Narayan Gopal is the most popular and loved singer, composer and lyrics writer Nepal has ever seen. He is regarded as “Swor Samrat” meaning “King of the vocal” in Nepal.
His full name is Narayan Gopal Gurubacharya and He was born at Kilagal Tol in Bikram Sambat 18 Ashwin, 1996 (October 4, 1939) to father Asha Gopal Guruacharya and mother Ram Devi Guruacharya in Kathmandu.
He was married to Pamela Lama in Falgun 2027 at the age of thirty. Narayan Gopal met his future wife Pamela during his Darjaling visit. Narayan's father, Asha Gopal Guruacharya, was a classical musician.
He abandoned his physical body in this world in December 5, 1990.
Narayan Gopal was also known as Blues King or Tragedy king, as his songs were mostly seen to be at the sadden part of life and love. He sang almost all types of song. He sang from Nepali folk songs to Nepali Modern songs. His manly famous was नेपाली अधुनिक गीत (Nepali Modern Songs).
He started singing with first generation of Nepali music, and sang his whole life. His voice became more prominent and powerful as he got older. He also sang for Nepali movies and Dramas. Narayan Gopal sang in popular Dramas; Muna Madan (written by Laxmi Prasad Devkota) and Malati Mangale (Written by Madav Prasad Ghimire).
Narayan Gopal had five brothers and six sisters. He completed his School Leaving Certificate (S.L.C) exams in 2016 B.S. and obtained Bachelor of Art degree in Humanities from Tri Chandra College. He once went to Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda to study classical Indian music, but returned before completion.
He was Manager at Rastriya Naach Ghar (National Dance Theater) and also worked as the editor of a musical journal Bageena (बागीना) for its initial three issues about BS 2028. He became the managing director of Sanskritik Sangsthan (Cultural Center) from BS 2036-05-10 to BS 2040-10-04. He was also adviser to the Ministry of Communication from 2046-04-16 onward. He served as associate professor in Lalit Kala Campus too.
Kanchi Masyang (कान्छी मस्याङ) is his musical drama.
Narayan Gopal was considered to be a person with knowledge of history and culture. He loved photography and he always loved to watch football. He was a good chess player too. People near to him, always appreciated his cooking. Other than singing, Narayan Gopal engage himelf in organizing various events. He was the first editor of बागीना (Bageena) magazine.
Narayan Gopal's performed first time in public during the 40th anniversary of Tri Chandra College. He played tabala (तबला) at the program.
Manik Ratna Sthapit and Prem Dhoj Pradhan were his friends who initially recognized his unlimited musical talents. They used to get together and do vocal practices using Hindi songs. Narayan Gopal, however, would joke around by changing the words of the songs that they used to sing. Prem Dhoj and Manik Ratna recounts that Narayan Gopal used to change the Hindi words into Nepali, thus damaging the melody of the songs to comical effect.
By that time Prem Dhoj and Manik Sthapit had started to sing their compositions. Narayan Gopal also composed about six original songs written by the contemporary poet Ratna Shumsher Thapa. Four of the songs were solo (स्वर्गकी रानी, आँखाको भाखा आँखैले, भो भो मलाई नछेक, मधुमासमा यो दिल) and two were for duet ( बिछोडको पीडा and ए कान्छा ठट्टैमा यो बैंश जानलाग्यो). All these songs were later recorded in Calcutta, India, during his studies. These songs started becoming very popular in Nepal and India in short time, which made Narayan Gopal recognized as a singer.
Nepal was at the first dawn of Democracy at that time. Because of such freedom Narayan Gopal was benefited in his early career to sing freely all songs related to love, life, hope, and patriotism.
At the time when Nepali East-West highway was under construction, he recorded ‘जाग, जाग चम्क हे नौजवान हो,’ and he recorded another song near that time ‘आमा ! तिमीलाई जलभरिका औंलाहरुले चुम्न’. Those patriotic songs established him between the young Nepali.
He improvised and became very selective. He always looked for better combination of words, music, and emotion, which in turn he gave his best composition. His contemporaries were such as Tara Devi, Pushpa, Prem Dhoj Pradhan, Nepali, Bacchu Kailash, , Amber Gurung, , Nati Kaji, Shiva Sankar. Gopal Yonjan was Narayan Gopal’s best buddy (mitju).
Partnership of Gopal Yonjan gave Narayan Gopal's music a different dimension. Narayan Gopal became the singer of the hearts of the Nepali people.
European and western music were in the fly at the time in late sixties. To meet these challenges, Narayan Gopal in partnership with Gopal Yonjan created songs which were able to touch heart of people. बिर्सेर फेरि मलाई नहेर, चिनारी हाम्रो धेरै पुरानो, तिम्रो जस्तो मुटु मेरो पनि, लौ सुन म भन्छु मेरो रामकहानी are the most famous song of the time. These songs boost musical career of Narayan Gopal and Gopal Yonjan together.
Narayan Gopal added a new horizon in modern Nepali music.
Later in his career, he collaborated with established composers Shiva Sankar, Amber Gurung, Nati Kaji, and Dharmaraj Thapa.
In seventies he moved to Pokhara with his wife Pamela and later to Hetauda, where he met great authors like Bhupi Sherchan and Bhim Birag. Narayan Gopal composed and gave his vocal to Bhupi Sherchan's सानै हुरीमा बैँसको सपना and अल्झेछ क्यारे पछ्यौरी तिम्रो चियाको बुट्टामा. He sang also Bhim Birag's तिमीले पनि मजस्तै माया दिएर हेर.
After a short stay in Hetauda, Narayan Gopal came back to Kathmandu worked in Rastriya Naach Ghar (National Dance Theater). He had entered Naach Ghar as a instrumentalist and later promoted to Director. While he was in Naach Ghar, his relation to most of his friends and counterparts ruined. No one knows the actual reasons behind it. Some blamed him for arrogance he developed due to his name, fame and success.
The time came when Swor Samrat had to face new generation musicians. He started working with Dibya Khaling and he started singing Khalings compositions. He then entered to another phase of his singing career with new generation.
He was again able to revive his career with songs like सँधै नै म हाँसे तिमीलाई रुवाई, मायाको आधारमा सम्झौता नै हुन्छ, बिपना नभइ. He again became popular among people of Nepal.
He started working with rising lyrics writers Kshyetra Pratap Adhikari, Kali Prasad Rijal, Norden Rumba, Dinesh Adhikari, and Bishwambhar Pyaukurel. His old relations were totally ruined. He started working with new generation composers Sambhujit Baskota, Bhupendra Rayamajhi, and Shubha Bahadur.
Narayan Gopal contributed twenty eight years of his life to Nepali music and its development. He sang in eighteen movies and recorded about hundred and fifty-seven songs.
The greatest musical performance of Narayan Gopal was Swornim Sandhya performed at Royal Nepal Academy Hall in 1990. It was his last and most popular musical concert. He was titled Swor Samrat just after the concert. The album was released by Music Nepal on June 1990 few months before he died.
Narayan Gopal earned many awards in his music career including Radio Nepal's Sarbottam Awards, Ratna Recording Award, Lions Awards and Jagadamba Award.
Narayan Gopal had diabetes. He left his physical body in December 5, 1990 (19 Mangsir, 2049 B.S.) in Bir Hospital, at 9 p.m. in Kathmandu. Narayan Gopal was fifty-one when he died.
Swor Samrat Narayan Gopal added new horizon to Nepali Music. He will always be remembered for his musical contribution to Nepali Music world.
Nepali Literature & Music
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