Star Campus - Omni Books Musical Adda
A blissful evening
of poignant songs…
WHEN I heard that Mark Baidya would be performing in the fourth Musical Adda organized by Star Campus and Omni Books, I had little idea about this singer's musical talent. I could not be in any of the previous three Musical Addas, so, this time, I stayed back in Dhaka one more day by changing my ticket to Chittagong just to be in the event, that too with a depressing disposition that this not-so-known-singer might spoil my entire evening with his not-so-popular-songs! But trust me; I am happy that I was wrong that day as Mark kept us all glued to our seats. In one word, he is a star in the making.
The adda took place at Omni Books, Dhanmondi on the evening of March 27, 2010. It was Marks's first performance in public and no doubt it was very close to his heart and perhaps it was his hidden stress that made him come quite early to the venue.
The audience in fact had little idea about what magic this young man can do with his guitar and melodious voice, so there was silence all around when he started to sing one song after another. The first song of the evening was “Sunsets”. This song was written back in 2002 in a very depressing and frustrating period of his life when he needed to vent his pent up emotions. He just sat down with his instrument with no real intention of playing a song and soon this is what came out. Some truly said, first impression needs to be the best impression and Mark once again proved this as his song left the crowd saying wow! and clapping in great earnest.
Moving to his next song, he played “Fall into Grace”. He wrote this love song in the year 2001 for an important person in his life but according to him that person has not heard it yet. In contrast, everyone he knows has heard this song. Maybe this is the way he wants to keep it!
At first the crowd took time to open up in conversation with our guest singer, but once he started singing and sharing each and every detail of the songs he played in the evening, the mesmerized audience started to know this young hidden talent. Next he switched to the song “Deed”, which is another old song (2003) of Mark and has been an anthem for his soul as he considers this as his first “real” song because he always needs to practice this one before he plays and sings. After this masterpiece he sang “Stay” that he came up with early this year inspired by the movie of the same title.
By this time the audience started to enjoy every bit of Mark's songs and found them in the fascinating world of music. It is then when he played one of his unfinished songs. “I played everyone a “sneak-peek” into this song I did not finish writing yet. This is a little grungy; does 'Nirvana' ring a bell?” he mentioned while asked about this song.
The singer then performed one of his personal favourite “The Long Run” (2008) followed by “Good as Dead” (2010) which is about a family member, and the painful memories thereof. After this song the whole audience left awe-struck, perhaps wondering, how this young man wrote such a tough song. Then again to bring back the audience to the adda, he started talking about his music and future plans in this arena.
Then one by one he played “Aim”, a devotional song to God which was written in 2002 in the phase when he would only write devotional songs as an act of consecration followed by “Proud” (2006) which is similar train of thought to that of “Aim”, written in the beaches of Kho Chang, Thailand. Next this gifted singer sang “Wired”, another sad track written on the night of 2007 when SIDR hit Bangladesh and knocked out power on the entire national grid. Not only this, he also went to help the victims and helped create a documentary for relief purposes. “Wired” was followed by “Drop” (2005), written on the philosophy that the human race has dropped the humanity meter. The adda of that melodious evening ended with “Rainbow of Hope” (2007) written for someone entirely amazing and inspiring.
In between these songs, at the request of the audiences he played a few cover songs including “Disappear” (Porcupine Tree cover).
The uniqueness about Mark is that he always loves to play and sing his own music and lyrics. “I do this because this gives me space to know myself better and improve my songs consistently. Furthermore, it helped me to know my very own style which perhaps singing others' songs could never help”, the vibrant singer said to his audience.
Well, for Mark, as he said, it all started when he was only 13 and bought his very first guitar. He started learning guitar by playing his own songs. “I started to write songs from quite an early age and after writing a line or two, I always tried to compose them myself and play them. This helped me a lot to learn playing guitar and judge my ability to not only writing songs but also playing them the way I want to”, he shared while asked about his music.
Presently working as a Media Production Technician at Bengal Creative Media Limited, his favourites include Dave Matthews Band, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd among others. The singer said that his early inspiration was rock n roll, metal among others but playing his own creation helped him to know his style so he prefers singing his own pieces most.
A passionate singer with utmost love for creative media, Mark studied Sound Engineering and Music Production at Alchemea College of Audio Engineering, London. When asked about his plans in the fascinating world of music, he said that he never wants to bind himself with deadlines to bring out albums. “I love writing songs, I love playing them, but I by saying when I'll come up with and album I don't want to put any pressure on me which may affect the quality of my creation. Rather I enjoy working in this creative media which gives me space to explore different segments related to music and giving me freedom to work on my very own creation at the same time.
Well, no doubt the fourth edition of the Star Campus Omni Books Musical Adda left everyone present there wondering how this young man started writing songs since his early teenage-hood. This is perhaps what we call latent talent! No wonder, with his enriched collection of sad songs, Mark stole the evening. Truly, sad songs are the greatest of all times!
At the end when it was time to say goodbye Star Campus team thanked their partner Omni Books and Mark for this breathtaking evening, I am sure the audience were feeling why this adda ended so quickly! Mark's scintillating performance never allowed the audience to think how time passed by like air. This initiative to promote young talents and introducing the youth with our very own singers and musicians is truly praiseworthy. The organizers hope to come up with more such occasions in near future.