If there is anything that can instantly comfort us, calm us and make us feel better, it is music. Without music in our lives, our very existence would be rather sore.
Bangladesh’s music arena has gone through radical changes, and although traditional genres have lost bits of their appeal, some such as pop and folk have not.
On the other hand, uncommon genres such as jazz and blues are slowly gaining popularity in the country, thanks to singers like Tashfia Sui Tashfee.
Her powerful voice and passion for music has made her one of the trailblazers in unconventional genres like jazz.
She started out six years ago and within a year she got her first break in Desh TV.
She fondly remembers it, “The program was a 45-minute tribute to Celine Dion. Although I kept making minor mistakes, nobody could tell it was my first solo performance, until I burst it out to them!”
So why did she choose to start out with jazz and blues?
“It might sound clichéd but I absolutely love the challenges that jazz and blues throws at you. To me, other genres have a beat to them which is easy to find, but not these two, you can’t really put your finger on it.”
“Jazz concerts are super chill and fun, another reason why I love singing it,” she added.
She has her own acoustic, jazz and blues set-ups, and has been performing with Imran Ahmed and his band for quite some time.
“Imran is a good friend and I am comfortable performing with him, which is why his band’s set-up is great for me.”
She believes that jazz and blues have a good future in Bangladesh because more people are appreciating them and there are more concerts happening now. When she sang at the Jazz and Blues festival in 2015, she was overwhelmed by the audience’s response.
“It was perhaps one of the best moments of my life, listeners appreciated my performances so much. Song requests were pouring in like crazy! I feel very privileged to have been a part of it.”
Who is an artist that inspires her every day?
“The legendary Al Jarreau, every time I watch his shows, they send chills down my spine.”
Has she had negative experiences?
To this she replied, “Every industry has its own struggles, be it acting, music or modelling. I try to be positive through every unwanted comment or experience but it does get hard sometimes.”
“But one of the funniest things I may have heard was that I scream a lot! I wish I could tell them that it is blues, you have to be loud!”
How did she get tied up with Kaushik Hossain Taposh’s Wind of Change?
“Taposh bhai has always praised my singing and I’ve sang at Wind of Change multiple times. For this year (season four) he made me the head of choir and harmony, an experience I enjoyed thoroughly.”
Whose songs is she currently listening to?
“I am currently obsessed with The Weeknd (chuckles) but my all-time favourites are Miles and Fuad Al-Muqtadir. I recently performed with Fuad and he is incredibly talented.”
Other than jazz and blues, what gets Tashfee going?
“When it’s not too hot in the kitchen, I love to cook. Cooking is very therapeutic actually. I’m also into make-up, love doing it and absolutely love buying them!”