Arthur Gunn is an American Idol contestant whose real name is Dinesh Pokharel.
Pokharel, a singer-songwriter from Nepal and Wichita, Kansas, chose Arthur Gunn as his stage name. In a May 2019 interview, Dibesh said he starting thinking about using a stage name while working on his debut album “Grahan,” an eight-song collection that dropped in the summer of 2018.
Dibesh says he doesn’t hail from a musical family, but was fortunate enough to grow up around music and be exposed to it at an early age. He started singing six years ago. His inspirations include John Martyn, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Bukka White, Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and John Lee Hooker.
Here’s everything we know about Arthur Gunn on American Idol:
1. Arthur Gunn Is Not Expected to Be Immediately Eliminated
Gunn appeared in a commercial for the show that debuted during the Academy Awards on Sunday and has been in heavy rotation on the network ever since. It features a busload of new “Idol” contestants singing along to Elton John’s classic song “Tiny Dancer.”
The commercial, a tribute to a scene from the 2000 film “Almost Famous,” includes “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest merrily driving the bus filled with contestants. At the end of the commercial, he says, “These ‘Idol’ hopefuls are almost famous.”
Gunn, wearing a green shirt, a gold earring and sunglasses on top of his head, can be seen singing in the back row of the bus.
2. Arthur Gunn Impresses American Idol Judges
Gunn made it in front of celebrity judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan because he also was prominently featured in a sneak peak of the season released in December.
In the clip, Gunn strums his guitar in front of the celebrity judges as he performs a few lines from “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.” After, judge Bryan appears to say of him, “I think he might be the biggest star we’ve ever had on ‘American Idol.’”
3. Arthur Gunn Is From Nepal
Arthur Gunn, 20, is actually a stage name for Dibesh Pokharel, a native of Nepal who says he moved to Wichita about six years ago. Gunn said he followed his sisters to Wichita, where they were attending school, and that his parents then followed, too.
He sang all the time as a child in Nepal, he said, but for a long time, he thought of it as just a hobby. He began to take it seriously the year before he came to Wichita, reported the Wichita Eagle.
4. Arthur Gunn Was Invited to Audition In Person By American Idol Judges
In Nepal, Gunn said, he would perform in coffee houses and pubs but more often he’d sing for gatherings of friends. Eventually, he recorded some of his music.
He submitted an online audition to “Idol” last year and was invited to attend the Wichita in-person auditions, which attracted a big crowd to Century II. At the time, producers would not say how many hopefuls from Wichita advanced to the next round.
The whole experience has been pretty wild, Gunn told the Wichita Eagle. “I’ve had a little bit of nervousness, but I always believed in my music and believed in myself that I could do it.”
5. Arthur Gunn Has A YouTube Channel
Gunn sings a great variety of music and his influences are numerous. His YouTube channel reveals an acoustic rock sound.
Wichita was one of 22 cities the show’s producers visited over a two-month period last summer. It was “Idol’s” first scouting visit to the city since the show — which has produced stars like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood — started in 2002.
His acoustic tracks on his YouTube channel have received more than 23,000 views. His first track of his KHOJ album received more than 63,000 views, one of three singles he released in 2019, including “Ma,” “Khoj” and “Karnali (The River).”
READ NEXT: Read more about American Idol.