Last weekend, Dhaka was all drenched in nostalgia -- many were seen listening to music from their old collections, remembering long gone moments with friends and families and getting ready for some disco!
Liz Mitchell, the lead singer of Boney M, a famous disco-pop band from the 70s and 80s, was in town to mesmerise all with her compositions. Organised by Creinse, a creative agency, Boney M featuring Liz Mitchell, performed all the songs that rocked young people all over the world decades ago.
“Disco is definitely not dead!” she said, during an exclusive interview with The Daily Star, at the hotel where she was staying. “At least not for me it hasn't. I see people jumping up and down to the Boney M songs even today, so how can one say that disco is dead? You see,” she remarked, coming closer and almost whispering a secret she had discovered. “Those who say that disco is dead are actually promoting disco, inspiring the curious young ones to discover and explore the genre! Any PR is good PR!”
All pumped up for the show, it was delightful to watch Liz listing the songs she would perform with her team, talk about her dual identities as Boney M and Liz Mitchell and also how astonished she had been when she heard she had fans in Bangladesh!
“It's amazing!” she said. “Boney M has many fans here in Bangladesh and it is so heartwarming to find out that many musicians here also cover our songs. Imagine that!” Sure enough, the audience at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center, were doing so much more than tapping feet and snapping fingers during the concert. People were dancing to By the Rivers of Babylon, Rasputin, Daddy Cool, Hooray Hooray and so many more. Liz also officially endorsed the cover version of the song By the Rivers of Babylon, performed by Alif Alauddin, Elita and Tashfee, which can now be found on the Creinse Facebook page. Kazi Faisal Ahmed played the guitars, while Farshid Alam played the bass in the song, which was rearranged by Hridoy Khan.
Thinking back to the days of Boney M, performing all over the world, Liz said that Boney M, to her, would always be Liz Mitchell, Marcia Barrett, Maizie Williams and Bobby Farrell. Even though the other members have retired from music, and Farrell passing away 8 years ago, Liz Mithcell has been keeping the band and the music alive. Today she performs as Liz Mitchell and it's the people who like to refer to her as Liz Mitchell and Boney M or the other way around. “The name stuck,” she said. “That's why, now I perform as Boney M featuring Liz Mitchell. I believe this is fair to me and the rest of the band as well.”
Years after she left the band, Liz did return to record an album with Boney M, where she also sang some of her own compositions. At the concert last weekend, Liz Mitchell sang the song Let it be, which she had officially remade and is a part of her album. The song is originally by the famous band Beatles.
Talking about how she feels young as ever, she talked about how more women than men tend to “move away” after a certain age. “I understand why they do this,” she remarked. “Many women in the entertainment industry move away before anyone can call them old, or that they are not good enough. It's like how Oprah Winfrey had said that she would stop her show before anyone would crticise her. So she did give her show up, but she did not give up on life!”
For Liz Mitchell, music is her life and she plans not to give up just as yet. She looks forward to more family time, travelling and performing her ageless compositions.