Chencho Dorji

“I work in the field of forensics and toxicology, but I have tried to keep my dream of being a singer alive. When I first learned music, I could only play a few chords on the guitar. By 2006, I composed around 50 songs and released my first solo album. I received both good and bad feedback. One time, a known man insulted my music right in front of me. I went back to my room and cried, even thinking about quitting music. But when I went to that person the next day, I learned that he was a traditional music lover. My genre of music could not have pleased him.

After that, I formed a three-member band with my high school friends. It took us more than one month to produce our album. We recorded different types of music to target different audiences. Our band couldn’t stay together since we worked in different places. Tenzin Wangdi flew to Australia to pursue his dream. Our other member Tshering Dhendup left the world shortly after.

It took 5 years and Nu. 500,000 to set up my own home studio. The huge cost was due to a lack of knowledge of equipment and limited professional music stores in our country. I also needed more knowledge on doing music professionally. I took a short course on classical music in Thailand and studied Music Production in Kolkata. Getting leave from work and ensuring financial support are challenging, but I have been singing and producing music independently.

I am inspired by folk and alternative music. I try to make evergreen music; not the kind of song that peaks for a few weeks and is later forgotten. I experiment with new sounds, and I try fusing our traditional songs with modern sounds. Your music is your identity, and it should not sound like what’s already been made.

So far I have made 18 songs, all available on “Chencho Dorji Records” on YouTube and Facebook. I also got the opportunity to send my songs to the moon with NASA. 4 of my songs will be digitally archived in the Lunar Codex and will be sent to the Polaris site of the moon in a time capsule by 2024. 100 years from now, we may be gone, but my songs will remain. Future human visitors and other forms of life on the moon will recognise our Bhutanese music.”

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