt that I had a strong resemblance to an Indian actress that he admired. It was an easy job, I was done with my part in about five hours; and the video came out spectacular. After it became a huge success, people often sang the song when I walked past them on the street. It was funny.
Who are some of the artists you would like to collab with in future?
Oh, so many! I would love to collab with many Nepali and international artists; which I am working on. Let’s hope it goes well.
Any advice for the young ones who are thinking of getting into music?
Get a music teacher to help you hone your skills and perfect your art.
And at last, anything you would like to say to your listeners, fans and well wishers?
Thank you for always supporting me and my music. I am so grateful for the love you have showered upon me. I hope I can keep coming up with music you like in the future.
Find Subani on Youtube, Spotify, TikTok and Instagram.
Cover Photo Courtesy: @shahbarsha (Left)