7 musicians/bands you should be listening to right now

Music can be a wonderful escape from reality, and musicians are the mastermind behind them. But sometimes, some artists fail to get the attention that they deserve. Their lack of recognition breaks our heart, and so we have compiled a list of musicians you need to listen to right now.

Read more: Great Bangladeshi Bands that disappeared after their Debut Album

Mumford and sons

Ten years in the business. Talented musicians and notable awards. Despite all these, Mumford and Sons is severely underrated. They are probably not fishing for crowd approval, but they still deserve to be a nationwide sensation. So start with “Little lion man”, “The cave”, “I will wait” and “Hopeless wanderer.” We assure you, you will be astounded by their skills and talent.

Hippo campus

Hippo campus stands out with catchy beats, beautiful lyrics and their innovative music videos. This American indie rock band has been around since 2013 and consists of 4 primary members. Try listening to “Bashful creatures”. If you do not have time for an entire EP, try “Golden”. You will see what we are talking about.

I don’t know how but they found me

Just as the name suggests, this American music duo is not overwhelmingly popular. But they are creative. They made this list because of their diverse sound, unconventional lyrics and of course, imaginative music videos. And if we have to suggest ONE song, we request you to listen to “No one likes the opening band.” Those lyrics cut deep.

Vancouver sleep clinic

VSC came into attention only in 2017, through their single “Someone to stay”. However, they have been around far longer than that.  VSC stands out with their heart wrenching lyrics and soulful music- even though they might seem a little monotonous to some. Nonetheless, they do deserve the chance to stay on your playlist. So if you have the time and willingness to explore new music, listen to “Killing me to love you”, “Lung”, “Ayahuasca”.

Flower face

Now this is a band you definitely haven’t heard of. They don’t even have a Wikipedia page! But Flower Face deserves more recognition purely because of the music that they make. The melody is soothing; melancholic- the lyrics are simple. However, the writing talent shines through every simple word. They are perfect for those long, nostalgic nights when you can’t help reminisce the past. We recommend listening to “Angela”, “Cloud Factories”, “Raphael” “Where the ocean meets the sky”. Disclaimer- please do not listen if you are prone to crying a lot. We refuse to be responsible for your tears.

Fur

This UK based indie rock band will show you how the sixties would be like at present. They got picked up by our radar because of youtube algorithm, and we will be forever grateful for that! Listen to “If you know that I’m lonely”, “brother”, “Not enough” and you will know why we’re so obsessed with fur. Their somewhat comic videos will be a bonus.

Finneas

We all know Finneas, just not as him. This brilliant singer/songwriter is the older brother of current sensation Billie Eilish. He is the mastermind behind many of Billie’s acclaimed songs, including “Six feet under”, “I don’t wanna be you anymore” and “Bad guy”. However, Finneas himself is a brilliant artist, and you should listen to his original songs. We recommend listening to “break my heart again”, “I’m in love without you”, and “Life moves on”.

And there you have it, our list of musicians you must listen to. Give it a try, and let us know what you think about them!

Not just a clone: the Imagine Radio Story

It has been more than a full decade since Spotify revolutionized the music streaming industry, through their responsive app and it’s intuitive and intelligent A.I. Ever since, there have been no shortages of attempted replication of their success. Most of these have failed for one reason or another. We’ve had a couple of that right here in Bangladesh with Grameenphone and Robi attempting to launch their own music streaming apps. It’s safe to say they didn’t exactly catch the imagination of the intended audience as much as they had hoped.  So, the first impression of the average person of Imagine Radio is probably”Oh, another Spotify copycat.” But is it actually?

How Imagine Radio works

Firstly, the average Bangladeshi listener isn’t really familiar with the concept of Royalty fees or purchasing songs. Therefore the artists don’t receive the returns they deserve on the effort put into each song. In addition, it’s difficult for new bands to arrange record deals. Imagine Radio aims to give the artists a platform to distribute their songs directly to the audience. They boast a large selection, more than 10 million tracks of both local and international music, and plan to expand on the collection in the near future. Local artists will be paid a royalty fee for their songs on the app, which will be somewhat popularity oriented. The more popular a song is on the app, the larger the amount of royalty paid.

It will have unique features for musicians like per stream royalty, dedicated dashboards, audience analytics and marketing services. All of these services will be free. For the customers, Imagine radio will have custom made playlists targeted at specific moods, time periods and even the weather. It will also have a live aspect to it, as a selection of music will be played throughout the day on the app, sort of like a radio show. Many prominent musicians and bands like Nemesis, Feedback, Bappa Mozumder and Elita Karim have endorsed the app. And the general audience waits with bated breath for the app to reach the high potential it promises.

Does the model work in Bangladesh?

The point might be made that Mobile operators of our country tried a similar thing with GP Music and Robi/Airtel Yonder. And those weren’t the biggest hits. So is there really a demand for such an app in Bangladesh? If so, how can Imagine Radio hope to fill that demand where many others couldn’t?

There is certainly a demand for such a service in Bangladesh, as Spotify isn’t available here unless you own a premium account you made in another country. Music lovers clamor for an all-in-one music service like Spotify, and it is difficult to access it here. I spoke to an executive in Imagine Radio’s creative team, and he was of the belief that Grameenphone and Robi targeted too average a market to target their product at. They tried to generalize the market, which made for fewer opportunities for personal profiling. Imagine Radio targets a niche, urban social market. They mainly target the behavioral segment of the urban youth. In addition, they aim to have highly customizable profiles for each individual. No two people will have the exact same experience with the app, as it is oriented to make your experience as suited for you as possible. It is also to be mentioned that GP Music and Yonder tried to make the music platform very contained and partitioned. You needed a Grameenphone SIM to have access to GP Music and its contents, the same for Robi. The people at Imagine Radio hold the belief that music should be free. They want to spread music universally, without constraints. These things set them apart from their predecessors.

How is Imagine Radio any different?

It becomes important to separate your product from the one yours is often compared with. The fact remains that some people in Bangladesh still do use Spotify, with some form of workaround in play. Imagine Radio attempts to differentiate itself from Spotify in two key ways. Spotify doesn’t really evaluate Bangladesh as a potential market, hence it not being available here. Imagine Radio wants to make Bangladesh its primary target, with the added goals of distributing local music over the world and bringing international music here. In addition, opposed to Spotify’s AI generated playlist creation, the people at Imagine Radio believe something as subjective and emotional as music needs a human touch. As such, most of their available playlists are custom made by music enthusiasts and experts, adding a more personal touch to the product they offer. This also adds opportunites for targeting very specific and nuanced needs.

For example, they have a custom-made playlist for when one is stuck in traffic, as we tend to do that quite a lot. This is not to say that Imagine Radio execs do not acknowledge the need for an AI and a functional algorithm. In fact, they plan to implement an AI which will have twice as many information points as Spotify’s 6-8 to target specific moods, times, weather and other nuances. This also adds layers of content curation to their live aspect. The bottom line is Imagine Radio offers an intensely personal experience through their app, where you can listen to music curated to fit your every mood; be it uplifting music on the weekends or sad on a Sunday morning.

The ultimate goal

As stated by a representative, Imagine Radio is intended to be a cause driven project with two specific goals in mind in order to help Bangladeshi music. They want to spread Bangla music universally, and they want to create a platform for music and for musicians. It’s safe to assume a person from a foreign country won’t exactly go looking for Bangla music, so Imagine Radio brings the music to them. As mentioned before, they have adopted a very fair and rewarding royalty model for local artists. This serves to encourage the production of good music in Bangladesh greatly, as it is a convenient way to distribute music legally. Artists may choose to release new singles or albums through Imagine Radio as well. For International music, they use a third party distributor to stream quality music legally.

Imagine Radio adopts a Freemium model, according to the International standard unit. The free version has all the features of the app, while a premium version is set to be released over the next three quarters which will be free of ads and will contain other premium features. As of right now, their primary source of income is ad revenue.

Sounds promising!

In addition to the many music features and personalized experiences, Imagine Radio has a formidable line-up of podcasts and specials lined up; 14-15 of them in fact. They have held a Freddie Mercury special, hosting the late great Queen front’s best performances, his inspirations and parts of his story. They have a similar program called Legacy of Rock coming soon. It will be a 90-minute program with a host, with 10 minutes of the host explaining the story and background of the track to be played and music to fill the rest of the time slot. They look to adopt a “song and the story behind it” formula for some of these specials, which sounds very interesting to me. In conclusion, Imagine Radio holds an inconceivable amount of promise. And we look forward to it reaching the great heights it strives for.