If you are a Shironamhin fan, you must be disappointed as your favourite band could not present you with a special night on the occasion of their silver jubilee last April due to the pandemic.
Well open up your 'Bondho Janala' and read this piece with a 'Hashimukh', as I come bearing good news. If things go according to plan, Dhaka will witness one of the most riveting live shows in the history of Bangladeshi band music, when one of its most Shironamhin is all set to celebrate 25 years of their existence.
Brandmyth Communication, the agency which nigh seamlessly executed two of the most acclaimed live events in recent memory, has been roped in by the band to take care of some of the event management.
We got in touch with the band's new lead vocalist, Sheikh Ishtiaque, confirmed the information saying, "Collaborating with Brandmyth, we are trying to organise a concert which will be one of a kind."
Ishtiaque also kept open the possibility that the celebration, such as it is one, could be staggered out not just in terms of time, but even location - like a series of events in different parts of the country ultimately leading to the climatic homecoming.
The good news doesn't stop here as Ishtiaque revealed that Shironamhin are set to present their fans with an exclusive music video titled 'Perfume' from their new album of the same name.
"We have plans to spend around Tk 15-18 lakhs to produce the music video," Ishtiaque said. That would make it one of the most expensive music videos in the country's band industry. Although it's never simply about how much you spend, but rather how you spend it.
When I asked him how it feels for an ordinary Chittagong boy to climb up the ranks and become the lead vocalist of a legendary band like Shironamhin, Ishtiaque said, "Sometimes I still feel like all of this is a dream."
A dream that unexpectedly became all too real when Tuhin, the man who came to be known as the voice of Shironamhin through vocal duties on their first five albums, besides countless gigs and made-for-television shows, had a high-profile fallout with founding members Zia, Jewel and Bulbul, leading to his exit from the band after 17 years.
That paved the way for Ishtiaque to join the line up sometime around 2018. Let's just keep it very matter-of-fact still.
"My journey with music started as a boy with Arpeggio music school back in 2011. Not very long ago, I used to cover Shironamhin's songs with my local band mates back in Chattogram and now I play with them."
"It was a dream come true," Ishtiaque concluded. He said that before, and he can say that again. You imagine you may get to play football or basketball or some other sport for a team you have loved growing up, or just love, period. In music, this is not how it's supposed to work out, Growing up loving a band and then one day finding yourself as a part of them is an extremely rare.
When contacted, Brandmyth Communications official Fuad Khan says, "Fans will witness history in the making as we are going to organise a once-in-a-lifetime event celebrating Shironamhin."
Brandmyth certainly are not shy about throwing in the superlatives. Before our conversation is over, I'll also get to hear 'mega concert', 'blockbuster' and 'never seen before' (in Bangladesh, I think). But whenever I push to learn more, squeeze out something more specific, Fuad clams up with a standard response: "Details regarding the event will be revealed soon."
He is still unable to give me a date - I realise it hasn't been booked yet. At that, Fuad Khan shouts back at me; "It will be held in or within March."
Because April would obviously be stepping into 26th anniversary territory, cannibalising. March it would be. And there was nothing more to be learned that day.
Shironamhin formed in 1996, from the union of Ziaur Rahman 'Zia', Bulbul Hasan and Jewel, as they started playing music together. In 2000, Tuhin was invited to join the bnand on vocals and the band's debut album, 'Jahaji' was released in 2004 and it was an instant hit, plus critically acclaimed. Four more albums followed: 'Ichchhe Ghuri' in 2006, 'Bondho Janala' in 2009, 'Rabindranath' in 2010, and 'Shironamhin' in 2013.
Their current , much-changed lineup is Ziaur Rahman on bass and cello, Kazy Ahmad Shafin on drums and sarod, Diat Khan on guitar, Sheikh Ishtiaque on vocal and Symon Chowdhury on the keyboard. Through all the changes, Zia has remained the one constant, and that reflects the fact that it is his creative vision that has been the band's driving force throughout its existence.
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