Satyajit Pradhan grew up strumming his guitar and singing along to the Beatles on the TV and Narayan Gopal on his parents’ old record player. Born in Lumbini, Nepal, he fell in love with the diversity of musical genres he discovered in different parts of the world.
Pradhan grew up in a musical family. His family moved to the Philippines when he was a toddler and lived there until he was 16. “My parents weren’t musicians, but they were always singing,” he shares. “I was raised in a Nepali household in a foreign country, singing Narayan Gopal and Kishor Kumar songs”.
His high-pitched voice had him singing in choirs as a kid. He discovered he was simply trying to mimic the singing styles of singers and bands he listened to, and in the process, he had learned to sing. Pradhan was introduced to classic Nepali bands at home, and outside, English rock bands fascinated him.
He used to sing with his friends and take part in different singing competitions, in and out of school. In the evenings after school, he found himself listening to the Beatles on the TV for hours. He spent his days daydreaming of one day performing on a concert stage to thousands of people. “I fell in love with the idea of being in a band and with it grew a deep yearning for composing and performing music with my own band someday,” Pradhan says.
At the age of 13, Pradhan started to write his own songs, which were really odes to his overflowing teen emotions. He taught himself to play the guitar and formed his first band. They were a group of friends with a brotherly bond, hanging out, writing songs, and composing, dreaming to take it to bigger concert stages one day.
Soon, they started singing for the people around them. In no time, his music was being admired and appreciated and what started as fun became his passion. “At first, I loved the attention, especially from my girl classmates,” he laughs. “But it slowly grew into this sense of belonging to the stage”.
Pradhan gets the purest form of joy when a new genre of music finds him. In the Philippines, as a teenager, he got into hard rock with a heavy influence of bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Metallica.
He discovered an entirely new world of music when he moved to the US and started working on a record store called ‘Tower Records’. “As employees, we used to get free merchandise of bands and singers, and everyone rushed to grab the ones by the most popular singers,” he laughs. “I used to be left with the merch by not-so-popular bands”. But that became a blessing in disguise for Pradhan as it opened the doors to experience a whole new range of music.
He found out about local independent artists playing in bands and their incredible music. His journey then became a ride through different genres of music: Latin and Cuban rhythms, classical, jazz, African. “As an empath, every music found a way to move me in ways I couldn’t explain,” he says with joy. “It’s like music resonates with a different part of me and different parts of my life”.
He came back to Nepal—after a spell in England—and met many great musicians and artists. Here, he would form yet another band, Products of Conception, in mid-2020. “We simply played different tunes and I would sing along, and just like magic, we’d be creating songs,” he shared. Products of Conception have so far brought out seven songs for their first album, with 13 more in the pipeline.
Even with a world of experience, Pradhan is a Nepali at heart. “Growing up in a Nepali home out there in the world, I spent so much of my life exploring music from many countries,” he shares. “In the end, I have decided to express myself and my Nepali identity through English songs of the genres I feel the closest to.”
He believes music is his way of communicating. “I often wonder how all of us are one vibration. While singing on stage, watching everyone move and dance to the same beats, banging their heads to the same rhythms, the moment is unreal. I can feel it through my bones and it never fails to bring me closer to the people around me and even closer to myself,” he shares.
These days, he plays music and brings out songs on the side. As a full-time job, he is the director of marketing, communication, evidence, and impact at Marie Stopes Nepal, a company that works on women’s reproductive health.
But he will not stop making music. “I want to tell a story, and I am hoping that my story will make sense to at least one person.”