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Uday & Manila : Happily Ever After

February 24, 2014 , by Jerusha Rai, Leave your thoughts
Uday & Manila : Happily Ever After » My Dreams Mag

 

For over two decades, the music and life of Uday and Manila Sotang have been spreading love throughout the nation. With an exceptional array of duets like ‘Aadhi bato hidey pachi’ and ‘Man ko baadh lai’, the soothing voices of this pair have enamoured many a lovers’ long drives and sleepless nights. My mother used to play their cassette tapes when I was still a kid. I couldn’t believe how effortlessly their voices blended together, and how utterly comforting the texture of the sound was.

As musicians, they have given impeccably written and sung creations to their legion of fans. As a couple, they have shown us their great respect towards each other and an infallible sense of humour during interviews. Today, they stand as a source of the hope, that there really can be a happily ever after.

Dreams talks to this beloved couple in the Nepali music industry, revealing that not only are their voices divinely matched, but so are their individual personalities.

 

How did you two meet?

Uday: We actually met through music. I used to be in grade 9, when we were having a drama practise. I met Manila at the practise hall through our guru. We used to see each other in programs like that and got talking.

Manila: We were just friends for a long time after that. In fact, I used to give him advice when his girlfriend and him broke up. But then we ended up falling in love instead (laughs).

 

What is your favourite thing about each other?

Uday: I don’t know; I like everything about her (sighs)! Not only does she have a moving voice, she is an exceptional housewife too. She is cheerful, kind-hearted and very loving towards me and the children.

Manila: Uday is also a very loving husband and father. He was never harsh with the kids, never raised his voice against them. He tries to understand us instead.

 

And do you sing for each other?

Uday: Yes, of course! Also, when songwriters approach us with their songs, we only sing the ones that we can relate to in some way, as we think that is the only way the listener will find it relate-able as well. That is probably why we have only sung around two hundred songs in over 20 years of our musical career.

 

Do you prefer singing as a duet?

Uday: Yes, we prioritize songs written for duets. For example, if we charge 20,000 rupees as a solo vocalist, we just take 25,000 for a duet together, to invite composers to write more duets for us. We want to add more of them to our collection.

Manila: I love the fact that we share a passion. Its fun doing new things, singing new songs with your partner.

 

And do you practise together as well?
Manila: I’m a bit lazy to do my riyaz most of the time (laughs loudly). Uday tries to sit me down to practise together, but I get quite bored in a while!

 

Would your music have been different if you weren’t working together?

Uday: Perhaps we wouldn’t have been singing the same sort of compositions (love songs written for a duet), but we surely wouldn’t have had as much success if we were working as individual artists. We are known and loved as a duet. I guess it was destiny that the two of us artists met and wondering about alternatives seems a bit pointless now.

 

So is it quite difficult being a couple in the music scene?

Manila: It was a bit difficult when the children were very young. Both of us needed to perform at shows, go to recordings and practise. We were concerned about our children not getting a lot of time and care from their parents. But we are blessed with a very supportive family, and Uday and my parents would babysit often.

Uday: At present, I’d say it has gotten fairly easy. The children are grown up; our youngest is studying in grade 9. We are actually starting to tour internationally now, travel to places we couldn’t go to before.

 

As both of you are artists, has it been difficult to sustain a family financially?

Uday: Music has given the both of us so much respect and love from people. Its given purpose to our entire family. My daughter has already brought out an album and my son is an arranger and a piano teacher. We may not be very rich but we are more than satisfied with our lives as working artists.

 

How do you resolve conflicts between you?

Uday: We’ve never actually had a serious fight in all of our married life! Manila never had to escape to her maitighar, I’ve never had to chase after her (laughs)! Because of her nature, it has been possible to sustain an understanding in our relationship. In the music scene, because we started both our careers together, there were instances of jealousy, maybe insecurities, but we have realized that can be gotten over. We consoled each other, if either of us were feeling like that, and we would look at the bigger picture together.

And now that the children are grown up, we take their suggestions and advices well when we need to make any big decisions.

 

What is your advice to become a successful couple?

Uday: There are many things to keep in mind, but most importantly, you need to make an effort to keep improving your own self. Also, respecting each other is crucial. This includes trusting each other.

Manila: Yes, its about trying to understand each other, and expressing your love time and again.

 

Could you tell us about your plans for the future?

Uday: We are working on an album together, just a few more songs left to record. We are carrying out our plans to tour the UK in the upcoming months, and perhaps releasing the album there.

Manila: Though its been over two decades that we have been singing together, our plans for the future is to keep doing what we have been doing so far. Music is everything to us. Also, we aren’t very good at anything else really (laughs).

****
In Interview With: Jerusha Rai

Send us your comments/feedbacks at: feedback@mydreamsmag.com

 

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