All of us have heard ‘The Underwater Song’ by Ankit Shrestha by now; here’s the story behind the man, and how he came across that lucid playing technique.

 

After garnering some repute playing in the underground scene here in Nepal, Ankit Shrestha did the right thing in pursuing higher studies from a college abroad. But that hasn’t stopped him from making music. As you read on, you’ll realize that it has only spurred him onto exploring new facets to playing the guitar, and approaching music. A thirst to learn more is what drives Shestha to pursue this passion of his and we take a look at his musical upbringing, what the Nepalese Underground music exposure taught him and how he has taken all

that to a new zenith, by making some beautiful music of his own.

 

Growing up what were your musical influences?
From Vivaldi to Messhugah, I have always enjoyed listening to different genres of music. Give me good music any day, and I will listen to it patiently. I am not supportive about criticizing music, because I am of the belief that in making music lies the happiness of that musician. However, my influences are largely dominated by originality and uniqueness. Growing up, I was more influenced by western music. I grew up listening to classic rock, punk and, alternative; mostly bands that every other musical kid listens to. Exploring different genres has always excited me. Metal was dominantly influencing for me in the beginning. Some bands that I will have to cite as my influences are Mudvayne, Slipknot, BOO and, Protest the hero. I came to the United States a year back for my undergrad. To focus on studies while making time for music when music is not your major and one is an international student is a huge challenge in the US. What was unfortunate was the fact that despite efforts, I could not find artistic people with similar taste in music in my area. This was why I initially began to play solo. Listening to and looking at artists like Eric Mongrain and Newton Faulkner who had different styles of playing the guitar; like percussive guitar, fingerstyles or lap tapping began to fascinate me. So I guess my current musical influences are these artists.

 

How was the band experience here in Nepal, especially with Plan Aftermath?
It was pretty awesome I guess. Playing music with friends, hanging out, playing live shows, creating music, learning everyday! Doing what you love is always fun. That is the ideal kind of a life. After my first band (Wings of Spasm) disbanded, we formed another band called Plan Aftermath; we did some shows in Kathmandu and Pokhara. We also released our debut EP album “Abomination” last year. We recorded the album in Silence Studio and it was a great experience, we learned a Lot!

 

How is the music scene there in Wthe US and are you looking to release and be signed by a music label there?
It has been a year in The US now and it is really difficult for an international student to make time for studies, music and other things. The music scene here is pretty amazing. I used to play in bars at Maryland, I also played in the street as a street performer and the thing I like the most here is people really appreciate art and music. (And I actually paid my college fees from the tips I made from performing in the street last summer!) Right now I am working on more songs and hope to record an EP if hopefully things work out well.

 

How did The Underwater Song come about? The unique guitar playing technique, how did you come across that?
It came about like every other song. What I usually do is first write the music, try to master the piece and write the words to it along the way. It took me about 2 or 3 weeks to write that song. The guitar part of it is more influenced by artists like Newton Faulkner, Ben Howard and Eric Mongrain, as I already mentioned that before. Actually, I just started doing the percussive guitar playing and lap tapping techniques. I am still learning it and I come across new stuff every day.

 

What are your musical goals and aspirations?
I do not have a set specific goal; I do not expect huge returns from it. I just like making music and that makes me happy. I just want to put a smile on a person’s face and hopefully change the lives of many or even one person through my music. I know this is a difficult task but if I can do that, I would be more than happy and I think that would be not only mine but every other musician’s main goal.