Sabin Rai and The Pharaoh win big at the annual Hits FM music awardsThe 23rd Hits FM Music Awards saw performances from top Nepali musicians and recognised many for their contribution to Nepali music.
The 23rd annual Hits FM Music Awards was held at the National Academy Hall in Kamaladi on Saturday. The award function honoured Nepali music's biggest stars from the year gone by.
Hits FM, ever since it first started broadcasting in 1996, has been involved in promoting artists in the Nepali music industry. They are credited for "making" many Nepali pop icons, including the King of Nepali Pop, Nabin K Bhattarai. The rapid growth of the Nepali music industry is mirrored in the steady increase of award categories. Initially, the award had only seven categories, but the number of categories has increased with each year. This year's Hits FM Music Awards had 16 categories including Folk Record of the Year, Best Arrangement and Best Composition.
The award ceremony, which started in 1998, has become one of the most credible music awards in Nepal. The organisers have been reiterating that its award sets itself apart from the rest because of its extensive democratic method for releasing their nomination catalogue. The two basic criteria for songs to be in the running are registration with Hits FM 91.2 and date of release within the year of the awards. Each award category has five nominations.
This year's event saw artists like Bartika Eam Rai, Rohit John Chettri and Durga Pariyar perform their singles to appease the crowd. Musicians, actors, and socialites attended the award ceremony.
Sabin Rai and the Pharaoh was one of the biggest winners of the evening, bagging three awards. The band won awards for Best Pop/Rock Composition, Best Performance by a Group and Best Rock Vocal Performance.
"We thank our fans for loving and respecting us. This award is for the fans as much as for us. I Can't believe we won three awards. Hope we can keep entertaining everyone in the future," said Sabin Rai after winning the awards.
Astha Tamang Maskey won the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her single 'Chodera Najau' while Shiva Pariyar received the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his single 'Malai Ma Jastai Banna Due'. The award for Best New Artist went to Bikram Baral for his single 'Galti'.
The Folk Record of the Year went to Bishnu Majhi and Kulendra BK's 'Saalko Paatko Tapari'. The hugely popular song has over 50 million views on YouTube alone.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Gyanu Rana for her contribution to the music field. Rana is best known for her singles 'Chyangba hoi Changba' and 'Siri ma Siri' and has also worked with artists like Narayan Gopal.
She has also won other national awards like Prabal Gorkha Daxin Bahu IV, Rastriya Pratibha Puraskar and Rajyabhisek Padak.
"I feel honoured to have won this award," said 71-year-old Rana. "I want to remember my father, who started my musical journey. I was born to sing and I want to sing till the day I die. I can never leave this. Thank you for recognising my work."
Like last year, Rajan Raj Siwakoti won the Best Song Originally Recorded for a Motion Picture, for his single 'Goji ma Daam Chaina'. Deep Shrestha and Durga Pariyar won the award for the Best Male and Female Vocal Performance of the Year respectively.
'Banphool', a pop song by Durga Priyar, bagged three awards: Best Composition, Best Arrangement, and Best Female Vocal Performance.
Sunita Karki's album 'Sunmala' won the Album of the Year Award.
'Aashaa II' by Bartika Eam Rai was declared the Song of the Year. This is the second year running that she had bagged an award in the same category. Deepak Bajracharya's 'Manmagan' won the Record of the Year.
List of award winners
Folk Record of the Year – Bishnu Majhi and Kulendra BK (Saalko Patko Tapari)
Best Vocal Collaboration – Mahesh Kafle and Melina Rai (Naacha Firiri)
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance – Astha Tamang Maskey (Chodera Najau)
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance – Shiva Pariyar (Malai ma Jastai Banna Deu)
Best New Artist – Bikram Baral (Galti)
Best Record for Motion Picture - Rajan Raj Siwakoti (Goji ma Daam Chaina)
Life Time Achievement Award - Gyanu Rana
Best Pop/Rock Composition – Sabin Rai and The Pharaoh (Dhanyabaad)
Best Performance by a Group or Duo with Vocal - Sabin Rai and The Pharaoh (Dhanyabaad)
Best Rock Vocal Performance - Sabin Rai and The Pharaoh (Dhanyabaad)
Best Male Vocal Performance – Deep Shrestha (Timro Yaadma Joon Tolauda Tolaudai)
Best Female Vocal Performance – Durga Pariyar (Banphool)
Best Arrangement - Phanindra Rai (Banphool)
Best Composition - Suresh Adhikari (Banphool)
Album of the Year - Sunita Karki (Sunmala)
Song of the Year - Bartika Eam Rai (Aashaa II)
Record of the Year - Deepak Bajracharya (Manmagan)