When I stumbled upon the song 'Amar Jaan' on YouTube, which was exceptionally indie for a Bangla song with a 1990s retro wedding video, I was blown away.
I looked up the artist, and his songs became my jam for the next few days. I am talking about Dameer Khan.
Dameer signed with Majestic Casual Records, a well-known German label, when he was only 17 years old. He has been releasing songs for his EP 'For we are distant' ever since.
Watch Amar Jaan here
He creates exceptional music by fusing western indie, uplifting psychedelic pop, and jazz with Bangali influences.
With his experimental style of incorporating different elements into his songs, he manages to make his own mark with unique and fresh tunes.
Dameer is currently in Ghana for his mother's work. He does, however, intend to relocate to Canada within the next few weeks.
He said, "I am studying Economics and Political Science at McGill University. I will be staying in Montreal which I am very excited for. It is a very very musical city. I think it will be great for my career."
Dameer grew up in a musical family. Pilu Khan, the renowned musician who founded the ever-popular band Renaissance in the 1980s, is his father. Nonetheless, his father never compelled him to pursue a musical career.
Dameer reminisced, "My dad had put me in guitar classes at a very young age. My first guitar teacher was Labu Rahman of Feedback. He was indeed a huge influence on me as I grew up."
"Later on, I did some guitar and drums lessons at my father's music school in Baridhara," he continued.
As a child, Dameer had the opportunity to visit his father's concerts and observe Renaissance practice.
Musicians such as Bappa Mazumder and Partha Barua visiting their home on a regular basis had a major influence on him.
He added, "My father's influence on me was indirect. This allowed me to discover my own musical identity. I got to experiment and figure out what works for me."
Despite the fact that the majority of his songs are Western Indie, 'Amar Jaan' has a strong Bangladeshi musical influence.
He explained, "In the chorus it had tabla and dhol samples and of course I was speaking in Bangla. It was a deliberate decision on my part to make it half in English and half in Bangla because I wanted to try something new."
"My dad had composed a song called 'Shomoy jeno kate na' sung by Samina Chowdhury, that is where I got the lyrics 'shomoy jeno kate na' from," he added.
Dameer felt that a wedding video would be ideal for the song's video and so he had converted his parents' wedding video to digital for it.
He said, "The cheesy edits of a 1990s Bangladeshi wedding footage seemed perfect for it. When we put the video together, people reacted to it immediately. It is my best video on YouTube by a mile."
The song is getting a tremendous response on Tiktok and Dameer feels overwhelmed about it.
He added, "It is one thing to see your streaming numbers rise; it is quite another to see people film themselves while enjoying your music; it is a whole new level of connecting with other people."
Farooque Bhai, Pragata Naoha, Eida, and Lil Late are among his favourite indie artists.
He said, "They are trying to do something new by incorporating new elements into their songs constantly."
Talking about the current Bangladeshi music scene, Dameer said that he wants to hear new, innovative, and progressive music from Bangladeshi musicians.
He said, "Music that is interesting is what propels culture forward. We need people to create and experiment with new genres."
Although Dameer acknowledges that there are many young Bangladeshi musicians who are creating groundbreaking music, he believes that this paradigm shift in the music scene cannot be driven solely by musicians.
He said, "We require assistance from record labels, film and production companies, and the government. The government should provide grants not only to traditional artists, but also to electronic music artists, DJs, and others."
Dameer is currently working on new songs and projects. Very recently, he launched vinyls for his EP.
"The success of 'For we are distant' has given me more confidence in myself as an artist, and I want to do it justice," he said.
"I have plans to travel to Bangladesh in December to perform in a big show. However, nothing has been confirmed yet," he concluded.