How did you get into music?
I was never really into music, but during my O-levels, I got sick for almost a year. I ended up staying home for the whole year. During that time, I started enjoying music a lot. Basically, when I was at rock bottom, I found something that I love.
How did your music career start?
My brother had a band called KrAL. When he realized that I could play the drums, he formed the band with another cousin and me. At first, I played drums, but when my brother saw me sing, he told me to sing a few songs as well.
Who was your mentor?
My elder brother, Saadi Muktafi was my main mentor.
What instruments do you play?
I am very good with stringed instruments. I can somehow figure out string instruments well. So far, I have used around 15-16 stringed instruments in records.
Do you have any upcoming projects soon?
I have been working on four English albums for almost the last seven to eight years. They are all of different genres. I plan to release all of them soon. They will be under the banner of AvoidRafa. I will also release AvoidRafa's second album within the first quarter of 2019.
What qualities does an aspiring musician require?
An aspiring musician requires to master the sense of rhythm. If you have the rhythm sense, then you must practice regularly. You have to know the music, and then practise on the instrument of your choice.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Quincy Jones, Mike Portnoy, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Extreme are some of my biggest inspirations. People like Bassbaba Sumon bhai, Adnan bhaiya, Saadi bhaiya all inspire me.
What is the life of a musician like?
It is very hard. When I first started, I thought I would be a rockstar and do whatever I wanted. I had a natural aptitude for music, so I could get away with practising less. But when it became a profession for me, I had to wake up every day, and always be in my A game. It's very hard and challenging, but it's extremely fun.
How did you get affiliated with 'Aurthohin'?
KrAL did a show in 2013, at a hotel called Obokash in Mohakhali. Our bassist, Adnan bhaiya knew Sumon bhai. He invited Sumon bhai and Jewel bhai to come see the show. That was my first proper show. I sang Dream Theater and Malmsteen songs while playing the drums. That show helped get us into the society of musicians. This, back then, was Sumon bhai's drawing room, where a bunch of musicians would hang out. Aurthohin used to have one who left, so they were looking for a vocalist to do higher pitched notes. He told me one day to come and do those parts during their practice. He asked me to do a few shows with them, to see if I was good enough for the band. Then after around six months, I did.
What inspired you to start 'AvoidRafa'?
There was a show where Aurthohin was supposed to perform. Due to some unavoidable issues, the band had to back out. Sumon bhai said that I could go and perform some songs I sang on Aurthohin's album. The reaction of the crowd was amazing, and after that I knew I had to continue this. At first, the organizers put the name as Rafa and Friends. I thought that it sounded too cliché. I had to put a name, so I put AvoidRafa. My bassist, Pavel also played an important part in getting this band to where it is.
What is your favorite tour memory?
When we released Aushomapto 2, we had an autograph signing in Chittagong. Since Nemesis had also released an album then, they were also there. Kamal bhai wasn't there, and Maher bhai from Nemesis had to sign around 200 autographs because people thought he was Kamal bhai (laughs).
Do you have any message for our readers?
I would tell people to support what you like. People should also do something with whatever it is they support. I would also ask people to read more, because it really makes you cool. It doesn't make you a nerd if you read, it makes you awesome. People should also stop making the streets dirty. We are evolved beings, so we should not do something that primitive.