Bangladeshi rock or Bangla rock originated in Chittagong with roots in 1960s and 1970s rock and roll. Bangladeshi rock music was influenced by the American and British rock and roll music. In the 1960s, blues rock was introduced by Zinga, The Windy Side of Care, The Lightnings, Rambling Stones etc. From early to mid 1970s pop rock music was introduced by Uchcharon, Souls, Feedback and Miles. In the 1980s number of subgenres such as hard rock and heavy metal was introduced. In the 1990s hard rock and heavy metal broke through the mainstream with bands like LRB, Feelings, Ark and Warfaze, Miles, Maqsood O' Dhaka, Souls etc.

In the 2000s, genres that emerged into the mainstream included alternative rock and thrash metal. In the 2010s, Indie rock went mainstream with bands like Ashes, Chirkutt and Joler Gaan.

Early rock and roll (1960s to late 1970s)Edit

Blues rockEdit

Zinga was the first rock music group of Bangladesh. The band was originally formed in 1963 in Chittagong.[1] Formed by a group of young students from Chittagong College. Under the inspiration and leadership of Shafaat Ali, Zinga soon became the most popular rock band in East Pakistan.[2] In 1964, Shafaat Ali's teenage sisters Najma and Sheela Parvin joined the band. In 1965, they were invited to perform in the first ever television broadcast show of BTV. In 1970, they moved to Dhaka, and they also released some hit singles from the label HMV.[1] The Windy Side of Care was the first rock band from Dhaka. It was formed in 1964 by Fazle Rob. They were formed as Lolite, but later they changed it. Fazle Rob, while studying in class eight of St. Gregory School formed the band. Their first lineup includes Fazle Rob on vocals and guitars, Mazhar Islam Shazu on guitars, Rafi Omar on bass and Khawaja Sabbir Kader on drums. They used to perform in Shahbagh Hotel and Dhaka Club regularly. The Lightnings was another band from Chittagong. It was formed in 1966 by students of St. Placid High School. Twin brothers Noel and Neo Mendes along with bassist Farid Rashid and guitarist Shakeel formed the band. They were regarded as one of the best bands of East Pakistan that time. They had the highest quality instruments at that time in the country. They used Fender guitars and amps, Ludwig drums and VOX keyboards. After some years of the War of Independence, the band disbanded. Noel and Neo Mendes started their own business, guitarist Shakeel left the country and bassist Farid Rashid along with Happy Akhand formed the band Miles. Famous Dhaliwood actor Zafar Iqbal formed his own band Rambling Stones in 1966 in Dhaka, before he was an actor. He was inspired by the music of Elvis Presley. Iqbal's elder brother Anwar Parvez and sister Shahnaz Rahmatullah was also into music. His band performed every Saturday and Sunday night in the Hotel Intercontinental and Dhaka Club. They only performed English songs, and they were the first band to perform English songs. The band disbanded after Iqbal got into acting. But, he was still performing in his solo band. Iqbal died in 1992 because of drug abuse. Other rock bands of the 1960s included Insex Dui, Ugly Phases, Fire in Ice and Time Ago Motion. None of this bands released an album.

Folk and Pop rockEdit

After the War in 1971, Underground Peace Lovers (UPL) was the first band that was formed in an independent Bangladesh.[3] Formed in January 1972, it was one of the most popular bands of the time. The band's line-up consisted of Dastagir Haque Munshi on lead vocals, Rumi on vocal and guitar, Sazzad Ali on vocal and guitar, Salahuddin Khan on bass and vocal, and Shahedul Huda on drums and vocal. The band Spondan was formed in January 17, 1972. Their sound was mixed with pop/rock and folk rock . Their first line up consisted of Nasir Ahmed Apu (rock singer, songwriter of Spondan), Firoz Shai (folk rock vocals), Ferdous Wahid (vocals), Aftab Kamal (vocals), Larry Burnaby (lead guitar), Jerry (lead guitar), Happy Akhand (keyboard), Shahedul Huda (drums), Syed Jaglul Ali (rhythm guitar), Younus (rhythm guitar), and Musa Rahman (bass guitar). Founder of Spondan was Mansur Ahmed Nipu and chief adviser was Sheikh Kamal. Nasir Ahmed Apu was the rock singer and only lyrics writer and music composer of Spondan, pioneer of Bangla pop/rock and re-invented Bangla folk music. They became one of the most popular rock bands during the 1970s. Spondan's album "Bangladeh Spondan", record label Bangladesh Gramophone company, year 1975 was a hit and had the largest sales in that year according to journal Bichitra, Dacca, Bangladesh, published in 1975.[citation needed] One of the song of that album "Emon Ekta Maa Dena" was the most popular song in Bangladesh.[citation needed] They were the first to mix traditional Bangla folk songs with western musical instruments. Sheikh Kamal died in 1975. The band disbanded for that year.[4] Uccharon was formed in 1973 in Dhaka by freedom fighter Azam Khan. Nayan Hoque Munshi was the lead guitarist of [Uccharon] (he was the younger brother of Dastagir Haque Munshi from the band Underground Peace Lovers, and Alamgir Munshi a singer currently based in Pakistan); however, Nayan died in a car accident in Canada soon after the band was created. They introduced pop rock sound in Bangladesh. They are considered to be the greatest band in the country.[citation needed] Khan soon became an icon in Bangladeshi music. Songs like "রেল লাইনের ওই বস্তিতে (The Slum in the Railway)", "আলাল ও দুলাল (Alal and Dulal)", "সালেকা মালেকা (Saleka Maleka)", জীবনে কিছু পাবো না রে (I'll Not Get Anything in Life)", soon became some of the biggest hit songs in the country. They released albums like "দিদি মা", "Bangladesh" which were all successful. The band stayed active until the death of Azam Khan in 2011. Souls was formed in Chittagong in 1972. They are considered as the most important band in Bangladeshi rock and roll.[citation needed] They were influenced by the music of The Beatles. Although, they started in 1972, their debut album Super Souls came out in 1982. The song মন শুধু মন ছুয়েছে (The Mind Just Reaches the Heart) became a classic standard in Bangladesh. Albums like কলেজ এর করিডোরে (In the Corridors of College), মানুষ মাটির কাছাকাছি (People are Near the Ground), East and West produced some of the greatest rock songs in the region. They experimented blues rock and pop rock music. They are one of the pioneering bands in Bangladesh. They have released some of the significant rock songs in the region. They also released English songs. They first appeared in BTV on 1985. Their classical line up included Tapan Chowdhury and Nasim Ali Khan on vocals, Ayub Bachchu and Naqib Khan on guitars, Shahed ul Alam on bass guitars, Ahmed Newaz on keyboards and Subrata Barua Ronny on drums. The band was very influential to bands like LRB and Ark. Feedback was formed in 1976 in Dhaka by Fuad Naser. They didn't always released rock songs, some of their hit songs were more of a pop sound. They released their first album "Feedback: Volume I" in 1985. It was considered a pop rock and blues album. Their 1994 album "Bongabdo 1400 (বঙ্গাব্দ ১৪০০)" was a great hit album in Bangladesh. They won the best pop album award for their album "Jai Jai Din (যায় যায় দিন)" in 1995. In 1996, vocalist Maqsudul Haque left the band and formed the pop band Maqsood O Dhaka. After Spondon disbanded in 1975, Happy Akhand wanted to form his own band. At the same time, 1960s blues rock band The Lightnings were also disbanded. In the late 1978, bass player Farid Rashid came to Dhaka and met Akhand. They both had the idea to open up a band. They both wanted to do pop rock music. Then they formed the band Miles in 1979. Their first line up featured Farid Rashid on vocals and bass, Larry Burnaby and Ishtiaq on guitars, Kamal Moinuddin on drums and Happy Akhand on keyboards. They released their self titled debut album Miles in 1982, from Modhumita Productions Ltd. It contains seven cover songs and three original songs of the band. The songs were all in English. In 1983, Farid Rashid and Ishtiaq left the band. Their places were filled with Shafin Ahmed and Hamin Ahmed from Barracks. They were the children of famous singer Kamal Dasgupta and Firoza Begum. In 1986, they released their second studio album A Step Further. It was also written in English. After the death of founding member Happy Akhand in 1987, the band members struggled some years. His place was filled by Manam Ahmed in 1988. After three years they released their first Bengali album প্রতিশ্রুতি (Promise) in 1991. It was their first album to get commercial success. Their fourth studio album প্রত্যাশা (Expectation) was a big hit album. It had sold over 3 million copies in Bangladesh, and is still the best selling album in Bangladesh.[citation needed] Their current line-up includes Shafin Ahmed on vocals and bass, Hamin Ahmed and Iqbal Asif Jewel on guitars. Syed Ziaur Rahman Turjo on drums and Manam Ahmed on keyboards.

Progression (1980s to early 1990s)Edit

Psychedelic rockEdit

Feelings was formed in 1978 in Chittagong by James. They were the first psychedelic band in the region. Vocalist and singer James formed the band when he was 13 years old. Ayub Bachchu also worked with them from 1978 to '82. Their first album Station Road came out in 1985. It contained hit songs like Station Road, Glass Beat Games etc. Their second album জেল থেকে বলছি (Speaking from Jail) was a major success for them. In 2000, Feelings changed their name to Nagar Baul. Their last album was released in 2001, which was দুষ্টু ছেলের দল (Bad Boys Group). They have released only one album under the new name.[5]

Although early Bangladeshi rock is characterised by romantic songs and mellow tunes, the scene began to change during the 1980s. Waves introduced Heavy Metal music in Bangladesh. Warfaze was also a progressive band during this period. Feedback was another band, who released the albums Ullash and Mela. From the mid 1980s to the early 1990s, hard rock became more popular. "It was around 1986 when Miles performed hard rock in Dhaka. They performed songs of Iron Maiden which was rocking to people. The next concert was a mind blowing performance, in which they covered several numbers of Iron Maiden and they did very well indeed!" The band was called In Dhaka, Warfaze and Rock Strata. Different Touch was also active during the late 1980s and early 1990s, playing "Sraboner Meghgulo". Nova (1986) and Renaissance were bands from the same period. The era also witnessed the emergence of artists such as Ayub Bachchu (who created LRB) and solo performers Tapan Chowdhury and Kumar Bishwajit.[6]

Emergence (mid-to-late 1990s)Edit

The early 1990s was arguably the most productive phase[7] of Bangladeshi rock, featuring bands such as LRB and Ark. Cryptic Fate and Maqsood O Dhaka were other notable groups from the era.[7]

The heavy-metal scene further developed during the early 1990s. "Mixed album Hooray was, back then, a huge inspiration and boost for many celebrated bands from today", said Shakib of Cryptic Fate.[citation needed] Warfaze and Rock Strata also released albums. Another band was Winning, which later disbanded. That year metal bands such as Cryptic Fate, Mysteria, Dethrow and PsychoDeth also emerged, playing at underground shows. Shironaamhin, formed in 1996, is still active as of 2013. Around 1998, Koprophilia, Clovermind and Spanking Monkeys began playing alternative music. After a period of turmoil, around 1999 Artcell (formerly Tantrik), Metal Maze, Migraine, Black, Wire, and Nemesis surfaced.[7][8]

New Millenium (the 2000s)Edit

By the early ears of the 21st century, bands such as Aurthohin, Dalchhut, Shironamhin, Black, Artcell, Poizon Green, Kronic, Reborn and Nemesis became active on the Bangladeshi music scene with the release of debut albums and songs. Newer bands emerging during this period, such as Stentorian, Arbovirus, Shunno and Lalon, also became established. The era also saw the revival of the Chittagong rock-music scene. Although the city is considered the birthplace of Bangladeshi rock it declined during the 1990s, when most local musicians and bands began moving to Dhaka for more opportunity and better facilities. During the early 2010s, the Bangladesh Music Bands Association (BAMBA) and the Chittagong Musical Band Association (CMBA) began organising rock concerts in the city, which gave exposure to local underground bands. This resulted to the emergence of new rock bands in the city, such as Hemorrhage and Blunderware.[9][10]

Indie Wave (the 2010s)Edit

Nearing the end of the first decade of the millennia, bands like Blunderware, Joler Gaan, Ashes, Chirkutt and the likes started to penetrate the scene, swaying away from traditional rock to cater to niche audience. With the fall of many major labels, and no availability of streaming platforms, rock musicians took to the internet to self-publish their songs and albums. Many bands such as Minerva, Owned, Poraho released their album through digital platforms. One of the emerging bands of the current decade is Indalo, a post-grunge band with modern influences, who self published and self distributed their own album without the help of sponsorship.[11] While metal and rock music are still heavily heard throughout the rock scene, a budding indie scene started to flourish in smaller concert arenas. Bands like The Crowd, Embers in Snow, Pieket, Orfred, Headline, and Attic - to name a few - have brought about a change in the sound of rock with English songwriting being a common practice in their music.[12]

Progressive/Experimental Rock Wave (the 2000s onwards)Edit

Bangladeshi music scene has been changed a lot for couple of years. There are so many Progressive Rock and Experimental Rock bands have come up with new genre and new sound which people have not experienced before. Bands like Karnival and Owned have made an exceptional example of progressing our industry. Although the market is growing slowly, they already have created their own ground. Karnival released their three successful albums; whereas Owned has given two exceptional albums to the listeners.

Eclipse is one of the finest band who have successfully moving with symphonic rock musical patterns. They have an album which became more famous these days. they were in the D-Rockstar contest sponsored by D-Juice along with the popular bands like Power Surge, Dreek, Radioactive & so on. Recently, there are some experimental rock bands who are cracking the ground with their unique sound and musicality. Following the unique trends, some bands like Messianic Era, Seventh Sign, Jogot, Attic; are moving forward with dedication.

At the end part or 2019. a new band named The Perfect Criminals emerged and introduced a new genre in Bangladeshi music scene called Power Pop.

Notable bands of BangladeshEdit

Formed Name Genre Language City of origin
1963 Zinga Blues, Jazz Bangla Chittagong
1964 The Windy Side of Care Rock N' Roll, Blues Rock Bangla (Instrumental) Dhaka
1966 The Lightnings Rock N' Roll, Blues Rock Bangla Chittagon
1966 The Rambling Stone Rock N" Roll, Psychedelic Rock English Dhaka
1968 INSEX Dui Experimental Rock English DHaka
1973 Ucharon Pop rock Bangla Dhaka
1973 Souls Pop rock Bangla Chittagong
1976 Feedback Rock music Bangla Dhaka
1979 Miles Rock fusion Bangla Dhaka
1979 Renaissance Reggae Bangla Dhaka
1980 Nagar Baul Hard rock, Psychedelic rock Bangla Chittagong
1983 Winning Pop Rock Bangla Dhaka
1983 In Dhaka Hard rock, Heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
1984 Warfaze Hard rock, Heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
1985 Different Touch Pop rock Bangla Khulna
1985 Rockstrata Heavy Metal Bangla Dhaka
1986 Nova Rock music, Hard rock, Psychedelic rock Bangla Dhaka
1991 Love Runs Blind (LRB) Rock, Blues, Alternative, Metal, Psychedelic Rock Bangla Chittagong
1991 Ark Pop rock Bangla Chittagong
1993 Cryptic Fate Heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
1995 Metal Maze Heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
1995 The Trap Rock music Bangla Dhaka
1996 Maqsood O' dHAKA Jazz Rock Fusion Bangla Dhaka
1996 Shironamhin Folk music, Alternative rock, Psychedelic rock Bangla Dhaka
1996 Dalchhut Rock music Bangla Dhaka
1997 Vikings Hard/Soft Rock Bangla Dhaka
1997 Mukhosh Rock, Blues Bangla Dhaka
1998 Aurthohin Rock music, Heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
1998 Black Rock music, alternative rock, Grunge Bangla Dhaka
1999 Artcell Progressive metal, Progressive rock Bangla Dhaka
1999 Nemesis Alternative rock Bangla Dhaka
1999 Bangla Folk rock Bangla Dhaka
2001 Stentorian Hard rock, heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
2001 Lalon Band Rock, folk, Fusion Bangla Dhaka
2001 Vibe Heavy Metal, Alternative Rock Bangla Dhaka
2002 Arbovirus Experimental music, alternative rock, Nu metal Bangla Dhaka
2002 Chirkutt Rock fusion, Pop rock Bangla Dhaka
2005 Shohortoli Theatrical rock Bangla Dhaka
2005 Mechanix Heavy metal, Thrash metal Bangla Dhaka
2006 De-illumination Symphonic rock, Symphonic metal Bangla Dhaka
2006 Powersurge Thrash Metal Bangla Dhaka
2006 Ashes Black Metal, Gaja Metal Bangla Chittagong
2006 Karnival Experimental rock Bangla Dhaka
2007 Shunno Pop rock, Alternative rock Bangla Dhaka
2007 Recall Rock, Alernative Rock, Pop, Soft Rock Bangla Dhaka
2010 PIN CODE Rock, Pop Rock, Folk Rock
2016 Fused Experimental Rock, Alternative Rock Bangla Dhaka
2015 Audoibik Grove Metal Bangla Dhaka[13]
2016 Bay of Bengal Rock, Metal Bangla Chittagong
2019 The Perfect Criminals Rock, Power Pop Bangla Dhaka

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Zinga Biography". Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  2. ^ "On Bangladeshi rock bands". Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Star Magazine". Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  5. ^ "To Rock or Not to Rock". Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  6. ^ "A Lesson in Evolution of Bangladeshi Rock". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "90'z Rocking the decade". Rising Stars. The Daily Star. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Underground". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
  9. ^ "Silent tears of underground music in Chittagong". Star Campus. The Daily Star. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  10. ^ "NSR IV rocks Chittagong". Star Campus. The Daily Star. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  11. ^ "BANDS WHO ARE ABOUT TO BRING GOOD MUSIC". Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Legacy Of Bangladeshi Rock and Roll". Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  13. ^