The year in music: A melodious, rocking 2022
The music industry in Bangladesh observed a comparatively successful year, in comparison to the pandemic-induced 2020 and 2021. Returning to the full normalcy from the virtual events, this year was warmly greeted with several in-person concerts and programmes from the very beginning.
The Listeners were enamoured with the maiden edition of Coke Studio Bangla at the beginning of this year, produced and curated by the majestic singer-composer-music producer Shayan Chowdhury Arnob.
Coke Studio Bangla Season One featured a total of nine exclusive fusion tracks and two promotional songs, hosted a historic concert and showcased a handful of breakout stars including Animes Roy, Rituraj Baidya, Sanzida Mahmood Nandita, Ripon Kumar (Boga Taleb), Kaniz Khandaker Mitu, Makhon Mia, Rap group Jalali Set and Indian-Bengali music stars including Madhubanti Bagchi, Sunidhi Nayak and Soumyadeep Murshidabadi.
The nine songs - based on the emotions of celebration, devotion, love, craze, reminiscence, compassion, wedding, the fascination of romance and aspiration for freedom, also featured prominent and popular Bangladeshi singers including Pantha Kanai, Momotaz Begom, Mizan Rahman, Nigar Sumi, Tahsan Khan, Bappa Mazumder, Samina Chowdhury, Dilshad Nahar Kona, and the maestro himself, Arnob. The season was captivating and successful according to the audiences, and everyone is looking forward to the upcoming Season Two in 2023.
After being shelved for almost two years in a row, concerts have explored the return of festivities in 2022 by thousands of music lovers. A handful of concerts rocked the fans throughout the entire year both at home and abroad, including the historic Golden Jubilee Bangladesh concert in May at the world-famous Madison Square Garden in New York City in the United States, featuring Bangladeshi band Chirkutt and the world-famous band Scorpions.
Popular Bangladeshi band Shironamhin's final concert of their year-long silver jubilee celebrations was held back in September.
'Nodi Rocks,' 'Headbangers Paradise phase 1 & 2', 'November Rain Volume 2', Bappa Mazumder's first-ever solo concert 'ALIVE Experience Chapter 1', 'Ei Somoy', 'Mixtape Vol 1', 'Fuad Live' and 'Dhaka Rock Fest 3.0' was some of the most popular and successful concerts this year, featuring celebrated bands including Nagar Baul, Warfaze, Chirkutt, Artcell, Shironamhin, AvoidRafa, Aurthohin, Meghdol, Arbovirus, Cryptic Fate, Sonar Bangla Circus and more.
Most of the concerts were held at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB), while others took place at venues including the Army Stadium and Liberation War Museum, to name a few.
The band music superstars were also the talk of the town this year. Bassbaba Sumon, the frontman of Aurthohin and one of the leading bassists in Bangladesh returned to the concerts this year after recovering from devastating health issues for several years, and Aurthohin launched their album 'Phoenixer Diary 1' this week from the Dhaka Rock Fest 3.0, while the longtime Arbovirus vocalist Sufi Maverick retired from the band after the Nodi Rocks concert in September.
Internationally acclaimed West Bengal singer-lyricist-composer Kabir Suman enthralled his countless fans in Dhaka with three concerts, back in October this year.
Although the concerts were initially scheduled to take place at the National Museum in the capital's Shahbagh, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) later denied granting permission for the concerts. The event featuring the magnificent solo performances of the 73-years old marvel was later held at the Institute of Engineers Bangladesh (IEB) in the capital, mesmerizing his audiences and admirers in Bangladesh after 13 years.
Among other international stars, the world famous sensational Romanian singer Otilia Brumă enthralled Dhaka audiences in her first-ever live concert in Bangladesh in July. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) and Assamese cultural unit Byatikram MASDO jointly commemorated Dr Bhupen Hazarika, respectfully regarded as the "Bard of the Brahmaputra," with a Bangladesh-India joint commemorative ceremony marking his 11th death anniversary in November, featuring Bangladeshi singers Yasmin Ali, Dilbahar Khan and Liaquat Ali Lucky alongside Assamese singers Mayukh Hazarika, Mismi Bose, Mainu Devi, Geetanjali Kakati and Dwipasikha Bharali.
Chhayanaut, the leading cultural institution of the country, also organised several musical events this year. Its flagship event, the traditional Bangla New Year celebration at the Ramna Batamul in the capital was held with in-person festivities this year, after being shelved for the last two years due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The institution also showcased some of its traditional yearly festivities this year with live audiences, including the annual folk fest, Shuddha Sangeet Utsab, dance festival and seasonal odes.
Besides, the Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammelan Parishad (JRSP) also held its traditional three-day-long festivities of the 40th Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammelan at BSA, back in October.
Overall, 2022 was an eventful year in the Bangladeshi music scene, and the listeners-concertgoers are looking forward towards another great year ahead, aspiring to get enthralled with loads of festivities.