It takes wit and intelligence to run a business while you are studying. We have seen people going head-on, some succeeded, some fell short, and some are aspirant enough to believe that they will succeed. One of them is the co-founder, Wakil Ahmed Isnad, of a website called Dugdugi (www.dugdugi.com.bd), which boasts a massive catalogue of legally licensed music and allows ad-supported digital streaming and convenient purchases using bKash and local cards. On a personal note, after observing the website and its functions for quite some time now, I have decided to come up close and personal to know more about this initiative, for what I think is a brilliant idea to start off with. Here is how the interview went.
What are you doing right now?
Learning how to order an electrician [haha]. I am studying EEE at BRAC University, currently, and working here and there. That’s basically it.
How did Dugdugi come up?
Me, along with Saddam Azad, the co-founder, were discussing about the music scene and what can be done to save it. We both agreed on the fact that if we can bring the music to the listeners more conveniently and comfortably in the device of their choice that will potentially reverse the ill phenomenon in the music industry known as piracy. We basically had this much in mind when we started out. I still believe we have a long way to go.
6 months or so, how is it going? Baby steps still?
You could say that. Although, I would like to add that we are slowly expanding. We, with God’s grace, have bagged 6 major record labels of this country including AudioX, Dhaka Electronica Scene, Incursion Music and its subsidiaries, Siren and Electro. So, it is safe to say that we are slowly expanding. The work load is increasing day by day as we are working to get other record labels on board. So, it’s a rush in the office almost always. If not uploading the huge music catalogue we want to make, then by sitting down and jotting all the innovative ideas we can use to get the message through to the audience that we have arrived for good.
What do you want to achieve?
It is simple. Everywhere you look, the only thing in business that talks is “convenience”. It worked for iTunes, and it will work anywhere in the world. The reason why Bangladeshi people download songs off the internet is because of the lack of any viable, convenient alternatives. Piracy can be put to an end if we can manage to deliver music regardless of your aster and more convenient than you can say the word ‘piracy’, with the biggest music catalogue that you can find anywhere in this country, available for legal download as well, then we can connect to the listeners through convenience. We do not need to call them. Music itself will pull them in, we pray.
So, you have huge plans in the pipeline?
Yes, and if it all goes well, we might as well see the legal downloading culture will trump piracy and we will have better music industry to offer to our future generations. Our approach is bold, which has never been tried before in Bangladesh. We are not saying we will not fail. It is a mammoth task and we sure can fail, but at least we want to give it the best shot and we believe the listeners will welcome us whole-heartedly.
Music is everywhere. It is inextricably entwined with our soul. It defines our culture. We cannot let it die like this. I hope these words get through somehow.