The first episode of Dhaka Sessions aired on November 14, featuring the popular band Nemesis
"Dhaka Sessions" is a new platform for musicians where they can play acoustic and raw versions of their songs in front of an audience - set against the backdrop of rows and rows of books.
Does the setting sound familiar? If yes, it is because this musical session follows the same format as NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.
Launched in 2008, NPR's Tiny Desk Concert created hype among music enthusiasts and netizens for its unique style of presenting live music.
The first episode of Dhaka Sessions aired on November 14, featuring the popular band Nemesis.
Every 10 days, a new episode of the show will air along with interviews of artists and authors which will take place at Bookworm - a music-friendly bookshop in Dhaka.
Nemesis was very excited to be able to perform after seven months of hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking about the experience, Md Zohad Reza Chowdhury, the vocalist of the band, told The Business Standard, "To be honest, it felt like we did a show for the first time. We experienced a feeling of uncertainty and excitement at the same time. We had a good show!"
"It felt amazing. We were very flattered and honoured to have been the first performers on the show," he added.
We asked Zohad about his thoughts on the localized format of Tiny Desk Concert. To which, he said, "It's very exciting indeed. We're always very appreciative and supportive of anyone trying to do something for music here and create platforms that can showcase all the talented musicians this country has to offer - both old and new."
Chotu Khan, the producer of Dhaka Sessions, came to know of Tiny Desk Concert almost five years ago. Since then, he had been planning to produce a show of a similar format and his long-due project finally took off this September.
Chotu is also a musician who happens to be the frontman of cover band Stone Free.
"I loved the raw format of Tiny Desk Concert and wanted to recreate that space for musicians so they can create raw and acoustic music," Chotu told the correspondent.
"I thought of doing this initially around 2014 or 2015. Back then, the bookshelves at Bookworm were immoveable. This year in September when I visited Bookworm again, I noticed that they added wheels on the bottom of the shelves and I thought I can finally do the sow now," informed the producer. "
Later, he called the owners of the bookshop to remind them about the idea and they cleared up the bookstore floor for his use.
Chotu aims to create a platform where people like Sagar Baul and underground musical talents will be featured.
The first season of Dhaka Sessions will have six episodes. So far, two episodes have been aired. Labik Kamal, Arbovirus, Pragata Naoha and other musicians are set to perform in the upcoming episodes.
Chotu further said, "The idea is to have three episodes per month, six episodes in two months and then we move onto the next season."
With hopes of remaining patronage, Chotu promises to continue Dhaka Sessions to bring many undiscovered talented musicians of the country to the limelight.