This merry band knows how to make anyone drop their guards and be jolly. Why this very interview was started with all the members singing “Bhalobashle Kyano Khide Payna”. That alone speaks volumes about the band known as Chirkutt, consisting of Sumi, Pavel Areen, Emon Chowdhury, Pintu Ghosh, Nirob and Didar Hassan. After their fantastic performances in the last couple of Celebrating Life District Concerts, we at Star Showbiz sat down with these energetic and soulful musicians and found out what makes these individuals tick.
Origin of the band
All the band members had their minds hardwired towards music and bands from the very beginning. The band was formed back in 2002 when Sumi was still in Dhaka University. After meeting with flute player and first member Pintu at her campus, the decision to form the band was made. Though not much progress was made as she was still a student at university. Later, in 2006, Sumi was introduced to Emon by Pintu. Two years later, Pavel joined in as well. During this time, they performed sure, but they didn't release any studio albums until 2010. Recent recruits to the band include Didar and Nirob. Coupled with Sagor, the sound engineer, they are the core members and the heart and soul of Chirkutt.
Inner workings of a well-balanced machine
One great thing about this band is its multi-genre roots and the respect that the members pay to each other for their choices. No one is forced to give up their likes simply because it doesn't fit with the others. What happens instead is all of them combining their talents to create completely one-off hits reflecting each member's love. The lyrics is written mainly by Sumi as she is the most efficient at it. Her efficiency is so good that other members need not worry and let her handle that department without a worry in the world. Once a lyric is written, the band then sits down together, and discuss the tune that would go with the lyric. By going through many different variations of music, they find the perfect match and go forwards with their new creation. Another worry that many have with bands is that it goes bust at any given moment, but that fear can be put to rest for Chirkutt. They are strongly passionate about their craft, they value their sacrifices, revel in their success and respect each other and their opinions. Obviously they have their disagreements, but they also work out their differences openly and frankly. Most of the audiences know that they are together for 5 years, but truthfully, they have known each other for 10 years, so there is a lot of history. Furthermore, it seems the band has researched on the failures of its predecessors, and decided to implement those lessons into their own.
Best Among The Rest
The band scene was very vibrant back in the day, with the likes of Warfaze, Miles, James, etc. They are long gone and now there is not only a lack of quality, but the interest for bands aren't that high either. Chirkutt thinks this is because of the advent of the modern era. The internet has opened up the whole world to the audience, and with this much choice, it's hard to keep track here. Plus, the current state of the world is very bad, and entertainment is the last thing on people's mind. Also, making a living as a musician in this country is not an ideal solution. But that didn't discourage them as they were determined to make it. And they realized that the reason other bands can't make it is because most, if not all, are stuck doing one certain genre. That's where their multi-genre background comes to play, as they play different genres, thus appealing to just about any and every one. As the current audience demand is wanting a little bit of everything, this fits their bill perfectly. Another thing that helps their popularity is their sincere hard-work and a no-shortcut policy.
Pintu, you were one of the initial members and in fact, one of the founding members. Tell us what led to you joining Chirkutt?
There was supposed to be a big program which involved Dhaka University. That's where I first met Sumi apa. She told me that I was welcome to join her band and play for her as her other members weren't very regular. After that, with some recordings and some performances, I decided to become part of the family.
As Nirob and Didar are the new recruits, let's hear their story of joining the band.
Nirob: I was always a fan of Chirkutt. When I was learning my instrument, I picked up the lead of “Khajna”. Emon bhai and the others used the studio above my apartment and I used to sometimes hang around there and just listened to what they were playing or working on. I met Pavel bhai soon after regarding some matter involving keyboards and from a project, I got to know them all and soon, after joined them.
Didar: I have been in the band for the past 2 years. I knew Emon from way back and he's the one who has been urging me to join for a long time. I was involved with another band before Chirkutt, titled “Bortoman”, but that broke up quite a while ago and I had been dormant since then, until of course, I joined Chirkutt.
Spreading Their Wings:
A Message From The Band
We are trying our best to try and pry into the international music scene and letting the world know of the talents that bloom in Bangladesh. We have performed in many reputable locations around the world, including India, Sri Lanka, Norway, etc. We just came back from a performance in America, and next year's March, we are scheduled to perform in the South by Southwest, a music festival held in Austin, Texas and attended by 2,500 global artists, where the likes of Metallica, Foo Fighters, Cold Play, Megadeath, etc. had once played. We consider this to be an incredible honour and achievement for us as we are the first Bengali Band to be invited. All this has been achieved because of the love, support, and prayer from our loved ones and our fans, and so we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and hope that you will support us like this as we try to make our stand internationally.
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain
& Narrated by Intisab Shahriyar