The Rock Act

Miles is a pioneering Bangladeshi rock band. It helped develop rock music with its distinct Eastern music fused with Rock, Blues and Latin jazz.

By Labbaba Jahangir | May 2020


Music is something which connects people around the globe without any discrimination or discernment. Where words fail to speak, music often takes up the task of expressing what a person is feeling. In a lot of different situations, we have seen how music has provided people with solace after certain traumatic events. When Bangladesh was a newly-formed state with heaps of issues, muic came to the rescue of the Bengali people in the form of the Miles Band.

The Miles Band is considered to be the pioneer of rock music in Bangladesh. The band was formed in 1979 in Dhaka by Farid Rashid. The first line-up in the band consisted of Farid Rashid on lead vocals and bass, Larry and Ishtiaq on guitar, Kamal Mainuddin on drums and Happy Akhand on keyboard. They helped in laying the foundation of rock music in Bangladesh. They rapidly gained recognition due to their distinctive Eastern musical influence fused with Western music genres like Rock, Blues and Latin Jazz Miles rose to fame in the early 80s.

They played at the Chambeli Super Club at the Intercontinental in Dhaka, five nights a week, from 1979 to 1982. From this they went on to perform at Bangladesh Television. The first-ever public concert of Miles came about in 1982 at the Shilpakala Academy Auditorium in Dhaka. This proved to be a turning point in their journey. They became a household name within a few years, based on their out-of-the-box compositions that brought about a new wave of pop-rock sound to Bangladesh.

Slowly their recognition went beyond Bangladesh and they performed their first concert in Bangalore in 1991. They went back to India for performances in 1996 and 1998. After this, there was no turning back for them and, in 1996, they toured the US and Canada. They were received with the same zeal and enthusiasm by their fans in these countries. The Bangladeshi diaspora as the people of US and Canada came out in large numbers to attend their concerts. What attracted people towards them was the fusion of different genres of music in their songs.

Apart from concerts and tours, they released a number of albums in Urdu and Bengali. Their fourth album “Expectation” sold over 300 thousand copies in Bangladesh and is still the best-selling album in the country. Miles have also endorsed various brands. In 1993, they signed a deal with Pepsi Cola for a sponsorship agreement which included exclusive concerts. Channel V and MTV Asia covered their concert and tour news. They have also been interviewed by the BBC.

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The writer has an abiding interest in international relations. She has a Masters degree in the subject from the National Defence University, Islamabad and can be reached at labbaba1808@gmail.com

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