It was an ordinary Friday. The setting sun had left patches of red in the sky. But this ordinary evening became beautiful and the event that made it so special was a musical evening. Nazia Ahmed, a student of BRAC University, CSE department performed at Kozmo Lounge that day. It was a solo performance.
The program started at 6:00 pm. Nazia started with “Yesterday once more” by Carpenters, a big hit in the early 70s. The song sure brought back sweet memories to many audiences. That was followed by “Annie's song” by John Denver, “What can I do” by The Corrs and many other soft melodies. In a time of hard rock and heavy metal, that was a soothing change for the ears.
Her enchanting voice kept the audience mesmerized, and eventually some of the audience began to sing along with her. One of the specialties of her performance was the instrument that she used -- only her guitar, which she played herself.
Nazia began to sing at the age of three. She has learnt classical music from Ustad Sipra Khan, wife of Ustad Sagiruddin Khan. She says her biggest inspiration is her father, from whom she got her taste of Gazal and Bhajan. Eventually though, she grew an interest in country music.
The reason why she chose country songs is not only because they are soft, but also they are lost songs. This genre of music is not played often in music stores or on the music system of any car. Her effort was to remind people of the sweet tunes that might be lost but not forgotten.
Regarding her performance in Kozmo Lounge, Nazia said, “I have performed in many places before, but Kozmo Lounge will definitely be a landmark. While performing in Kozmo, I could easily reach out to the audience.” She also said “Kozmo is a place that gives you a chance to test yourself, whether you have it in you or not.”
Informal performance in front of a live audience is a new concept here in Bangladesh. Kozmo lounge, a restaurant that began its journey in April, has implemented this genre of entertainment.
The CEO of Kozmo Lounge, Arif, said, “These days people are living a fast life, and there is very little entertainment. We wanted to do something different, which people would enjoy. Then we came up with the idea of music. Music is more expected and people are more used to it.”
The CEO also said that they are getting good response to their efforts. As much as they want renowned artists to perform at Kozmo, they also want to help struggling singers to flourish. Kozmo is a platform for them. Arif Hafiz further adds, “This kind of informal performances will not only bring out good singers, but also increase their confidence level.”
Kozmo authority is not very critical or restrictive about the performances. But to perform there the performer has to go for an audition.
According to Nazia, Kozmo is definitely a good place to practice and experiment. Since the environment is cozy and homely, it is easy for the audience to relax and have a good time. At the same time the singers can be relaxed and perform freely.
Towards the end she wrapped the show with a Tagore song, “Nishito raate badol dhara,” a Jagjit Singh gazal and then finally ended the evening with John Denver's “Leaving on a jet plane.”