Tonmoy Tansen is the frontman of the band ‘Vikings’. He has been a part of the music industry for over twenty years. In an interview with Star Showbiz, he talks about his inspirations and recollects his musical journey.
What inspired you to start singing?
I’m not sure what exactly inspired me, but I was born in a family heavily influenced by music. My mother and sister went to musical academies. I never got any proper musical trainning, but I learnt a lot from them. I also had a friend in grade six, named Rippi, who was also a singer, but is not with us anymore. He was the one to introduce me to Western and metal music.
How did ‘Vikings’ come into being?
During the last few days of my school life, I met and became close friends with Babu, Saimon and Setu. We used to hang out together and jam at our houses. We wrote songs together, and even though they didn’t sound great, it was a start. Around 1997, we had a lot of songs, but not a band. So, we decided to record some tracks. We recorded four songs then, and named ourselves Vikings. Sometime after that, Tipu bhai from Warfaze called us about a competition called Benson & Hedges Star Search, and encouraged us to participate in it. We then signed up and took part in it, we ended up being crowned the 1999 winners of Benson & Hedges Star Search.
You are a vocalist, but do you play any instrument?
Around the time of my SSC exams, I started to learn guitar from Fuad Ibne Rabbi bhaiya. I used to daydream about being a great guitarist, instead of actually practising. So, I didn’t get too far with it. I can play one beat on the drums and I can play only four chords on the keyboard. One thing I can do is mimic instruments using my mouth.
Did you have any mentor?
No, I didn’t have any mentor. I absorbed the best qualities from the people around me. I used to borrow techniques from the vocalists I loved, and adopt and recreate from those.
What are the necessary qualities for an upcoming musician?
I see that many new artists do not take music as their main profession, and this isn’t right. It is not possible to fully commit yourself to music if you do not immerse yourself completely in it. After we reformed, we came back and saw that the new popular artists are paid the same as us back in around 2003. That is a very big problem. I can’t help but wonder whether the new artists will remain in the industry for long. Twenty years from now, we will face a shortage of artists. I don’t think the musicians of this generation will be making more music in the distant future. I think that the new musicians are doing great; I really love seeing them play. I also want to advise them to not be trendy, and to make music from their hearts.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
We have released two singles from our upcoming album, Boyosh Jokhon Ekush. We are going to release another single in August, and then we will decide on when to release the album. Alongside this, I made three songs for the film, Ajob Karkhana, which was directed by Shabnam Ferdousi.
Do you have any message for the readers?
I would like to request the music lovers to not follow trends. If everyone tries to be trendy, it will damage our industry. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. You might like or dislike a song, but don’t pretend to do either just to follow the masses.
Photo Courtesy: Tonmoy’s Archive