Bringing people together through music

Coronavirus is uniting the global community in an effort to reduce the spread of the disease and treat those already infected

Mar 30, 2020

Coronavirus is uniting the global community in an effort to reduce the spread of the disease and treat those already infected. To that end, many musicians and singers in Bangladesh have come together to encourage people to stay home and help reduce the feelings of isolation and anxiety by bringing people together through music.

Under the tagline, 'Ghore Thaki – Stay Home', Grameenphone, in association with Grey Dhaka, sponsored and released a song, on the Independence Day of Bangladesh. It not only focuses on the importance of social distancing at this time of crisis but also highlights the perseverance and resilience of the people of the nation.

The song is about what needs to be done to win this war against the coronavirus. It encourages people to stay home, irrespective of the constraints and inconvenience it causes. In the larger picture, such measures will go a long way in preventing any dire consequences.

With powerful and spirited lyrics by Syed Gousul Alam Shaon, the song definitely strikes a chord with the audience. Sharmin Sultana Sumi, the lead vocalist of Chirkutt composed the song, while Pavel Areen, the drummer and sound producer of Chirkutt, has produced, mixed and mastered the music. Anik Ahammed is the assistant mix engineer of the project.

Eminent artistes Sadi Muhammad, Sharmin Sultana Sumi, Tahsan Khan, Elita Karim, Milon Mahmud, Jahid Nirob and Sandhi have contributed to the song. The musicians shot their parts of the video on their cellphones entirely, from their homes. Bidhan Saha from HoloFilm Studios is behind the post-production of the video.

On the other hand, many musicians are encouraging people to donate funds for those in need in these troubling times.

With educational institutions, shopping malls, offices and movie theatres closed in Dhaka to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, the city roads are almost empty and the kitchen markets hardly see any customers. People in Dhaka also woke up to the news that they were left with no job during this shutdown. A large number of people in the city live from hand to mouth, depending on their daily income for survival. Health professionals who lack protective gear, are also at high risk at the moment. Bearing such challenges in mind, Hassan Munhamanna from Eida, along with Ishmamul Farhad Elin from Shunno and Co-founder of Sketchboard Interactive Ziaus Shams, have come up with the song, Jaare Dekhar Keu Nai Taare Dekho, under #ArtistsForAction.

They have also compiled a database of different organisations and individuals who are accepting donations for combatting the coronavirus. Hasan Munhamanna recently shared a post on social media, about getting through this time of crisis. "As people are forced to leave their barely-paying jobs and break-even makeshift businesses, those of us with a little more privilege must find a way to share with them resources that can help them see out the weeks," he wrote. Elin is behind the guitar, arrangement, recording and production of the song, while Shams has worked on the video, with assistance from various photographers. Bidyanondo Foundation, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Pay it Forward Bangladesh and Mission Save Bangladesh are some of the many organisations who are running projects to provide sanitisers, masks, PPE, disinfectants, food and other essential resources to people across the nation. The team of artistes plan to keep updating their database, to continue encouraging people to donate to different projects.

Global Citizen, in co-operation with World Health Organization (WHO) launched a virtual concert series, titled 'Together At Home', to help everyone practice social distancing and promote global health. Celebrities have been livestreaming performances from their homes as part of the series. Tahsan Khan, Jon Kabir and Tasfia Fatima Tashfee are among some of the Bangladeshi musicians who participated in this campaign.