Imagine being star-struck by a music band, looking up to them and wondering what their lives are like. And then imagine becoming a part of that band.
Zafir Huq still has goosebumps every time he remembers that he is the lead guitarist of the popular Bangladeshi rock band Nemesis, his favourite band.
Zafir studied Media and Communications at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), but he always had a keen interest in music. During his student years, he was part of a band named 'Heal'. He released two songs with that band – 'Kolpona Noy' and 'Don't Love Me'.
Initially, he played the keyboard, but as time went by, Zafir figured out his penchant for guitars.
He was always a fan of Maher Khan – former lead guitarist of Nemesis – and considers him to be one of his biggest inspirations. He believes that local artists can inspire way more than international artists, as people can somewhat relate to them. Although, he is also a fan of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Slash.
"Even now, I get excited just talking about it," said Zafir, explaining how he is still a fanboy of Nemesis. Zafir had covered a solo from Nemesis' album 'Tritiyo Jatra', which members of Nemesis came across.
When Maher Khan and Omayr Khan left the band, Nemisis' bassist Raquibun Nabi Ratul approached Zafir out of the blue and asked him to play for the band.
"This was a turning point in my life. The privilege to play for my favourite band was unbelievable. It was more than a dream."
On being asked what his creative process is when making music, Zafir replied, "I am a spontaneous musician. I think planning does not always work, that is why I like to improvise. Sometimes that is how I get good outcomes. After I create something through improvisation, I take a deeper look at the composition and fix the errors."
Zafir's first song as a Nemesis member was 'Ghuri', next came 'Ke Jaane Ke Bojhe', and many more followed. Nemesis also released an album called 'Gonojowar' after Zafir joined the band.
The artist talked about the lack of understanding and appreciation for musicians in Bangladesh. "Sometimes when people ask me what I do? I reply with the truth – I'm the lead guitarist of a band. But they ask me again – 'What do you really do?' Some people do not consider this a job, or something worthy of appreciation or acknowledgement."
Zohad Reza Chowdhury has been the lead vocalist of Nemesis since 2000 and Dio Haque has been playing the drums since 2004. Zafir mentions their hospitable nature and how they made him feel at home when he joined the band.
"Dio Bhai and Zohad Bhai are my brothers. I don't have any brothers in real life but they filled that void. I also want to mention Ratul Bhai, the 'boro bhai' of the band. He has always supported and guided me in music and my personal life. For me, being a part of Nemesis was never a formal thing. I felt at home from the very beginning."
Currently, Nemesis is working on an album and is busy recording and planning out its songs.
"I cannot really say much about the album right now as it is still a work in progress. But we will announce everything officially once we are done."
Zafir loves being a part of the band. When asked if he has any desire to ever go solo, he replied, "I might give it a shot if I ever get that opportunity, but I do not have such plans right now. I want to continue my journey with Nemesis. I have learned so much here and I want to explore and enjoy my time with the band."