On Bangladeshi rock bands

New Age Youth | Published at 12:00am on October 07, 2018

New rock bands are rapidly making it to the playlist of urban youth. Students have shared their concern not only about piracy, the quality of music but also expressed hope with New Age Youth about this thriving new music genre.

Md Tarek Aziz Bappi (Bappi Mea)
University of Dhaka

Roughly, the journey of band music in Bangladesh started in the mid 20th century. In 1963, Zinga, the first Bangladeshi orchestra Band was formed in Chittagong which brought a new flavor to Bangla music by playing popular Tagore songs, Nazrul songs and hit Bangla movie songs in western orchestra style. Later Azam Khan of rock band Uccharan was the hero of 70s. The Akhand brothers—Lucky of Happy Touch and Happy of Miles-- brought a new dimension in our musical arena around the early and late 70s.

At the 90s there came LRB (1991), Aurthohin (1993), Metal Maze (1995), Shironamhin (1996), Artcell (1999), Nemesis(1999) et cetera. Among the old bands, many are still going very strong like souls  (1970), Feedback (1976), Miles (1978), Obscure (1985), Love Runs Blind-LRB (1991), Nagar Baul and Renaissance.

Many of the above mentioned bands failed to survive the test of times and also many popular band musicians went into reminiscence.

I think present generation bands failed in big time to bear their previous generation's flag. New hit albums from bands, not targeting niche audience, are not coming as frequently like before let alone with the quality of previous generation’s music.

But hope is still there in band music as many old and new bands are still performing to their hearts content like LRB, Nagar Baul, Miles, Aurthohin, Prometheus, Dolchhut, Obscure,Arbovirus (2002), Chirkutt (2002)  Shunno and Joler Gaan(2006).

Md Ashikur Rahman
University of Dhaka

Bands like Miles, LRB, Souls, Nagar baul, Sironamhin, Dolchut and so on were formed before my birth. I started listening to those bands from the age of thirteen. The songs from those bands were so meaningful, enriched with beautiful lyrics, and possessed the vibe of attracting people. Band music has created a special place in the music lovers mind around the country. I still listen to the songs from different bands. Various new bands have appeared and some old bands have passed out of sight. The songs from new bands are also appreciated but I don't find that vibe like those former bands. Excessive use of musical instruments and technology is noticed among today's bands that sometimes hamper the depth and feelings of the song. New bands should be more careful and thoughtful about the lyrics and tune of the songs. Hopefully, new bands will be able to become the perfect legacy holders.

Taiyeba Hossain

The initiation of rock music in Bangladesh began in the early 70s, right after the independence. Although it started with ‘Chittagong with Souls’ but I have been following Bangladeshi band music from 90s. LRB was one of a kind band with Ayub Bacchu as its lead vocal and guitarist. They ruled the era with many new bands such as Black, Nemesis and Artcell setting forth their baby steps following their footsteps. In today’s time Artcell and Nemesis are still extending their legacy with progression of time with injecting the enthusiasm in the youngsters. Zohad Reza Chowdhury is the vocalist of Nemesis with an enchanting voice forcing listeners to sing and swing in his tunes and melody .The band has always stirred the touch of band music in people of all ages with tracks like Kobe, Obocheton, Hariye Jao and so on. While Artcell with their Oniket Prantor track and the lead vocalist Lincoln ensures their uniqueness of vocals and instruments in every concert and fests. Although a lot of band and their admirable talent is lost today but the two leading bands are still holding their spots firm and ensuring that Bangladeshi band music don’t go extinct not now or ever. They sure are doing justice in bearing the previous generation’s flag.

Ishrak Ahmed Resham
Ahsanullah University of science and technology

Bangladesh has a rich history in terms of band music. Bangladesh has been producing international level bands like Renessa, Miles, Rock strata, Feedback, Souls since the 80s; which have reigned our band music scenario for decades. If you have to talk about the current music scene, you cannot deny that our country is still producing excellent musicians, since there are more platforms now, both virtually and practically. The current generation of bands are doing pretty good. Plus, bands like Warfaze, LRB, Miles, Nogorbaul, Aurthohin are still alive and kicking and can steal any show! But what saddens me is the fact that few bands these days are being more commercial than ever, which wasn't seen even a decade ago. Plus the fact that people don't buy CDs and don't go to concerts like before is a bad side of the tech/social media, which is something that draws bands back from success.

Mobasshir Ishraq
University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh.

Bangladesh band music had a glorious golden era when we found Nagar Baul, LRB and ARK in 90s and many more to listen to. Lately, our previous generation experienced Miles, Cryptic Fate, Maqsood’s O Dhaka, Warfaze, RockStrata, Shironaamhin, Artcell, Black and Nemesis. The recent situation is a bit gloomier than what we all thought it would be. Piracy is still there. If the musicians do not get the security of what they do for living is the same thing as hampering their living. If it’s not taken care of real soon, Bangladesh might find herself nothing but a land without potentials.

Nahid Hossain
Stamford University Bangladesh

Bangladesh has a great diversity of music. Band music is very popular in our country especially the young generation like it very much. Bangladeshi band’s golden era has not finished yet. The journey which started in 1963, is still working with different flavours. Among old bands, there are many who are still going very strong, for instance, Souls, Miles, Nagar Baul, LRB et cetara. One very popular name in Bangladeshi band music scenario was Azam Khan. The history of Bangladesh Rock music began with him. Music lovers have named him as ‘Pop Guru’ of Bangladesh. Though he is no more but his popular songs such as—‘Ore saleka, ore maleka’, ‘Rail liner bostite’, ‘Alal o dulal’—still make us happy. I think new bands are still bearing their previous generations’ flag because they are very close to youth and they easily can read youth’s colorful mind. So this capacity is helping new bands to go creative. For example, Chirkutt, Shunno, Joler Gaan and many more new bands are entering our musical arena. Moreover, Bangladesh Musical Bands Association (BAMBA) has been working from 30 years to abridge the generation gap.