It was 2013, when Rohit John Chettri released his first song, ‘Bistarai Bistarai’.
Reminiscing about his childhood, Chettri says, “For as long as I can remember I have always loved music. My father who used to write songs and play instruments has had a big influence on me becoming the person that I am today.”
From selling his bike to produce a music video to becoming one of the most popular artistes in Nepal, Chhetri has won many hearts with his soothing voice and heart touching lyrics.
But no journey to the top is easy.
Chettri says, “Honestly, I never thought or planned of becoming a mainstream star. I just wanted to do good music and learn along the way. Learning music never ends, and it has given me a platform to express my emotions.”
While making and learning music is not a big hurdle for him, Chettri explains handling the spotlight is pretty tough.
“Although, I am really thankful for the place I am in today, it was and still is hard for me to handle ‘fame’. I feel really weird being called a ‘celebrity’ because I feel like people’s expectations and behaviour change after that. Somehow, I am stuck in between two different worlds - what one sees in the pictures and videos may not be who I am in real life.”
The music scene in Nepal at present is all about following the trend, but Chettri says he prefers to create his own music. “I believe the music one creates has to be an expression of one’s original thoughts and feelings which develop along with the situations that one experiences.”
So, how does one stay honest in his life despite being in the spotlight?
“Before becoming a celebrity, I was a musician. And as for staying true to myself and my work, I do not feel the pressure to follow what is trending in the market. Having gained so much love from people who listen to my music I feel it is my duty to cater to what they prefer from me as a musician rather than following the current trends.”
And to make sure that original artistes get a platform to showcase their talent he has now opened a café and bar called ‘Three by Four’.
Describing the new cafe and bar as his baby, Chettri smilingly says, “As musicians, we have to perform in different places, bars, clubs, and even restaurants inside or outside the country, so I also wanted to open my own musical venue where people can not only enjoy good food but good music as well. I want this to be a place where we can promote local artistes, a place where talent is appreciated.”
Chettri, who opened his restaurant three months prior to the first lockdown, says it is not only a place that upholds the meaning of what music means to him but also the love he has for food. A place where one can enjoy a good cup of coffee and continental food while hanging out with friends and family, Three by Four’s décor with handmade wooden tables and chairs is very minimal but oozes class. Located within the premises of the International Club in Sanepa, as you enter, you are welcomed by a beautiful garden with lines of trees. The café also provides an outdoor dining area where one can enjoy the beautiful view of the greenery.
Chettri says, “The place is still not officially open and there is a lot of work left to be done. And as for the menu, while we are focusing on the continental food, I also want to focus on local beans and herbs. I love food, and I want to experiment with the ingredients we find here. However, right now we have limited items on our menu because of the small kitchen space. But hopefully in the future we will have different items on the menu. I am learning too since it is my first business, so I am gradually learning what works and what the customers want as well.”
But why ‘Three by Four’? What really is the meaning of the name?
“To make things presentable, whether it is food, clothes, or even a cup of coffee, we need the right measurement. And musically there is a time signature we call ‘3 by 4’. On the other hand, when you think about making food, there is a measuring cup that is of the same dimension. So, that is how I came up with the name.”
But as COVID-19 has hit the nation, the new cafe and bar is focusing mainly on bettering their food and drinks. They are also providing home delivery and take-away services for their customers from 11 am to 7 pm. However, with a hope that things will get better soon, Chettri believes that he will sooner rather than later be able to deliver ‘good food and good music.
Photo: Prasan Gurung/NepalNews
Three by Four café and bar is located at Sanepa, on the premises of International Club.
Contact no: 980-3158145