Sanjay Kumar Shrestha has been playing music since he was a student at St Xavier’s school. He played in numerous school bands and Brother Josh Niraula, who noticed his talent, gifted him his first guitar. While Sanjay’s first instrument was the Nepali folk maadal, his experience has led him to experiment with all kinds of drums and percussions and various forms of music including fusion, rock, classical, jazz, reggae, and heavy rock.
In 1997, he formed Shristi with fellow Xaverians Ashish Sinha and Parangat Moktan while studying in Campion Academy in 12th Grade. Shristi is remembered as bringing ‘fusion’ music to the mainstream audience in Nepal and was one of the first bands to cut a CD album in Nepal. Sanjay joined 1974AD in 1999 as a percussionist, moving to drums in 2009. He has recorded 5 albums with 1974AD and although he is not a vocalist, he has co-written the lyrics to many of the songs and sings the song ‘Swargadapi gariyasi’ on the Album ‘On Air’. 1974AD has taken him to the four corners of the globe playing to a very diverse audience. In addition to his busy touring schedule, Sanjay has performed and recorded with many high profile national and international musicians, like Ani Choyang Dolma, Mukti Shakya, Robin Tamang, Deep Shrestha, Grammy Award winning bluegrass singer Peter Rowan, and many more. He was also a member of Rusty Nails and Alt F4 briefly, in 1999 and 2010, respectively. Lately, he has developed a taste for reggae and performed a season with Australian reggae band Pachooka and is currently livening up the Kathmandu party scene with Joint Family Internationale.
In 2009, Sanjay started Musicology, a music promotion company. Musicology has teamed up with Hits FM to hold a concert series ‘Music by the Museum’ at Patan Museum featuring Nepali musicians in fresh ways. In August 2009, Sanjay and some fellow Xaverians founded House of Music, which has gone on to become one of the premier live music venues in Kathmandu.