News and Views on Tibet

Tête-à-tête with Tibetan Heartthrob Phurbu T. Namgyal

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter

By Tenzin Dickyi
New Delhi

Nyam-dhu-Doe, Nyam-dhu-Doe – a song that is on everybody’s lip and if you don’t know who Phurbu T. Namgyal is by now you’ve probably been living under a rock! This guy is dynamite – incredibly talented and extremely popular among the Tibetans especially the youth. He is charting the top list in the world of Tibetan music with his foot tapping songs to romantic melodious tunes. Lots of touring and promotion in the year 2006 and many are in store for Phubu T. Namgyal in 2007.

We recently had the chance to chat with the singer to delve more into his life, music career, his new releases and future plans. Of course he is one class of an convincing person who appreciates everything that’s happened to him in the last few years and the fame that he has achieved so far. He’s had a successful solo musical career thats brought him critical acclaim and fan adoration. Lets take a peek into his life and see what this young artiste has to say about singing as a career and many other exciting things.

How did you initially get involved with the art of music?

Since my childhood I have always been interested in music. It was around the age of 13 or 14 that I started taking parts in cultural songs and dances back in school. So from that onwards there was no looking back and my interest and passion for music grew more with time. And I’m satisfied to a great extent.

So who are your main influences?

I have been listening to many Tibetan songs since my childhood. For example songs by Yak Band and Trinkhor (written and composed by Lobsang Palden Tawo) back then were some of the songs that excited me every time. So these kind of things have always influenced and inspired me in certain way.

Is there anyone particular you look upto in the Tibetan music fraternity?

Singers like Tawo Lobsang Palden cannot be ignored when it comes to Tibetan music. Its always good to listen to his audios. Beside that many other singers have excelled in this field and done a wonderful job giving Tibetan Music a sense of maturity. And I look up to all of them.

How does your family feel about your fame? And are you the same person with your friends?

I think every parent will feel proud to see their child get fame and recognition. And it was same with my parents as well. Regarding my friends, I am simply the same guy in or out. But yes, now people does recognize me when I go out.

Tell us something about your new releases in 2007?

Actually the release of my new album is not disclosed officially yet but let me do it here as phayul being a prominent media portal. The album is titled ‘Ghapoe Taam’ which means Love story. This album consists of various chapters each unfolding a different edge of love. Each track in this album will take you through a range of love rides. If some brings about smile to your face, some will make you stoop down to tears. So over all its going to be a complete fresh package and I hope people will like it. I am planning to release it this Losar.

What are your plans for touring in ’07 with these new releases?

First of all I will be hitting Bylakuppe and releasing my new Album. And after that planning to tour some places like Delhi, Dharamsala, Gangtok, Bhutan etc. But nothing is confirmed yet.

Phurbu T. Namgyal and his songs and his popularity!!! What is the USP?

Whatever I sing, I always give priority to melody, variation and quality. After all, that’s what you will be evaluated by in future. More particularly I think it’s the melody of my songs that actually hits the public. And more importantly the lyrics that goes along with the tune which I personally feel is imperative for a good song. On the whole, the USP is the combination of all.

Who writes lyrics for your songs?

Lyrics always play a very important part of songs. Where as my songs are concern, not all the lyrics are mine. There are few songs like Chak-sum-Tsel for which I wrote the lyrics and a friend of mine wrote the lyrics for Nyam-Do-Doe. And there are people who also submit lyrics.

You’ve done quite a few new tunes in your time. Do you have a favorite of those?

Well all are my favourites but if I consider listener’s choice, I feel the song ‘Jampa Dolma la’ is most preferred one. Most of the people seem to enjoy this song very much. And I like it as well.

You seem to be addicted to romantic and foot tapping numbers. Why not patriotic and more serious songs?

Actually my style of songs defines me to do more of romantic numbers. My tunes usually touches the pop flavour which goes well with love theme. It makes a beautiful combination, therefore I land up singing more tunes to romantic beats. But its not that I don’t sing serious songs as such. In every album of mine you will find atleast one song which is more of a serious note and expresses grief of a Tibetan.

There are lots of fan following for you inside Tibet. What message do you have for them?

I sincerely want to convey all my listeners to keep listening to more of Tibetan songs which in a way helps preserve our Tibetan identity, culture, language and tradition.

What’s your view of artists using their fame to voice political opinions?

Songs are a great medium of conveying messages. So I am sure artists can express certain things through their songs and help unite the people in someway. I have specifically composed the song ‘Chak-sum-Tsel’ for the Tibetans inside Tibet that our heart and soul never stops thinking about Tibetans in Tibet. In this song I have tried to put across the message of (Tibetans in exile) being there with them every now and then. So these kind of songs sometimes express many things and help us stay unified.

Many young artist are on the rise. Whom do you find the most promising one?

Its very difficult to judge and name one but I think Pemtse, Tenzin Silnon and Losang Tsetan are very talented. And if they continue with singing as their career and work more harder, I am sure they will do good.

If you were not a singer, what would you have been?

Definitely a painter because I love painting.

How about getting married this year?

(Hahaha) No such plans for now. I just want to work more harder, contribute more to the Tibetan community and keep singing.

And what goals do you have for the next five years or so?

So far I’ve been able to work in the field of my interest and achieve success and affection from the audience. I’m also satisfied because I got to sing songs that gave me personal satisfaction. And I wish to continue singing quality songs in future as well. So you will definitely see me in the same track singing tunes to more beautiful songs.

Do you want to tell our readers anything in particular?

I think we have many male singers till date in our Tibetan community therefore I feel that more of female should come up and showcase their talents. I am sure there must be lots of girls who are endowed with wonderful voice.

Besides that, I request all the people out there to stop using piracy and look for the originals. Piracy is illegal and its just wrong to do so as a lots of hard work and time goes into making the original. Therefore please avoid piracy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *