In conversation with Zia: A touch of contemporary music | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 15, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 15, 2008

In conversation with Zia: A touch of contemporary music


Ziaur Rahman in his element

Ziaur Rahman, best known as Zia to young music enthusiasts, is one of today's crop of talented musicians. He is the bassist and composer of Alternative fusion band Shironamhin. Recently, he talked to The Daily Star on his music and his band.
Zia embarked on composition in the early 90s with a few friends. In 1992 he established a thrash metal band named Thrash Hold and performed several stage shows. However, the band had a short-lived existence. As Zia says, “Those days we used to practice off-track music, a genre ahead of its times.”
In 1996, Zia formed band Shironamhin along with friends Farhan,
Tushar and Jewel. Later, Tanzir Tuhin (now vocalist of the band) joined the band, which specialises in psychedelic and fusion music. Explaining the genesis of the band, Zia says, "We used to sing at addas in TSC (DU), in our BUET campus and wherever we got a chance. We soon realised that students would enthusiastically flock to both campuses. We took a cue from Moheener Ghoraguli, a band from Kolkata, which composed such adda songs. Their songs gained popularity in the late 90s in West Bengal as well as in Bangladesh. So we thought that if Moheener Ghoraguli could do it, then why not try it ourselves?”
“With our band we went to the Star Search (2nd Benson & Hedges Star Search) and won critical acclaim. Encouraged by the plaudits that came our way, we released our first album Jahaji in 2005," Zia continues. The group's second album Ichchhe Ghuri released in 2006.
Jahaji and Ichchhey Ghuri gained immense popularity among the young music listeners because of its thematic lyrics and Zia's superb composition. Soon both the albums established Shironamhin as a prospective band. Songs like Borsha, Cafeteria, Hashimukh, Jahaji, Lal nil lal golpo, Nodi, Pakhi, Shohor and Shuvro Rangin incorporate thematic lyrics featuring urban life, nostalgia and contemporary issues. Zia says, “Our songs revolve around Postmodernism and magic realism. Powerful lyrics are essential for quality songs.”
Apart from lyrics, the sarod, which is quite exceptional in the band music scenario, lends a new touch to their songs.
Apart from the band, Zia's music arrangement in the mixed album Neon Aloy Shagotom has also attained popularity. The album features Shironamhin, Meghdol, Ajob and some underground bands. Songs including Raat o rajpother adda by Road House, Ektu boshia thako by Kanak and Kartik,
Nephertiti by Meghdol and Muthophone by Shironamhin have lyrics based on contemporary issues.
On the title of the album Zia said, “We use the title as a symbol of urban life. We wanted to capture the texture and fabric of urban life as well as explain every waking moment of city dwellers.”
On the album's arrangement Zia says, “G-Series and I use the online forum of www.shironamhin.com. Initially we offer demo songs from bands. After a gap we receive 60 tracks from different bands and finally we reduce the number to 13. The total work is done within four months.”
Zia, an architect by profession, draws inspiration from his academic days. As he says, "Our curriculum included courses in music, film and other related subjects--a great motivator for me.”

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