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Prakash Slim Interview

Tell us the brief history of your band or musical career.

I was interested in music since I was a child. I'd play music by drumming against the water gallon and sing songs whole day. I feel that was the time music drew me to its world. When I passed grade ten my sister gifted me a bicycle but I wanted to play and learn guitar so I sold my bicycle and brought a guitar lying my family that one of my friends had taken it for a few days. That was my first guitar. I started learning my self and joined a local music teacher after a few months. I took lesson with him for a few months and learned some chords and songs. Few months later I recorded a pop song and started performing in live programs. I think it was in 2000. For two years I gave up everything else to search for a mentor who could teach me everything I needed to know about a music theory. Finally, I found a teacher, a legendary musician Mr. C.B Cheetri and learnt guitar with him a year and joined his band and gigged in a cercuit of restaurants playing rock blues and instrumental.

At the same time in around 2004 I started teaching music in the schools, institutions and started giving private music lessons as well. I passed two years junior diploma (eastern classical) vocal course in 2005.

When I heard B.B King I became thirsty to learn his magical intervals 6th, 9th, major 3rd and minor 3rd. Overwhelmed by what I heard, I began researching more & more about Blues music & its history. I also took much of my existing repertoire and started experimenting by adding Blues licks & Blues grooves to them. There I gradually learned more expanded theory and a deeper understanding of how chords and progressions are formed both physically and numerically.

But when I heard Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Son House, Bukka White, Mississippi Fred McDowell and many other country blues legends, I knew this would be my main style as I felt it in my heart. From that time totally shifted to the country blues style.

In 2008 I participated in a workshop entitled Teaching Music Effectively" conducted at Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory by the US Cultural Embassy envoy; Dr. Gene Aitken.

From 2003 - 2015 kept me busy playing lead and/or rhythm guitar, bass as well as a vocalist for various bands throughout Nepal. (From 2003 - 2010 he played in "The Sound of Music" band, 2008 - 2010 in the "Black Hawk Nepal" and from 2012 - 2015 in "The Plus" band) .

In 2015, I received an invitation to attend a musical retreat at Walden School of Music, San Francisco, California, USA. A major earthquake though hit Nepal in 2015. Buildings crumbled down to dust and my hopes too were also shattered as I was unable to attend the retreat. The devastation hit me hard and personally. For the next several years an insurmountable fear and pain were a constant in my life. The Blues became my solace and my very best friend.In February 2017, I fell sick and was advised bed rest. While I was scrolling through my news feed aimlessly, I came across a Facebook page named “Acoustic Blues Pickers”. I was intrigued by seeing a world of blues lovers like myself. There I listened to Robert Johnson’s “Me and the devil blues”. I practiced playing it for a week and shared what I played on the page. A Facebook friend called Fred Love on seeing my post on the page, offered to help me and magnanimously sent me a resonator guitar and some slides.

I have not only been playing and doing research in Blues but also been teaching BITS aka Blues in the schools. I do Blues exhibitions for my school in Nepal. In 2017 I did blues research programe through Mount Zion Memorial Fund, Mississippi with the help of their director Dr. T.D Moore, under legendary T.J Wheeler.

I am also active in a Blues mentorship program with T.J. Wheeler, a long-time pioneer, advocate, activist teacher/performer of Blues, Jazz & related music and educator, from the USA. I'm a member of the International Singer and Songwriters Association,Georgia, USA.

I'm honored with "Blues Ambassador and Keeper of the Music Tradition" from the Granite State Blues Society, USA.I actively participated on 8th Annual International Conference on the Blues hosted by Delta State University, Mississippi in Oct. 2021.I have been featuring with American Blues Merchandise Wang Dang Doodle Tees, Illinois, USA. A legendary blues artist Rory Block watched my interview on Blues Radio International and congratulated Prakash for his wonderful slide playing and International feel.

I released my debut album Country Blues From Nepal featuring with great harp player Fabrizio Poggi on Devil Records, Europe in Feb, 2022. I have a geat experiences working with these awsome blues people around the globe. Blues man Henry D. Jones from USA gave me a hand for writing and phrasing the lyrics. My good friend, a legendary blues man Carl Wyatt in France worked so hard to make this project come to fruition. Yves DeVille did mastering of this CD and allowed me to be a part of the DeVille Records label family. We took cover photo from Adam Kenedy's photography. And my true friends Lance Bowman and Kat McNeill did a amazing support for this cd. I’m really thankful to each and every friend for their wonderful support.

I have interviewed/featured by prestigious blues publications & websites and other medias such as Blues Radio International (USA), Blues Matters Magazine (UK), American Blues Scene magazine (USA), Blues In Britain magazine (UK), BluesNews magazine (Germany), No Border Blues podcast (Sponsored by Chicago Blues Network) USA, Blues Letter magazine (Washington Blues Society USA), Twoj Blues magazine (Poland), Blues.Gr (Greece), Blues & Co magazine (France), Jazz Blues News (France/Armenia), Lazie Indie magazine (India/France), Down At The Crossroads (Ireland), Crossroads - Never Established (France), Blue Monday magazine (USA), Blues In The South (UK), The WAYO 104.3 FM, (NY, USA), Hard Rock Hell Radio UK, WUSB 90.1 FM (NY,USA), The cat 107.9 FM (UK), The Sterling City Radio (Scotland) and some others.Prakash's debut album has got wonderful reviews from some blues publications ; Blues Blast magazine (USA), Living Blues magazine (USA), Blues Matters magazine (UK), Blues in Britain magazine (UK), American Blues Scene magazine (USA), Twoj Blues magazine (Poland), Blues News magazine (Finland), Down At The Crossroads (Ireland), Blues In The South (UK), La Hora Del Blues (Spain), Buscaredo magazine (Italy), Philly Cheeze's Rock & Blues Reviews (USA), Blues/Blues (UK), BLUES ROADHOUSE (USA), Zicazic (France), Macalle Blues (Italy).My album reached #19 on International Blues Airplay Chart- Australian Blues and Roots Airplay Chart, Australia, February, 2022.My album reached #21 on UK Independent Blues Broadcasters Association top 40 most played blues album chart of February, 2022.A major Paraguayan national daily news paper referred to me as a “Nepali Robert Johnson” and published his interview. American Blues Scene magazine mentioned Prakash as a living history of the blues and premiered his single “Blues Raga”.

I was selected as first featured Blues Artist of the series, "Where In The World: A Blues Ambassador's Travels" for the month of February 2020, Central Iwoa Blues Society, USA. I was also interviewed/featured on different radio stations, in magazines in America, UK, Europe, South America and in some other countries. Now his music is being heard in all around the world.

I have been performing virtually at some major international blues festivals ; CAN'T STOP THE BLUES (USA), Crossroads Confined Countdown Festival (France), Festival International De Blues De Asuncion (Paraguay), Festival International De Blues De Lima (Peru), Festival International Queretablues (Mexico), 6th La Ruta Del Blues Festival Mexico, 7th Festival Blues En El Rio (Argentina), 1st International Obregon Sonora Blues Festival (Mexico), 5th Posadas Blues Festival (Argentina).I have been been doing photo shoot with Britain's Blues Hall of Fame photo journalist Adam Kennedy for Adam's "Virtual Photography Project".

Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Well, as a country blues artist my musical influences are Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Bukka White, Fred Mcdowell and some other country/delta blues legends.

What album has had the greatest impact on your life as a musician?

“King of The Delta Blues Singers” of Robert Johnson has had the greatest impact on my life as a musician.

Is there a particular song that has resonated with you for a long time?

Blues is a true feelings and experiences of our life. There may be happyor sad. I grew up with the blues and suffered with economic depression, discrimination and other social issues. I would say old recordings from pre war era has resonated with me for a long time.

What’s your favorite accomplishment as a musician thus far?

People love my music and know me as a country blues artist and it's my favorite accomplishment as a musician thus far.

Tell me about your favorite performance in your career.

I think as an artist we always wanna give the best. When I was in a rock blues band I always tried to give a good one. After shifting in the country blues genre, I played on some of the major blues festivals around the world duirng pandemic and it was truly good.

What's the best piece of advice another musician ever gave you?

Well, my mentor used to say hard work and the devotion would be the main keys to success. That I remember as the best piece of advice.

How has your music changed over the years?

I played rhythm, lead, bass in different bands and sang as their need for more than 12 years. It was very limited and It couldn't approach out side of my country. But when I shifted to the country blues style, people loved my work and my music being heard globally. Now, I feel my music has changed very well.

What inspires you to write the music you write?

Well, you know that as a rural blues lover I found the lyrics in the pre war era were natural, deep and pure. Still we have discrimination, social issues and economic depression so it always inspires me to write.

What made you want to play the instrument you play?

I still remember that when I was a young boy, I'd play music by against the water gallon and sing song all day what I hear on the radio. I would listen old blues recording, B.B king and Eric Clapton as well and crazy about guitar so it made me to play a guitar.

If you could play anywhere or with anyone in the world, where or with who would it be?

I wish I could play at the juke joint in Mississippi and to play with any blues giants would be really great.


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