Music is an interesting way to reconnect with one's roots.
"We want the younger generation to fall in love with our music, and to fall in love with our country," said Gousul Alam Shaon, Managing Director, Grey Studio, producers of Coke Studio Bangla. "That's what Coke Studio Bangla aims to do," he added.
We could not agree with him more, nor can we wait to witness what Coke Studio Bangla has to offer.
Coke Studio Bangla was unveiled at a press conference at the Radisson Blu Dhaka on 7 February, 2022. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT Division and K M Khalid, State Minister of Cultural Affairs, attended the event as special guests.
The concept of fusing various genres of music, primarily representing local and folk music of the region with a modern twist, quickly became popular among the youth since Coke Studio's inception over a decade ago. It took the world by storm when they first started their journey with Coke Studio Brazil. The music franchise later branched out to Pakistan, Africa, India and the Middle East. And now, they are finally in Bangladesh.
"The kind of content we are used to seeing internationally on Coke Studio, we will get to see them now in Coke Studio Bangla. I hope no one will be disappointed when the show finally airs," said Ankhi Alamgir to The Business Standard.
Azra Mahmood was the host for the night. The evening rendezvous began with speeches by Coca-Cola official Ajay Bhatija, Ta Da Tung and Rajbeen Abeer. They shared their feelings on how Coca-Cola has played a pivotal role in promoting a country's musical heritage through Coke Studio. They are glad that Bangladesh will now be a part of that legacy.
"We have given our 100% to uphold the reputation that the franchise has earned over the years. We hope Coke Studio Bangla will reach melomaniacs around the world," said Bangladeshi Idol star Sanzida Mahmood Nandita to TBS.
Theatre group Prachyanat added a layer of excellence to the evening by presenting a breath-taking musical about the evolution of Bangla music over the years. We felt goosebumps after their dance renditions of famous folk songs 'Milon Hobe Koto Dine' and 'Garial Bhai'.
We got a first taste of Coke Studio Bangla through the powerful performance of Animes Roy's recital of an ethnic song of the Hajong tribe. The audience was mesmerised by vocalist Masha and Rubayat, especially when they were later joined by Arnob on stage for their performance of 'Mon Tore Parlam Na Bujhaite'.
"We have gained the opportunity to work with top-tier musicians in our country, and it has been a wonderful experience for each and every member of the Coke Studio Bangla team," said singer Rubayat Rahman to TBS.
The evening also included a showing of the spectacular music video of Coke Studio Bangla's theme song 'Ekla Cholo'. The song is a mash-up of three songs very close to our hearts; 'Ami Kothay Pabo Taree' by Gagan Harkara, 'Ekla Cholo re' by Rabindranath Tagore, and 'Abar Hasimukh' by Shironamhin. The song features vocals by Arnob, Bappa Majumdar, Samina Chowdhury, Mumtaz, Kona, Pantho Kanai, Rituraj, Masha, Mizan Nandita, Rubayat Rahman, Boga Taleb, Animes Roy and Sheikh Ishtiaq.
We asked Arnob what was the inspiration behind the theme song. He explained, "We wanted to showcase the butterfly effect in Bangla music. 'Ami Kothay Pabo Tarey' was a song that inspired Rabindranath to write our national anthem, and other songs like 'Ekla Cholo Re'. Rabindra Sangeets later inspired Shironamhin's music."
"We wanted to capture that chain of influence from the beginning," he added.
Season 1 of Coke Studio Bangla will feature music performed by popular and upcoming artists around the country. Shayan Chowdhury Arnob and the other musicians, alongside Gausul Alam Shaon, stayed together for almost two months in an effort to create a show that tugs at our heartstrings from the very first moment.
The inaugural season of Coke Studio Bangla will air mid-February. The songs will be available to enjoy on Coke Studio Bangladesh's official Facebook page, YouTube and Spotify.