Bipul Chettri is a singer and songwriter from Kalimpong, India. The man who became the talk of the town with the SoundCloud upload of ‘Wildfire’ in 2013 is now an internationally famed artist with several coveted awards.
Subtle and rich, his songs capture the essence of the Himalayas through beautiful imagery. Memories, loss, love and the mundane coalesce with the natural surroundings bringing out the poet, the storyteller, the philosopher and the musical maestro in Bipul. His arrangements combine Nepali Folk Music, Western Classical and Indie.
Bipul Chettri studied at St. Augustine’s School, Kalimpong, and graduated with LTCL (Licentiate of Trinity College, London) in Western Classical Guitar from the Trinity Music School of London. With two albums, one EP and six singles under his belt, Bipul Chettri is already a global musical phenomenon. This musical maestro was invited as a voting member at the Grammys 2022 by The Recording Academy. Bipul Chettri currently plays with his band, ‘The Travelling Band.’ With more than 7.1 million streams, and 419.7 K listeners across 156 countries on Spotify, Bipul’s contribution toward Nepali music is invaluable.
You grew up in Kalimpong. How would you describe Kalimpong to a foreigner?
Regardless of where I currently reside for work or go on tours with the band across the world, I eventually yearn to return home to Kalimpong. This small but beautiful town has one of the most intriguing histories of all the places. It was the main trading post to a once bustling trade with Tibet through the all-weather Jelep-La Pass before 1959. This place attracted a cross-section of people who have passed through or most who now call this place, home.
With a moderate climate mostly all year round, it’s an idyllic destination for travellers.There are some beautiful views of hills and mountainous landscapes, excellent nurseries, monasteries, educational institutions, local markets and food and old historical bungalows etc. We highly recommend you visit our hometown. You will not be disappointed.
The reason behind naming your band ‘The Travelling Band.’
All of us are ‘travellers’ in this world in the literal, metaphorical and spiritual sense. We also realised we were mostly moving around different towns and cities across the world for our concerts, hence the name.
How has travelling helped you to distil the experiences to compose songs?
A lot of circumstances help while writing music. But travelling outside of your hometown gives you fresh insights and a different perspective on life. I believe everyone must travel. One does not even have to go to a foreign country to experience a different sort of culture. Our country itself is so huge that every state is so different to the other, be it language, weather, landscape or flora and fauna. Several of my compositions were actually written on the road while we were touring.
Inspirations that usually drive you to create art
Inspiration can come from anything, anytime or anywhere. May it be a small human/animal gesture, nature, travel, reading or a life experience amongst many others. One just has to be aware of it when it happens and store it somewhere in your mind to access it while trying to create something then or later.
Best Concert that you often remember
There are several but I always feel the first-ever concert we performed as a band in 2014 will always remain special. Performing our songs from our debut album ‘Sketches of Darjeeling’ for the very first time in its entirety to an audience was nerve-wracking but ended up being one of the most enjoyable experiences we’ve ever had.
Role of Nature in your songs?
I have composed several songs with nature as a metaphor. ‘Wildfire’ was the first song I wrote in the Nepali language. ‘Asaar’ (Monsoon) is another one which followed. I have composed several tunes thereafter with nature in context. I feel the listeners also relate to it far more easily than others.
Musical maestro Bipul Chhetri spoke to Gokul Sharma from Team Travel Secrets
Featured Image credits: Bipul Chhetri’s Facebook
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