Remembering Robin TamangThe singer-actor’s sudden departure at the age of 60 has left a profound void in the Nepali music scene.
Known for his immense impact on the Rock N’ Roll scene, Robin Tamang is a household name in the Nepali music industry. With hits like ‘Swatantra Jiwan’, ‘Keta Keti’, ‘Dam Maro Dam’, ‘Timro Din’ and ‘Ekta’ among others, Tamang is remembered by fans for his infectious energy on stage and his soulful voice. His sudden departure at the age of 60 has left a profound void in the Nepali music scene and in the lives of those who knew and admired him.
60-year-old Tamang passed away on Tuesday morning at his Budhanilkantha residence, according to his family. His sister, Bhagwati Tamang, reported his death to the police around 6 pm.
Born in Singapore in the summer of 1963, Tamang was the youngest of five siblings. He began his musical career after moving to Nepal in 1996. After teaming up with the band Looza, Tamang released his first album, ‘Nepal’ (as Robin N’ Looza), in 1998.
In 2013, Tamang starred in his first film ‘Chhadke’ as ‘Chewang.’ After that, the frontman of Robin and The New Revolution acted in a slew of movies, including ‘Chiso Astray’, ‘Mukuta’, ‘Naka’ and ‘Chhadke 2.0.’
Although he was known for his vivacious rockstar persona on stage, his friends and fellow musicians call him a humble, cheerful man with a big heart.
“Robin dai was very passionate about music. He was also very philosophical, which came through in his lyrics. He was very good at analysing situations and life in general,” says singer-songwriter Lochan Rijal who is an Ethnomusicology scholar with a PhD from the University of Massachusetts and the head of Kathmandu University’s department of music.
The two musicians ran in the same musical circle, and both worked extensively with the band Looza. A memory Rijal recalls fondly about Tamang is after a Thamel show Rijal did with Looza, Tamang came up to him and congratulated the then-up-and-coming musician for a fantastic performance. As Tamang was someone Rijal looked up to, this interaction meant the world to him.
Like Rijal, countless Nepali musicians consider Tamang an idol, admiring him for how he popularised rock music (along with his contemporaries) in the country in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Musician Abhaya Subba calls Tamang the “rockstar of rockstars” and “a man larger than life”.
“He is a source of inspiration to us all—especially regarding how to perform Rock N’ Roll in a country like Nepal. He deserves to be on the international stage; such was his immense talent as a singer, performer and songwriter,” says Subba.
Following the news of Tamang’s death, members of the public, musicians, and filmmakers have taken to social media to express their condolences.
“Robin dai is no more with us. We only met a couple of weeks ago, and he’d told us how he’s changed his lifestyle because he felt he was getting old. We told him he’d remain forever young. That’s how we’ll always remember him. Forever young Robin dai,” wrote musician Sunny Mahat on Twitter.