The singer of one of the most popular song of all time in YouTube, Melina Rai is engaged with Sanjeev Baraili. I have prepared a video biography of Melina Rai and a text biography of her future husband Sanjeev.
Who is Melina Rai?
Melina Rai’s family, originally from Khotang, had moved to Darjeeling. But Melina was born & raised in Darjeeling, India. Melina is the elder among the two daughters of a well known musician, Jibesh Rai. Her father started teaching his daughter singing since their early age. As a music teacher, the father was a very strict. The little girls had to wake up very early – at 4 AM and start practicing singing. Now both Melina Rai & Junu Rai are now well know singers in the Nepali music industry.
The first recorded song of Melina Rai was recorded when she was just 11 years old. The song titled “Himalko kaakh” was recorded in 2060 BS.
In 2065, Melina Rai took part in the National Modern Song competition organized by Radio Nepal. Melina won the competition. Melina’s first solo album was “Bahar’ released in 2014.
Before that, she had done a playback singing for movie ‘November Rain’. The song titled, ‘Palbharmai Khusi’ was a hit song of that time. The most popular song of Melina ‘Kutu Ma Kutu’ also features the music of Sanjeev Baraili.
Who is Sanjeev Baraili?
A musician from Jhapa, Sanjeev Baraili, started his music journey when he was 10 years. That was when his brother
started learning guitar lesson. They didn’t have guitar at home but, his brother would tell about the guitar to his little brother. The 10-years-old Sanjeev would listen to his brother using the receiver of the landline phone as a mock guitar and produce fake guitar-music by mouth. That was so interesting he later joined guitar lesson himself and that was the beginning of a music career that he has created.
After the completion of SLC (10th grade) he moved to Kathmandu for further studies. He didn’t have a guitar but when he saw a vacancy in a hotel for a guitar player, he wanted to apply. To his surprise, he was invited for an audition. While looking for a guitar, he saw a guy with a guitar in street. He bought a guitar with weird stickers and black tapes all over it for Rs. 700. That was not a nice looking guitar for a job audition. But, that was all he had. The journey form a hotel player to the iconic venue in the UK, the Royal Albert Hall, Baraili has an incredible journey of music.
The musical magic of “Kutu ma Kutu” is one of the examples of the guitar capacity of Sanjeev Baraili.
Baraili is today one of the most prolific guitarists in the Nepali music scene. He is behind the catchy riffs behind such hits as Kutu ma Kutu, a new version of Phul Butte Sari, Gojima Daam Chhaina, and many others. He has performed to eager fans across Nepal and abroad, notably at the Royal Albert Hall, an iconic venue in the UK, an experience he cherishes. Baraili is a familiar presence among the viewers of Kripa Unplugged, a musical TV series, where he was a guitarist and a music coordinator. Recently, Baraili released an original song called Baaf, a lively ballad bookended by a wistful poem in rhyme.
When he started playing guitar in Kathmandu hotel, he was not prepared. While he was living in Jhapa he used to play rock based songs in his band Peace. The hotels in Kathmandu only play Indian songs and modern Nepali songs. All he knew as how to play a Kishor Kumar song. He learnt fast and was loved by the performers of the hotel he worked at. He played guitar in a hotel for eight years. That eight years was actually the training ground for him. The hotel band used to play ghazals of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Ghulam Ali and Manna Dey. Those melodious ghazals helped him to explore the melody and music. In addition to music, he has also started singing on his own composition.
Now as he is marrying one of the top singers of our time, Melina Rai, a seasoned musician and a talented singer would make a great combination. Let’s hope more of Kutu Ma Kutu types of songs in future.
All the best to Melina and Sanjeev for their married life.