'American Idol' Contestant Arthur Gunn Already Has an Album Out

Selena Barrientos
Photo credit: Eric McCandless - Getty Images
Photo credit: Eric McCandless - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

  • Arthur Gunn (a.k.a. Dibesh Pokharel) is a finalist on the 2020 season of American Idol.

  • Arthur began singing as a child in Nepal and released his first album, Gahan, in 2018.

  • The artist will have a shot at being crowned the winner of American Idol on Sunday, May 17.

Arthur Gunn has taken American Idol by storm.

Formally known as Dibesh Pokharel, the 22-year-old first caught the attention of AI judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry with his soulful rendition of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Since then, the singer-songwriter has come a long way. He will have a chance to be crowned the next American Idol during the show's finale on Sunday, May 17.

Arthur is originally from Nepal and now calls Kansas home.

Arthur traces his passion for music back to his native country Nepal, where he was born in the capital, Kathmandu.

“I loved growing up in Nepal,” he said. “Music has always been my thing when I was a kid. I got my first guitar from my mom and then I started singing along [to] any song I could hear on [the] radio, TV. That’s when the dream started.”

Six years ago, he moved to Wichita, Kansas, following his sisters who were attending school there, according to The Wichita Eagle. Later on, his parents joined them as well.

“After high school I moved to America, because it’s the land of great opportunity.”

Although he sang often as a child, he only thought about it as a hobby. “I took it seriously the year before I came to Wichita,” he told the outlet. And it was in the Midwest that he began hearing different genres.

“Living in Wichita really got me into bluegrass and country,” he said on American Idol. “I hadn’t listened to [that] kind of music before, but I was, like, pulled towards it. It was like magnetic.”

Arthur came up with his stage name and later found its meaning.

In 2019, his life changed forever. The singer submitted an online audition to American Idol and was then invited to the Wichita in-person audition.

When it was time to go in front of the judges with his guitar, Arthur admitted to in-house mentor Bobby Bones that he was more excited than nervous. “I’m … 10% nervous and 90% excited,” he said. “To be performing in American Idol, it’s a great deal, so this is my chance to make my American Dream come true.”

After introducing himself as Arthur Gunn, he shared with the judges that his real name, Dibesh, means light. As for his stage name, he told halla! that “it was just a quick name gathered from different dimensions.”

It wasn’t until later that he realized the deeper meaning of it. “I am fascinated with 'Art' in every form and the outcome it can create,” he explained. “Hur is a biblical name, which means 'hole,' nothing religious, though. Meanwhile, ‘Gunn’ symbolizes battle.”

Arthur wants to inspire the next generation.

During the competition's showcase in Hawaii, he was joined by his family who swayed along with the rest of the crowd as he sang Bob Marley’s classic "Is This Love."

Before going up onstage, Bobby asked him if there was anything he was nervous about.“I have a hard time in front of a lot of people,” Arthur said. “It’s kind of a very new thing for me.”

Regardless, he was motivated to set an example for viewers watching at home. “I want to encourage all the youths around the world to go for it,” he shared.

Photo credit: Karen Neal - Getty Images
Photo credit: Karen Neal - Getty Images

Arthur independently recorded and released his first album in 2018.

Leading up to his debut on American Idol, Arthur released a Nepali album called Grahan, which is “about day and night, the sun and the moon.” It seemed like the next natural step for the singer to take after performing in coffee houses, pubs, and friend gatherings in Nepal.

“It wasn’t planned or anything,” he told halla! “I initially only had one song, [the] rest all fell into pieces one by one. I already had words to the songs and some I wrote later."

He continued: “I was in the process of releasing it as an EP, but I had recorded more songs that could make a full-length album. So, I just took a shot.”

Fans can listen to Grahan on music streaming platforms and watch respective videos on Arthur's YouTube channel. Viewers can also find full versions of “Have You Seen the Rain?” and “Girl from the North Country” from his incredible auditions.

Here’s to hoping Arthur makes it all the way to the AI finale with his bluesy voice.

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