It seems like last week or not that far into the past that I was watching American Idol, particularly remember the Kelly Clarkson season, and her winning it all. Never did I ever imagine that this day would come when my native Nepal guy would be performing in this franchise of top singing talent show. Much water has flown since in the towns and cities I dwelled in Arizona, Texas, South Dakota and Alabama and in Rapti here in Makwanpur, Nepal, but the sight of a Nepali talented singer Dibesh Pokharel aka Arthur Gunn vying for the top 10 cut tonight (May 3rd, 2020) warms my heart in the despair of Nepal’s dirty political environment.
All three judges have taken a liking to his unique story, a real American dream for a Nepali guy to had auditioned from rural Kansas to the biggest singing stage in the world. In his first judges audition, and in other times too, he has been pointed out by Katy Perry, for not connecting with the audience because of his habit of fluttering his eyes. However, other judges understand that he is immersed in the song so he gets carried away in the emotions of the song. For most of the audience it is not much of a problem, however, connecting with the audience with a steady eye contact is one of the tricks of live performances. So either way, Dibesh can get carried away in his song and connect emotionally with his audience, or look into their eyes and connect physically. Either way he will be winning the hearts of his audience.
Dibesh has won the hearts and made life easier for his three judges. He has been acknowledged to be one of the easiest decisions to make in his selection. Cracking the top 20 was a revolution for Nepali singers. No wonder many aspiring singers have been given a boost by his performance in the worldwide stage. After Pritam Acharya created a stir in India by his top 3 finish in the Indian Idol, Dibesh now opens up the world stage for others. This is a great day for Nepal’s musicians who have been breaking the frontiers gradually.
It was stupendous when Nepathya Band became the first Nepali band to feature in the Wembley Arena in 2013. They were the headline act, according to BBC news. Then Bhim Niroula’s making it to the stage of Britain’s Got Talent in itself is noteworthy. Simon Cowel buzzed him out but all the audience cheered and understood that English was not his native language to hold him to a standard not quite just. Further, this year Manose Singh became the first ever Nepali musician to be nominated for Oscars. All these musicians have really helped Nepalese find some ray of sunshine in the dark and gloomy world of politics and social problems in their society. All those performing now in tiktok can find their heroes in the like of Dibesh Pokharel. Future is bright for all these talented ones.
In the last episode, affected by Covid-19, all the contestants performed from their own home. Dibesh sang Wynonie Harris’s “Loving Machine” from his patio. Lionel Richie noted that his shyness was the secret weapon that endeared him to the audience. His natural ability and not to mention his almost flawless English has made not only the judges but American audience also his supporters that have turned into valuable votes. A facebook fan page exists with close to 32,000 fans already. That is not a small achievement in such a short time.
Dibesh deserves kudos for his spirit and achievements in lighting up hearts of all Nepalese. Wish him the best in selection this evening. I have a feeling he will be there until the end, not only top 10.
Congratulations and salute to our hero. May his work pay off and the world get another great singer.
The writer is a graduate of Arizona State University in Political Science. He is working as a social activist and motivational speaker for students across Nepal since 2007.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necesarily reflect the official policy or position of Nepalisite.
How to Vote for Arthur Gunn? Voting Rules at https://idolvote.abc.com/#faq
Arthur Gunn on Social Media
Arthur Gunn ( Debesh Pokharel) OFFICIAL Fan Club. AMERICAN IDOL
Arthur Gunn’s (Dibesh) Nepali songs
21 year old, Dibesh chose a stage name that is also symbolic of the power of an English name, given that the land he calls home now would find it easier to relate to him by his adopted stage name of Arthur Gunn. He is making many people proud, and social media has been one of the bright spots in highlighting overlooked talents. Dibesh has now become a pride of Nepal, his homeland, and Wichita, Kansas, his adopted home since five years ago. Idol Chatter has provided some basic background information on the budding star. He had migrated after completing his school leaving certificate exam. Although not from a musical family, he was gifted a guitar by his mom as a child and was exposed to music in his environment. After a long gap, he took up music again a year before he left for the land of opportunities. It was in Kansas, he was introduced to country and blue grass music, which he has embraced in his singing. Dibesh is definitely on a new track of his life. His name recognition has leap-frogged and his talent is in the world sight.