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Prakash Slim with Grammy winning producer/engineer Michael Freeman and Grammy nominated sound engineer Scott Bomar at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Studio, Memphis, April 17/18 2023.
Ram Prakash Pokharel, aka, Prakash Slim an international artist/performer and educator of the blues was born on June,17th, 1980, in a field. It was during the rainy season, of a small village called Lamatar, in the Lalitpur district, of Nepal. The village saw its first electric bulb in 1983 and its first motor car only in 1995. He was raised by a loving, loyal family that had very limited means. His father passed away at the age of 29, leaving his mother with three children to raise, One elder brother, a sister & Prakash. What food they could manage to obtain was earned by their mother, who worked in their neighbors’ fields. He went to a public school where instead of desks and benches, they had mats made of straw. When asked what his ambition was when young, Prakash Slim replied, ‘Ambition was a privilege for rich kids back then. The only ambition I had was sustaining life.’
He has been interested in music since he was a child. He'd play music by drumming against a water gallon where he'd sing songs all day. Music drew him to it's world. When it called out to him he couldn’t resist. His most prized possession back then was a bicycle that his sister gifted him after she landed a job. Prakash wanted to learn & play the guitar but he didn't have the money to buy one. He confesses that he bought his first guitar by selling his bicycle, telling his family that a friend had taken it for a few days. He learned guitar with a local teacher for a few months in 1998 and started practicing himself. He recorded his first pop song in 2000 and started performing on the stage.
For two years, Prakash gave up everything else, to search for a mentor who could teach him everything he needed to know about music theory. He finally found a teacher, a legendary musician named C.B. Chhetri, though he lived 10 km away from Prakash's own home. His passion for music was so enormous that he never missed a lesson. Whether it stormed or rained, he always arrived, ahead of time, and ready to learn.
For years, after learning a working, journeyman's knowledge of the guitar, he accepted his mentor (C.B. Chhetri) ‘s offer to join his band and gigged in a circuit of restaurants playing rock blues music and instrumental. At the same time, he started teaching music in schools and institutions.
In 2008 he participated in a workshop entitled Teaching Music Effectively" conducted at Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory by the US Cultural Embassy envoy; Dr. Gene Aitken. It had been fine playing in Rock Blues and Instrumental Bands all those years, however, Prakash's thirst for musical knowledge, and deeper musical experiences, couldn't be quenched. He would listen Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton. When he first heard B.B King, he became thirsty to learn his magical intervals; 6th, 9th, major 3rd, and minor third. But when he heard Charely Patton, Robert Johnson, Bukka White, Fred McDowell, Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Blake, and many other country blues artists he knew this would be his main style as he felt in his heart.
Overwhelmed by what he heard, he began researching more & more about Blues music & its history. He also took much of his existing repertoire and started experimenting by adding Blues licks & Blues grooves to them. There he gradually learned more expanded theory and a deeper understanding of how chords and progressions are formed both physically and numerically. From 2003 - 2015 he kept busy playing lead and/or rhythm guitar, and bass as well as a vocalist for various bands throughout Nepal. (From 2003 - 2010 he played in "The Sound of Music" band, from 2008 - 2010 in the "Black Hawk Nepal" band and from 2012 - 2015 in "The Plus" band) .
In 2015, he 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 Prak's hopes too were also shattered as he was unable to attend the retreat. The devastation hit him hard and personally. For the next several years an insurmountable fear and pain were a constant in his life. The Blues became his solace and his very best friend.
In February 2017, he fell sick and was advised bed rest. While he was scrolling through his news feed aimlessly, he came across a Facebook page named “Acoustic Blues Pickers”. He was intrigued by seeing a world of blues lovers like himself. There he listened to Robert Johnson’s “Me and the devil blues”. He practiced playing it for a week and shared what he played on the page. A Facebook friend, on seeing his post on the page, offered to help him and magnanimously sent him a resonator guitar and some slides.
Prakash Slim has not only been playing and doing research in Blues but has also been teaching BITS, aka, Blues In The Schools. He does Blues exhibitions for his school in Nepal. No doubt... he's committed to playing forward BITS programs, and hence, is living, by example the axiom "keeping the blues alive." in Nepal & beyond.
He's now a recognized, internationally affiliated Artist/Performer and Educator of the Blues with the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund (Executive Director Dr. T. DeWayne Moore) in Mississippi, USA since January 2019. Prakash is 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. He is a member of the International Singer and Songwriters Association, Georgia, USA.
Other exposure has included, being mentioned in America's first and leading Blues magazine - "Living Blues" in August 2019. A Nepali magazine called Yuwa Hunkar published his autobiography where he says that Blues can be a music of healing for people who’ve been through pain in life. His quote "B.B. King globalized the blues" is mentioned by the Phenomenal Scholar, Author, and Storyteller Diane Williams in her new book presentation - The Life and Legacy of B.B. King at Mississippi Department of Archives and History - 22 January 2020.
Prakash is honored with an "Ambassador of the Blues" of The Golden Gate Blues Society, Berkeley, California.
Prakash Slim is honored with "International Ambassador of the Blues" from Sacramento Blues Society, California.
Prakash has been nominated for the "World Artist Of The Year" for Josie Music Award, USA.
Prakash is honored with "Blues Ambassador and Keeper of the Music Tradition" from the Granite State Blues Society, USA.
He actively participated in 8th Annual International Conference on the Blues hosted by Delta State University, Mississippi in Oct. 2021.
Prakash has been featured with American Blues Merchandise Wang Dang Doodle Tees, https://wangdangdoodletees.com/prakash-slim/ Illinois, USA.
Prakash just finished his East Coast tour. He played duo with his blues mentor, blues jazz pioneer Mr. TJ Wheeler at Multiple venues of New Hampshire.
Prakash shares that "he is honored to perform solo sets at great venues such as Edgewood Center for Rehab and Health Care (Portsmouth, NH), Action Senior Center (Alton, NH), Keene Public Library (Keene, NH)".
Prakash was as a popular guest on Greaseland Studio Live with Christoffer Andersen aka Kid Andersen in California. He opened for the legendary Rick Estrin and the Nightcats band at Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz, California. Kid Andersen is the lead guitarist of the band Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, owner of Greasand Recording Studio which received "Keeping The Blues Alive" award from The Blues Foundation. Christoffer Lund Andersen has produced numerous recordings that have won and been nominated for Grammy Awards, as well as a number of awards specific to the “Blues Music Industry”.
Prakash served as an opening act for Johnny Burgin. Mr. Johnny Burgin is a 2023 Blues Music Award Nominee for Best Traditional Blues Artist and a Delmark recording artist. Mr. Burgin is constantly touring and has performed some 250 shows across the United States, Europe and Asia.
He played at the Juke Joint Festival, Clarksdale, Mississippi on April 16, 2023.
Prakash played at the Historic Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale MS, on the same porch where so many legendary blues artists performed, at Froggies Barbecue restaurant (Virginia), and the B-Side Bar (Memphis)....
He was interviewed on KZSU 90.1 FM of Stanford University, California.
He was interviewed for Nashville Blues & Roots Alliance, at Papa Turney's BBQ, Nashville.
He was interviewed on Bruce's Folk Song Fiesta, Wed morning 8 am-10 am CST on award-winning WEVL FM 89.9 Memphis.
He was interviewed on Radio Memphis, Memphis by Ric Chetter.
His Album reached #12 in the Top 40 Blues + Albums of the year 2022, Blues Blues UK.
His single "Corona Blues" reached #35 in the Top 40 Blues + Singles of the year 2022, Blues Blues UK.
Prakash's debut album "Country Blues From Nepal" was out on DeVille Records, Europe on February 4, 2022.
His album reached #19 on International Blues Chart - Australian Blues and Roots Airplay Chart, Australia, February, 2022.
He album got #21 on Top 40 most played blues album chart of UK Independent Blues Broadcasters Association (IBBA), February 2022.
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 (UK), American Blues Scene USA, Twoj Blues (Poland), Blues News magazine (Finland), Down At The Crossroads (Ireland), Blues In The South (UK), La Hora Del Blues
(Spain), Philly Cheeze's Rock & Blues Reviews (USA), Blues/Blues UK, BLUES ROADHOUSE (USA).
He was interviewed on Blues In The South, UK in Dec. 2022.
He was interviewed in Blues In Britain magazine, UK in July 2022.
He was interviewed in BluesNews magazine, Germany in June 2022.
He was interviewed in Twoj Blues magazine, Poland in June 2022.
He was interviewed in Blue Monday monthly magazine, USA in May 2022.
He was interviewed on Plastic EP Live TV, Australia, in March, 2022.
He was interviewed on JazzBlues News, France/Armenia with Michael Limnios Blues Network, in February 2022.
He was interviewed on Blues.Gr, Greece with Michael Limnios, January 2022.
He was interviewed on the No Border Blues Podcast (Sponsored by Chicago Blues Network) USA, October 2021.
He was interviewed in the Crossroads - Never Established, magazine France in September 2021.
He was featured in Virtual Blues, Blues Matters magazine, UK, Oct/Nov issue 2021.
He was interviewed on Global Blues Radio, USA, Dec. 2022.
He was interviewed on The Crossroad With Adam Kennedy on Hard Rock Hell Radio, UK, Aug 2021
He was interviewed on Bustin' Out Blue, Stonybrook, WUSB 90.1 FM NY, USA, with Kenny Hahn, in July 2021.
He was interviewed on Shades Of Blues, The Cat 107.9 FM, UK with Kev Legs Walker in June 2021.
He was interviewed in the Blues Matters magazine, UK, June/July issue 2021.
He was interviewed on Totally Blues, Sterling City Radio with Geoff Campbell, Scotland in March 2021.
He was featured in Postmark Jamboree (a nonprofit arts organization that produces live tv/radio in Tennessee) USA, March 2021.
He was interviewed in The Nepali Times Australia magazine, Australia, October 2020.
He was interviewed by Tucson Unified School District teacher Patrick Brenan and shared blues knowledge for 5th-grade students of John E White Elementary School Arizona USA in September 2020.
He was interviewed on The Phoenix Radio, Florida, USA with Big Low in September 2020.
He was interviewed by Kalakarmi Broadcasting & Media Production Company, Nepal in September 2020.
He was interviewed in the Tomiko Dixon Grand Blues Music Review in Lazie Indie Magazine. The granddaughter of the Great Willie Dixon and also the youngest inductee to the Blues Hall of Fame and an Ambassador of Blues mentions "Prakash Slim is what I call a true Bluesman & Ambassador because he's doing his part to keep the Blues Alive & Thriving. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), I personally rate him and his traditional Blues style and sound, as 5.
He was interviewed in Blues & Co magazine, France in September 2020
He was featured in Washington Blues Society’s Bluesletter magazine, August 2020 issue.
He was interviewed for Grateful Web media/news company, in Colorado, America in July 2020.
He was interviewed for Down At The Crossroads, Ireland by Dr. Gary W Burnett on 26 June 2020.
He performed for Festival International Queretablues, Mexico on Dec 17, 2021.
He performed for 6th La Ruta Del Blues Festival Mexico on 22 October 2021.
He performed for CAN'T STOP THE BLUES, USA on 13 Dec 2020.
He performed for the 1st International Obregon Sonora Blues Festival, Mexico in Feb, 2021
He represented Nepal in the International Blues Festival of Lima, Peru, and published his biography in Almas Raices Productions, Lima, Peru.
He played for the Crossroads Confined Countdown Festival (France)on 4th June 2020.
He performed for the 5th Posadas Blues Festival, in Argentina, on 6th November 2020.
He played for Seventh Blues Festival En El Rio, Argentina.
He has played for “Blues for a Cause” in Nepal.
American Blues Scene magazine mentioned him as “a living history of the blues” while premiering his instrumental track “Blues Raga” in November 2020.
A major Paraguayan newspaper ABC Color referred to him as a “Nepali Robert Johnson” and published his interview in May 2020.
He played for the International Blues Festival of Asuncion, Paraguay (indoor) in 2020.
He represented Nepal in the “World Unity Open Mic” virtual event hosted by The Fire – a legendary live music venue, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA on 18 May 2020.
He was interviewed for American Blues Scene magazine, in Florida, America in May 2020.
He was interviewed on Blues Radio International Viral Anti-Viral World Tour, Florida, USA on 17 April 2020.
He was featured as an international blues educator in Central Iowa Blues Society for the month of February 2020 in the Where in The World: A Blues Ambassador’s Travel series.
He was featured on KFMG Radio 98.9 FM in Des Moines, Iowa on 11 February 2020.
He was interviewed for www.blues.gr, Greek Blues Union with Michael Limnios in October 2019
A feature story on him was part of a Vicksburg Blues Society’s screening and presentation at the Vicksburg Blues Challenge held on September 29, 2019. This was presented by Mississippi, Ambassador of Hall of Fame, and President of Vicksburg Blues Society, Shirley Waring.
His country blues originals and covers were aired on July 2020 and July 2019 for an entire month on Blind Dog Radio (Blues Hall of Fame Radio) Ukraine and featured on Highway Blues 2NVR - FM 105.9 (2nvr.au.org), Australia on July 4, 2019.
His music is now increasingly being heard in the Western world, like the USA, UK, Europe Australia, Canada, Brazil, Israel, Chile, Ethiopia, and many others.
His tune Blues Raga was #18 at The Final 2020 Top 25 Charts on Radio Guitar One, USA.
He did a collaboration with a renowned Italian harmonica player, Grammy nominee Fabrizio Poggi on Robert Johnson’s “Me and the Devil Blues”.
A legendary blues artist Rory Block watched his interview on Blues Radio International and congratulated Prakash for his wonderful slide playing and International feel, in her home concert series on 21 April 2020.
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