“In my freshman year at RTC, I got my first spotlight as a musician. I recorded my first song soon after, and it felt… amazing. Fast forward a few years, I left singing for “more important” things in life. I came to the US, and like everyone else here, I was working hard, sparing no time for anything else. When New York went under lockdown, I was confined to my house. Out of boredom, my hand was reaching for the guitar. Before I knew it, I’d written a new song. The feeling I got was euphoric and made me realize just how much I needed music back in my life. So I sat down, and before I knew it, it was the end of 2020. I’d written and recorded 5 more songs.

I find it odd that Bhutanese songs aren’t clearly separated. I decided for myself that my songs fit a “Bhutanese country-pop” genre. It was a new idea, and many found it difficult to understand. So, I filmed the music videos in the countryside, sporting a cowboy hat and riding horses on the ranches on a snowy day. Positive reviews flooded in. Most of them were for two of my songs written in Tsangla-kha. There are so few songs in languages other than Dzongkha, and this attracted a lot of people. Despite recording more Dzongkha songs, people have started calling me a Tshangla singer.

Coming abroad has brought me closer to home. I find myself reminiscing about the mountains and rivers, and I write about them in my songs. The inspirations to make music are many, but the time much less. Here, they say that time is money. But I know now that money alone can’t be the source of happiness. When lockdown lifted, I didn’t allow my 9-to-5 job to deter my passion. I am now dedicating more time to it than before. When I’m done recording a song, I gather a group of people who share the same love for their arts, and we plan a getaway to the countryside over the weekend. We take time off from our busy lives to have fun and film a music video in the process. People ask me if I make any money from the songs and videos. I don’t. And I tell them that’s not what matters to me. I get to create, and I am happy. That is enough for now.”

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