READ. WATCH. LISTEN. with Rajan Shrestha

4 min read
27 Nov 2017
4 min read
594 words
Rajan Shrestha, a Kathmandu-based artist, shares his read, watch and listen moments in this week’s READ. WATCH. LISTEN segment

Rajan Shrestha is a Kathmandu-based artist, most popularly known as the bass guitarist of the band Jindabaad. He also produces electronic music under the moniker Phatcowlee and is also one half of Anaasir, a project with Pakistani electronic musician Alien Panda Jury.

Quick facts about Rana

  • Shrestha started off as a bassist for the band Elysium in 2002
  • Shrestha worked at Vinapa Records as a sound engineer in 2003/04. It was the first ever studio that he had ever entered to record his own song when he was just a grade 10 student
  • Formed Atomic Bush circa 2006/07
  • His first mockumentary Rhymes of a riot age: Ekadeshmaa (2006) marked the beginning of a new career for him as a cinematographer/editor 
  • Shrestha stepped into the world of photography in 2012, inspired by the Documentary Photography Masterclass by Philip Blekensop


Zen Flesh, Zen Bones has to be one of my favourite books. It is a compilation of four separate books consisting of little zen stories. It makes you laugh, think, and not overthink, and I think it’s more relevant than ever today. Another book that has really shaped me as an artist is Our Films, Their Films by Satyajit Ray. This book is what really got me interested in the South Asian style of storytelling, and I’d recommend this book to anybody who is interested in cinema or any other form of storytelling. And I must mention Laxmi Nibandha Sangraha. Laxmi Prasad Devkota is one of the most important Nepali essayists of the century, and his works have had a profound impact on my art-making process and my life in general. 


The Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray is a masterpiece. I remember watching all three movies (Pather Panchali, Aparajito, and The World of Apu) in one go. The music, the camera work, the acting, the screenplay, everything about this film is inspiring, and the story itself is a very beautiful one. No one other than Satyajit Ray could’ve pulled it off. Another movie I absolutely adore is Paris, je t’aime. This movie came out when I was doing my bachelor’s and it was very fresh for a time when the movie market here was saturated with Hollywood movies. It’s a French movie that was made by 22 directors. There are multiple narratives operating within the same movie, and it’s just very interesting to see the story come together at the end. It really shows what can be achieved with the film medium.


Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails was a massive influence for me in my formative years. The Fragile is an album that spoke to me both sonically and lyrically. Another artist I think everyone should listen to is Frank Zappa. I got one of his albums, called Does Humour Belong in Music?, when I was in grade 9 because I liked the cover art, but I only understood Zappa’s genius when I read the album’s review in the Rock Street Journal. Another important album that I think people should listen to is Are You Experienced by the Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hendrix completely changed the landscape of electric-guitar music because of the crazy effects and sounds he could produce from the electric guitar.