“An emotionally inspired songstress with a graceful and versatile acoustic sound..”
Born in Kathmandu, Nepal and now based in Toronto, Canada, Astha is an indie alternative pop singer-songwriter-sound engineer. She’s known for her charismatic voice and unique sound backed by her acoustic guitar and carefully crafted beats. Astha’s music is melodic, direct and emotional with lyrics that explore the depths of the human psyche: spirit, mind and emotions. Her music echoes the influence of various genres such as pop, folk and R&B. With 2 studio albums and an English EP under her belt, Astha is currently working on her third full length Nepali album, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa scheduled for release in 2020.
Early life and Education
Astha moved to Toronto, Canada at the age of 12. Raised in a musical household, she learned to play the acoustic guitar at the age of 13. At 14, she started songwriting and performing her original songs at local high school talent shows recording her very first studio demo by the age of 15. She graduated from the Independent Music Production Program at Seneca College in 2008 where she was nominated for the Ontario Premier's Award. She decided to further pursue her education in audio engineering and attended the Harris Institute for the Arts in 2010. Graduating from the Audio Production Program, she was awarded the 2011 Canadian Music Publisher's Award. With an interest in pursuing a career in music business, Astha also attended Sheridan College and graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 2014 where she was the recipient of the Nelson Education Award (for academic excellence).
From continuously writing music since the age of 14, Astha has an array of songs that hold strong meaning and deep truth for herself and her fans. At the age of 19, Astha decided to travel back to Kathmandu and reconnect with her roots.She recorded her Nepali debut album titled Sabai Thikai Huncha at Kathmandu based studio Rec Records and decided to independently release the album on January 21, 2009. Her first radio single, Gotta Be Love received a significant amount of spins, charting at #1 on Nepalese FM stations. Her second radio hit, Jhuto Satya received a nomination for “Best Rock Vocal Performance” on Image Awards 2009. Astha was awarded the “Best Pop Female Vocalist” award at Radio Kantipur’s Music Honours 2010.
Released prior to the rise of the YouTube era, the album sparked the growth of a viral and organic cult following for Astha’s work amongst the Nepalese youth. This lead many fans to upload her songs onto the early YouTube platform further boosting the album’s popularity. Co-founded with creative producer Rohit Shakya, the album also gave birth to the company Fuzz Productions (present day Fuzz Factory Productions) which embodied the true essence of the independent DIY music movement at the time.
Astha launched her second Nepali album Ma Ek Sapana in June, 2012 at the Rastriya Naach Ghar in Kathmandu. The sold out event featured live collaborations with two prominent Nepali acts: Kutumba and Jindabaad. Her single Khula Aakash off the album received airplay on MTV Roots India and charted number one on all major Nepalese radio stations. Her second single off the album, Harek Saas Sita charted #1 on Hits FM radio station and was nominated for “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance” on Hits FM Music Awards 2013.
Astha followed up with her 2014 single, Gham Ko Saano Tukra, an awareness song for CWIN (a child rights organization based in Nepal that she passionately supports) released in an effort to raise awareness and funding for the children of the CWIN Balika Peace Home. The song was received well with her fans and 100% of the proceeds were donated to the children of CWIN.
Her English single, Where Have You Been, a collaboration with The Author premiered on VEVO and took home first place in the People’s Voice Award category at the International Songwriting Competition. The song received world-wide attention and airplay on Pepsi MTV Indies while also earning a feature on MTV’s Just Arrived playlist in 2015.
Astha’s 2018 English single, Muse got featured on Toronto based, Spotify curated playlist Just Vibing garnering attention from taste-makers and various music blogs in Canada. The title track lives on the EP Muse which is scheduled to release by the end of 2019. The EP showcases the bilingual singer-songwriter’s versatility and ability to bend and flow through different genres of music.
Astha Tamang-Maskey’s new single, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, the title track from her upcoming album exclusively premiered on July 27, 2019 on her official YouTube channel. Aesthetically and sonically, Astha has been writing with an authentic songwriting style that takes her back full circle to her acoustic roots. The singer-songwriter is gearing up to release the full album by 2020.
Aside from her solo projects, Astha frequently collaborates with her mother Susan Maskey, writing and uploading songs under the moniker Aama Chhori. Their patriotic cover of Baneko Chha (Gopal Yonzon) has garnered more than a million hits on YouTube.
Over the years, Astha has had the opportunity of performing in prominent concert venues all around the world such as The Metro (Sydney, Australia) , The Coronet Theatre (London, UK), The Hi-Fi (Melbourne, Australia), Café Life and Loud (Sikkim, India), The Horseshoe Tavern (Toronto, Canada), The Opera House (Toronto, Canada), and The Hard Rock Café (Boston, USA). She has also performed at music festivals such as Fete de la Musique, City Roots Festival, Nepal Music Festival, the Chevrolet Miles Music Festival and the Himalayan Blues Festival. Partnered with Kathmandu based event management company Meraki, Astha is currently planning and will be embarking on a full fledged unplugged tour in 2020.
Aside from being a musician, Astha is also an entrepreneur in spirit. She is a passionate dreamer, a risk taker, and a pursuer of knowledge. With multiple artistic endeavours consuming her time, Astha has realized that a career in music is her ultimate passion. Astha—her name itself means “faith,” and her faith is in music.
“I want to capture complex human emotions in stripped down minimalistic form. I dream of creating a sonic space of intimacy with my listeners. By welcoming them into my world and my emotions, I hope my audience will feel inspired to express theirs as well and hopefully discover their emotional freedom.” — Astha