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INTERVIEW: Kunga Chemi

Kunga Chemi is a twenty-one year old Tibetan girl from Rajpur, Dehradun (India) who moved to New York, US in the year 2002 when she was only nine. She has a melodious voice.  She sings cover songs and shares them on social media like Sound Cloud, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. She is in a music band in New York called; wOne Sound.

Tenzin Woesel: Hello, I am Tenzin Woesel. I am doing a project to interview young talented Tibetans around the globe to make people of the world aware that Tibet is an independent nation and has its own celebrities just like  other nations. With this project, I also intend to appreciate  and encourage young Tibetan women like you who are talented and are pursuing their passion to go further. For almost a year now I have been enjoying listening to your music and I have a few of your songs on my playlist. Thank you for accepting my request to have an interview with you on Skype.
Kunga Chemi: I think what you are doing is really great. Keep up with your awesome job! I hope you can also achieve the most.

TW: Thank you. What do you do currently?
KC: I go to college and I study Liberal Arts. I’m in a music band too.

TW: Who has been your inspiration in life?
KC: My parents have been my inspiration. They inspire me to do better each day. I do what I can to keep them happy.

TW: What is your dream?
KC: I want to be successful in what I am good at.

TW: Other than music, where does your passion lie?
KC: I enjoy teaching small children.

TW: Who’s your favourite music artist and why so?
KC: I have a big crush on Bruno Mars because he has an amazing voice. I love his lyrics  and I think he is a great performer too. He’s the full package.

TW: What musical genres do you listen to?
KC: I prefer listening to RnB and Hip Hop.

TW: How old were you when you first got involved in music?
KC: I have loved singing songs since I was a little girl although I did not sing in front of people when I was younger because that made me feel shy.

TW: How did you get started?
KC: In high school, we have a music production internship. I joined it and since then, I have been singing in front of people. I posted a video on Facebook in which I did my first cover song. I got good comments and that encouraged me to do more. I started gaining confidence. My parents always encourage me to pursue my passion. I even go for music classes.

TW: How many cover songs have you done now?
KC: I have done around 10 covers.

TW: When was the first time you did a cover song and which song was it?
KC: Probably two years back, I did the song “Impossible” by Shontelle for my first cover version.

TW: How do you choose the songs to cover?
KC: I pick my own songs according to what songs I like but sometimes I sing what people request. 

TW: What do you think is the best cover song you have done so far?
KC: Out of all the cover songs I have done, I like the cover I did for Galliyan; a song from a Bollywood movie.

TW: You said you have a musical band. Can you share something about it with us?
KC: Our band is called “wOne Sound”. It is a hip hop and pop group. We have three members: Ashley, Jamel and myself. All of us are from three different nations and we have been together for two years. We have a lot of songs recorded and we already have two songs out so far. We are currently working on another song called “Pinky Ring” which will be coming out with a video later this year.

TW: Where would you like to perform live the most?
KC: I want to perform in India because I was born there and it's from where I moved to US. 

TW: What advantages do you see as an aspiring music artist brought up in the States?
KC: As I told you earlier, I used to be shy singing in front of people when I was a little girl back then in India. I do not think I would have changed had I not moved here. Here, almost everyone has the confidence to pursue their dream and passion because nobody judges you. The environment helps me gain confidence and to work on my passion.

TW: Do you perform your music in public on occasions?
KC: Yes, I do. I have performed a few times with my band. Individually,  I have performed at events like wedding ceremonies and some other occasions. I also performed at the 20th anniversary celebration of Students for Free Tibet (SFT) in New York.

TW: Have you released any singles or music videos?
KC: Yes, I released a music video called ‘Sendhang’ in the year 2012. I cannot take the whole credit for myself because TenKun; a young Tibetan artist helped me with the lyrics and the music. That was my first and the only music I have released individually, so far.

TW: What is the theme of the song ‘Sendhang’? 
KC: The theme of the song is about a girl who is basically expressing her feelings towards a guy and making him believe that he really is the only one she loves. She is willing to change all her bad habits to make him stay.

TW: How did you feel about music videos?
KC: My band mates and I have already brought out a music video for our song ‘Electrified’ before ‘Sendhang’ and that made me more confident while shooting for ‘Sendhang’ although I was a little nervous. I gained a lot of experience and confidence after the shoot. I believe the more I do it, the better I will get. I was very excited to have a music video of my own.

TW: What's your favourite song to sing for Karaoke?
KC: At Karaokes, I love singing to BeyoncĂ©’s songs and some other throwback songs. 

TW: Do you play any musical instruments?
KC: I play acoustic guitar and piano but not too well.

TW: Who is your favourite Tibetan singer in exile?
KC: I like Tenzin Dolma who lives in New York too.  She is 21 years old and has a powerful voice for singing Tibetan songs. There is another singer in exile I like: Tenzin Kunsang , better known as TenKun. He lives in Switzerland. I think he is very talented. He has a good voice, writes his own songs and plays instruments too. 

TW: What's in store for future?
KC: I have been busy with work and school recently so I could not bring out many cover songs but I am definitely going to be more active in future. I am planning to do more cover songs and bring out more music. 

TW: When can we expect to hear another cover song from you and which song are you going to cover?
KC: I’m going to cover the popular song “Love Me Like You Do” from the movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ very soon.

TW: Where can everyone reading this find your music ?
KC: I share my music on YouTube, Soundcloud, Tubidy, Facebook and Instagram. 

TW: Let us wrap up the interview here. Thank you for taking time to Skype. I’m sure there will be more and more people listening to your music in future. I hope all your fans loved getting to know you better. 
KC: You’re welcome! I too hope so. Thank you for interviewing me. Skyping was very comfortable and fun with you!


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