Prem Dhoj Pradhan
|Prem Dhoj Pradhan|
Prem Dhoj Pradhan in 1973
|Birth name||Prem Dhoj Pradhan|
6 June 1938 |
|Genres||Nepali, Nepal Bhasa
Prem Dhoj Pradhan (Nepali: प्रेम ध्वज प्रधान) is a Nepalese musician, born in 1938 in Chautara, a small town 28 miles east of Kathmandu. He is a singer, composer, and a regional playback singer. He sings in the two major languages of Nepal, Nepal Bhasa and Nepali. He is also known as the Golden Voice and King of Romantic Melodies of Nepal.
Prem Dhoj is known for being the first to perform with a guitar in Nepal. He was also the first Nepali singer to sing with Indian playback singer Usha Mangeshkar for the movie Maitighar in 1965. In 1985, he sang duet songs with Asha Bhosle for the movie Mayalu in Bombay, India. Prem Dhoj has varied his musical style throughout his career and recorded approximately 700 songs on Radio Nepal, including live broadcasting and recorded songs.
Prem Dhoj Pradhan is a Nepalese musician born in 1938 in Chautara, a small town 28 miles east of Kathmandu. Brought up by his mother at a time in Nepal when music was synonymous with meaningful living, Prem Dhoj grew up to love it. His mother, Pran Devi Pradhan, taught him his first lessons of music. He learned basic classical music in 1954 from the late Mr. Ganesh Lal Shrestha for fifteen months. It was from Nepal’s laureate of music that Prem Dhoj learned the fundamentals of classical music. However, for the most part, Prem Dhoj remains a self-educated artist because for him music is both discipline and relaxation in a constant journey of self-expression.
In 1952, Prem Dhoj was barely sixteen when he participated in a voice test sponsored by Radio Nepal. The first song he sang was Yad Kasaikko Aairahecha Yo Andheri Ratama. He enthralled audiences with songs like a maun nisha ka tara ho, Magmagaundo Basana yo phoola ko hoki timro ho, Niraba Ratma Aanshu bhahai, O chhu galli thow chhu galli, and Rajamati kumati. Prem Dhoj became the most sought-after artist by organizers of cultural programs in Nepal. It seemed as if his songs had lent self-expression to the turbulent inner urges of a whole generation of Nepalese youth. The young artist was, however, searching for a fitting style and technique that would help in the flowering of his musical talents. By 1957 he was still wavering between patriotic songs (led by songs like yo Nepali Shir Wuchali (this was the first Nepali (patriotic) duet song with Tara Devi ever recorded on Radio Nepal.) and between romantic melodies of lost love.
In 1961, Prem Dhoj was physically compelled to stop singing as a non-malignant growth of polyp was detected in his left vocal cord. After a successful surgery he refrained from singing for two years. This was also a significant time in his career because it provided him the time to turn inward and reflect on his life passion. It was a landmark era for him, first because during the forced interval Prem Dhoj discovered the guitar and made it a part if his new style, and secondly because it was only after the operation that Prem Dhoj started recording his songs in earnest. With fresh areas of inspiration in store, Prem Dhoj had barely re-emerged on a local musical scene when he was awarded a prize for the best voice in the All Nepal Modern Songs Competition in 1963. That was for his popular hit, Goreto tyo gaunko.
After having achieved a distinct technical surety Prem Dhoj produced a series of brilliant and successful recordings. It was in autumn of 1963 that his first ever L.P discs (two L.P discs 78 r.p.m.’s with hit numbers like goreto tyo gaunko, Maya na mara mayalu, Ruka ya na ruka and Timi aayo mero dil ma, Rajamti, Wachu Gali, Wangu Lapte Etc) were recorded. By the end of 1969 he had already recorded 32 songs. He also worked 40 hours a week in Kathmandu U.S.I.S office to scrape a living while at the same time attending an evening college and graduated in an Arts degree in 1967.
Not only did Prem Dhoj dedicate every waking free moment to music, but unable to find a sponsor he personally funded eleven out of his sixteen discs. Towards the end of 1964 Prem Dhoj recorded a group of songs—eight in Nepali and six in Nepal Bhasa, his native language, several of which are well-known festival songs listened to this day in Kathmandu. His songs like Rajamati kumati, O chhu galli thaw chhu galli, Wanghu Lapte Tuyu Baji, and Balabala Chingu Mikha Ohu have won Prem Dhoj a lasting place in the hearts of his people.
The new trend set by this group of songs, both in Nepali and Nepal Bhasa, shows Prem Dhoj as an artist increasingly drawn towards a rich musical blend between Nepal’s traditional folk and rural style and modern romantic style. Like the snows behind the sub –Himalayan Mountains, the tranquil natural landscape is almost always present as a backdrop in Prem Dhoj’s haunting melodies. Love – its solitude, nostalgia and endless complaints against the coyness of idyllic beauty are fused with a deep attachment to Nepal’s soil, and her enchanting rural landscape so that a love-song by Prem Dhoj ceases to be a mere love-song. The lyrics of M.B.B Shah, Ravindra Shah, Kiran Kharel, Ratna Shumshere Thapa and Ratna Lal Shrestha are his favorites, and his mellow and refined voice invests their lyric idiom with a subtle rhythm.
In November 1965 Prem Dhoj was invited by the celebrated Indian music director Jaidev to accompany Usha Mangeshker in a duet for the Nepali film, Maiti Ghar. Prem Dhoj’s duet with Usha, composed by Jaidev, is a classic in Nepal, particularly for its lyrical atmosphere of romance. It was, however, his last group of twenty-two songs discs (16 Nepali and 6 Nepal Bhasa) that firmly established Prem Dhoj among Nepal’s leading modern singers. In this group, there is a distinct trace of deep sadness and deeper shadows beginning with songs like Yo masuam udas and resolving in the tragic expectancy of Yo Janam ma vet na bhaya. But Prem Dhoj continues with his native strain of wild and romantic, coy and rural in an intricate mingling of guitar and madal, jhyaure and shayari. The continuous search it seems is for making the folk musical expression new.
This search continued in the group of ten songs recorded in the first L.P. disc by Prem Dhoj. Each number is an experiment of its own kind on five instruments which he uses in all the songs. While he vows not to abandon his old loves-the flute, madal and guitar, he makes a very subtle use of saxophone and the electronic organ as well. In his obstinate difference for both old and new, Prem Dhoj creates yet another disc full of hit songs.
In 1970, in his own music composition, he recorded 10 Nepali songs in Bombay for Polydor Co. for marketing. The name of album is ‘Himalayan Bouquett from Swinging Kathmandu.’ In the same year he also recorded bhajan songs (six pieces) under the music of Music director Jaidev in Bombay for Gandhi Ashram shadow bale program in Ahmadabad.
1980s To present
Prem Dhoj started singing at Radio Nepal in 1952 and sang the first song Yad Kasaiko Aairahechechha Yo Aundheri Raatma.
Worked in United States Information Service (USIS) Kathmandu; retired from the USIS, 1994;
Letter of Appreciation received for the participation in Cultural Program titled " Samjhana Sanj" held by Radio Nepal Karmachari Sangh to help the families of martyrs and casualties during Jana Andolan (Movement) for democracy.
Prem Dhoj sang for Nepali feature films ; Maitighar, Jeevan Rekha, Mayalu, Pachchis Basanta, Anayaya, Shantideep, Rajamati (Nepal Bhasa historical film) Jeevan Sangharsha,and Phare Vatoula Badledo aakash. Prem Dhoj is also a member of Nepal Association of Performing Arts (NEPA), 1991.
Prem Dhoj Pradhan lived with his father and helped him with his businesses after his parents got divorced in 1944. Though he lived with his father, he spent a few hours every day with his mother to have his music lessons. In 1967 he decided to a build house for his mother who was renting a house in Jamal. To buy the land and construct a house he needed money, so he decided to organize a solo musical concert named "Sanjh Ko Rimjhim" . It was a three-day-long show where Nati Kaji, Tara Devi and several other artists supported as guest performers. He completed the house in 1969 and left for Bombay soon after for one year to learn light music (Sugam Sangeet) from music director Jaidev. A few years after returning from Mumbai, he sold the old house and built another house in Bagbazar and moved in with his mother. Shortly after the moving he married Kiran Devi. He has two sons, Prasanna and Kabir; both are currently settled in America.
These days[when?] Prem Dhoj wakes up at 5:00 A.M. every day, places holy water in front of his parents’ photos and goes to feed the pigeons. He follows with a short session of yoga and some light exercise and a walk. He practices riyaz (voice practice) for an hour every day. A vegetarian by choice Prem Dhoj loves curd and stays away from salt on Sundays, which he believes has been very beneficial for his health.
- In Classical music from Late Badhye Siromani Ustad Ganesh Lal Shrestha in 1952(B.S. 2010)for 16 months.
- Training in Light music from Music Director Jaidev.. Bombay, India from Nov.1969-June 1970.
Mother, Family environment and the Radio Nepal
Music and beauty of nature complemanting each other
B.A. (Bachalor of Arts) in 1967 from Saraswati College, TU. Nepal
Listening to varieties of modern musical compositions, anxious to know about new discoveries in space, walking, short trekking, and watching soccer games and movies.
- Goreto Tyo Gaunko
- Timi Aye Mero Dilma
- Ghumtima Naau Hai
- Maya Namara Mayalu
- Tara Matrai Haina Timilai
- Para Laijau Fulaharu
- Hasne Raharharu Anshuma
- Tadha Bhaigayau Feri
- Yo nani ko siraima
- Namana Laj yestari
- Timilai achel Kahan vetun
- Yo Nepali Shir Wuchali (Duet with Tara Devi )
- Ruka Ya Naruka
- Bolunla Suseli Hali Dandai Ma Base Ra
- Prati Ko Phul Mero
- Nafala Jindagi Royi Royi
- Mujura Ko Chal Chori
- Kati Mitho Kalkale Pani
- Pari Dekhi Junkeri le
- Gurasa Ko Lali
- Muhara Lai Pacheuri Ma Lukai Narakha
- Lagda cha Mana Timi Kahan Auna
- Kohi Tadha Basi
- Lagda Cha Mana
- Yesari Kohi Risaundaina
- Gulabi Ghumto Udhari Deu
- Timi Ahyo Kagaj Ko Phul
- Mir Mire Ushama
- Sisir Phulyo
- Tori Phulyo
- Mero Ankha Ma Nind Chaina Vane
- Tara Tipun Tipun Vanthe
- Tara Khase cha, etc.
- Balabala Chingu Mikha Ohu
- Wachu Galli Tochu Galli
- Rajamati Kumati
- Wanghu Lapte Tuyu Baji
- Wae ji chantha
- Wari Mathyen Pari Mathyen
- Kichah Jigu Jeeven Ya Sah
- Jin Rajamati Malachona
- Changu Mikha Dhathen Banla
- Pili Pilika (La La Lu Lu)
- Nugale Lwon Tayaa,etc.
- First ever L.P discs ( Himalayan Bouquett from Swinging Kathmandu) (two L.P. 78 r.p.m.’s with hit numbers like goreto tyo gaunko, Maya na mara mayalu , Ruka ya na ruka and Timi aayo mero dil ma) were recorded and released 1963
- Hit songs from The Golden Voice of Prem Dhoj Pradhan Vol.1 (Prem Dhoj Pradhan ko Sumadhur Git Sangalo) Cassette
- Bala Bala Chingu Mikha ( Nepal Vasa)1989
- Ghaite Jawani 1992
- Kichah (Nepal Vasa) 1992
- Bala Bala Chingu Mikah 2 (Nepal Vasa) 1996
- Maya Namara 1996
- Katai Yo Sahar Ma 1998
- Khobi (Nepal Vasa)2008
- He has recorded More than 700 songs which include modern songs, bhajans and patriotic songs, nearly one hundred Nepal Bhasa songs and CDs etc...
- Jeevan Rekha
- Pachchis Basanta
- Rajamati (Neweri historical film)
- Jeevan Sangharsha
- Pherie Vhetaunla
- Tutan (Nepal Bhasa film)
Honours and awards
- Received best Professional Singer Award from His Majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Deva for the participation in Chaitra 20, 2021 B.S. program "Jeevan Sangeet Sammelan" held for the 13th anniversary of Radio Nepal.
- Gorkha Dakshin Bahu Chautha(4th) presented by His Majesty King Birendra on push 14, 2044 for his contribution to Nepalese music.
- Bikhyat Trisathi Patta Tesra (3rd) presented by His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shaha Deva on Chaitra 12, 2053 for his contribution to Nepalese music.
- Received best Playback Singer Award among the films produced from 2035 to 2045 B.S.
- Received Award (Padak with their respective symbols) for singing National songs to Royal Nepal Army Gans such as Sabuj Gan in 2039; Gorakh Nath Gan in 2039; Devidutta Gan in 2039; Kali Prasad Gan in 2039 B.S; Bhairav Nath Gan in 2040; Shree Nath Gan in 2040; Raj dal Gan in 2042;
- Letter of Appreciation received for participation in Cultural Program titled "Samjhana Sanj" held by Radio Nepal Karmachari Sangh to help the family of martyrs and casualties during Jana Andolan (movement) for democracy.
- Received Chhinnalata Puraskar in 2047 B.S.
- Received Bhupal Man Singh Karki Puraskar in 2058 B.S.
- Received B.S 2062 Rastriya Pratibha puraskar (National Talent Award) from Nepali government.
- Received 'Narayan Gopal Sangeet Summan' from Lunkaran-Ganga CSKM, November 2002
- Received Sor- Samrat Esmriti Samman from Narayan Gopal Sangeet Kosh B.S.2064
- Received Rastriya Prativa Puraskar from Nepali government B.S. 2062
- Received Bhim Birag Shahitya Kala Sangeet Pratissthan (present) award 2065, B.S. Makwanpur, Hetuada for his contribution to Nepalese music.
- Received Gayak Puspa Nepali Esmriti Samman 2062 B.S
- Received Natikaji Bishes Sangeet Samman. Presented by Natikaji Esmriti samaj. 2066 B.S.
- Received Dhooswahna Shayami Srijana puraskar presented by Gunkey Dhooswahna Basundhara Pratissthan 2067 B.S.
- Received Bishes Sangeeet Samman. Presented by Sikkim State Government Baisakhi Utsav 2068 B.S.
- Received Rupak Kala Samman of 2066 from Ripak Memorial Foundation (National Telent)
- Received ‘Sadhana Samman (2052) from Sadhana Kala Kendra.
- Received Life Achievement Award 2059 from Image Award 2059 from Image Channel and FM
- Received Life Achievement Awarcd 2059 from Hits’ FM.
- Subba, Abhilasha (6 August 2010). "King of romantic melodies". The Himalayan Times. Retrieved 4 July 2012.