‘Wait For it, It’s going to be Big!’ Isha Khan Duray

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With the release of  “Hatiar” knocking on the door, we caught up with the mastermind behind the huge project, Mr. Isha Khan Duray, we discussed about his projects and how he works for the promotion of new bands with new music. So, here is how it went.

Why did you start promoting new and upcoming bands?

I used to work as a sound recordist in Sound Garden, which was one of the biggest recording studios back then. Bands like LRB, Feedback, Souls, Miles, Renaissance and a lot of other senior bands used to record their albums there. So, I used to work with them. During the course of time, I got acquainted with a few other bands like, Cryptic Fate, Fulbanu’s Revenge, Metal Maze, etc and I grew strong bonds with them. For example, I used to go to their shows with them, used to hangout with them and all. Before long, I realized that, these bands have good potential. All of them are skilled, but they don’t really have the scope for their music to be heard. So I thought, may be I can do something for these bands, so that, they can hit the huge mass out there, waiting with their hunger for good music.

How, exactly, did you promote new bands into the rock scene in Bangladesh?

I approached Khaled Bhai of G-Series and told him about my plans to do something good for the new musicians. He liked the idea of producing a mixed band album and we both started working for it. In late 2000, Charpotro was released which was sponsored by Pepsi, which featured a lot of new musicians of that age. Exactly, the album I was aiming for. The album featured a lot of famous tracks by famous bands, like, Artcell’s “Odekha Shorgo” was there, Cryptic Fate’s “Cholo Bangladesh” and a lot others. I released my 2nd mixed album name, “Onushilon”, which comprised of 7 bands from Charpotro. After that, I came up with “Din Bodol”, which is still one of the biggest albums in Bangladesh, comprised of 21 bands, which had Aashor, Artcell, Black, Cryptic Fate and others. I worked with Azam Bhai (Azam Khan) in an album named, “Projonmo”. The idea of the album came from Azam Bhai. I was the co-ordinator in that project. I basically worked under Azam Bhai like his soldier! Then comes Lokayot, which was a massive hit all over Bangladesh and it still makes room in minds of a lot of music fanatics! I am thankful to Allah that with His grace, all of my albums were big hits. This eventually helped all these bands and their music got heard. Except these, I helped Artcell with their first solo album, “Onno Shomoy”. The mixing and mastering was done by me. Same goes for Black, with their album, “Amar Prithibi”. So, yes, I did a lot for new bands to rise on their feet and I’m still trying my best for this, new, generation.

Who is your biggest inspiration behind all you do?

My inspiration was always my son. Everything I do, everything I will do, is for him. He inspires me, he is my driving force and I donate every bit of my work to him. He is my life!

Isha Khan Duray’s Son, his inspiration.

Hatiar is going to be released very soon. So, what are your thoughts about the album and what exactly does the album promote?

I always like to break my own records. So, here I am with my newest project which would include 55 bands, a feat achieved by no one ever. There has not been any album which featured 55 bands together, with their music. So, Hatiar is going to register itself into the record books soon. Talking more about it, it’s a 4 disc album, which would be having 3 discs of music and the last disc would be a DVD, which would be named as, ”3rd World Metal” which would be having a documentary of some sort. It would feature the recording of the whole album and it would also show how the rock culture in Bangladesh has developed and how it is now. It’s a “Rockumentary”, actually. The album will also be featuring 2 Indian bands, so that the album, along with Bangladeshi rock music, expands, even outside Bangladesh! So, wait for it, it’s going to be big!

What is EML and why does it exist?

EML is designed to promote new bands, visually. This is a one hour program which would feature new bands, new faces in the rock industry, and present them to the people in Bangladesh and to the whole world. EML also promotes music as a community. We have a hangout from 6 to 10 everyday where all the musicians get together and we talk, we sing, someone might play the guitar at that time; we basically have a good time. This makes the bond between musicians grow and this makes us a strong community. And for all this, you just need to fill up a form for your own membership, and another for your bands’ membership. No requirements, nothing whatsoever, that’s all! At the end of the day, I believe in change, this specific change is necessary.

Take A Listen to ‘Cholo Bangladesh’ by Cryptic Fate, from the album ‘Charpotro’:

 

As a sound engineer, what do you think needs to be done in order to improve the sound of music in this country?

I do believe that it’s a must for us to have good and trained sound engineers, which we do lack at the moment. I hope there will be some academic initiatives taken by our educational institutions as to embrace this subject. Even I, myself, might also take some initiatives but I believe it won’t be long that a concept as such expands and reaches our country, because, face it, a band’s musical abilities might be awesome but their sound might be too bad to be true. So, there will be higher demands for a sound engineer in our industry and that is when the society will embrace the idea, and they would act accordingly to bring forward this change.

Take A Listen to ‘Odekha Shorgo’ by Artcell, from the album ‘Charpotro’:

What are your future plans? What are we looking forward to?

Up to now, I plan to organize shows abroad, in countries like Australia and Canada, and I hope to make it big, as expanding Bangladeshi music is concerned. Along with that, I hope to make another mixed album name, “144 Dhara”. But, before that process even starts, I plan to release an “mp3” album with all the demos that will be submitted for the album. For example, if I get 300 demos from 300 bands, then, I will try to incorporate 300 bands into an mp3 album so that all participating bands feel appreciated, and all their music reaches the people that matters, their fans! After that, I will select the best bands from the mp3 album, along with some bands from Hatiar, and I will go down to produce another album full of good music.

Any message for the fans?

Always do good music. That should be a priority for all the musicians. Even if you’re not a musician, do appreciate good music and help new musicians make good music. In short, embrace the concept of good music. Do contribute your knowledge about music because we all will exist if we contribute to each other. And lastly, love your country because only then you can embrace the music it produces. I love you all.

These are the people we need in our music industry. People who are willing to promote new bands into the scene. Someone who recognizes the fact that a change is necessary in order for our music to exist in the society. Someone who is still willing to take this music into an international stage, someone who believes in making our music being heard. These are the people who stand strong as pillars of our music industry. Salute to Mr. Isha Khan Duray, a true music lover.

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