Kismat Shrestha, present drummer of ‘Albatross’, and one of our most cherished students, gave us an insight into his life after KJC. But before that, we wanted to know more about his experience as a musician here itself.
Born and bred into a Musical, “out of the norm family”, Kismat was immersed into the world of music at a very early age of 6. Guitar, being his first instrument, and Drums his second, Kismat’s Family sent him to take drum lessons for two months during his two month winter break from school, when most parents would rather focus on their child’s academic related learning.
2008 was when his journey with KJC began- a journey that allowed him to call KJC his second home, as he recalls seeing more of KJC than his own home. In the year of 2012, because of his desire to teach Jazz, he began teaching Piano and Drums in the Conservatory. He even got a Piano Scholarship from KJC, where he predominantly learnt from Mayo Shimonishi, and aside from her, with Misun Kim and Juan Ortiz.
His whole-hearted involvement with KJC allowed him to travel to Finland with Mariano’s Jazz Combo “UrJazz” as well. “Jazz opened my perspective, and everything I learnt was applicable in various ways”, he mentions. Furthermore, he even got an initial fee waver from Berklee, but refused to go, as he wanted to actively learn what being a Musician means, and how the elements of being one functions. While in KJC, because of his interactions with hungry musicians, he played in myriads of shows and grooved in several jam sessions. Even during Bandhs, relentless passion and determination drove- or rather, made him walk to KJC, as for him it was ‘A place to curb distraction while playing music’, like a nice library for someone who loves to read.
Presently, he lives in the US, and performs all over the country. And within only 6-8 months of living and playing in Austin, he got great opportunities to record in Austin’s biggest recording companies, and even received an endorsement deal from Vater’s drumsticks, which endorses drummers like Mike Mangini from Dream Theatre, Jose Pasillas of Incubus, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, etcetera. A rarity, even for thriving musicians from the country itself. And especially, considering the fact that everything is cutthroat there with tougher competition, compared to Nepal. “Everything I am, and everything I know, and all that I’ve seen around and about the world is because of music”, he proclaims.
Artist, Musician, Drummer, respectively, is how he likes to be identified as. For him, Music comes before his “Ego”. And although, not specific to, or bound by any genre, he likes playing jazz. He says ‘Jazz is freedom and music gave me my independence’.
Regarding KJC, he is “Thankful for everything, not only music. Especially Mariano, for his time.” He learnt the Professional side of Music, recalling “I don’t think I could learn that anywhere else”