Raef Al Hasan Rafa
Raef Al Hasan Rafa
He spent most of his early childhood in Libya due to his father’s posting over there. After returning to Bangladesh at the age of 5, he got admitted to Maple Leaf International School in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He was pushed to learn Nazrul Geeti,a local genre of song and harmonium during his childhood, but he scarcely had any interest in music back then. He used to play Tabla just for the sake of it, without having any intention to learn it by heart.
He spent most of the extra time of his childhood by playing cricket, football and other sports, reading books and indulging himself in other regular pastimes. Entering the music scene: His elder brother Sadi has been his biggest motivator and influence in music as he used to push him for it from 1996 for which he ended up writing a song in around 1998.The track,composed by Sadi, was Rafa's first attempt to do something in music. During that time, Sadi discovered the vocal versatility of his brother. The first time he went to a gig was in 2000 held at Indian Cultural Centre where he saw a drum kit for the first time in his life and instinctively felt that he can just play it anyway and also found that he actually could. He also figured that he could also sing while playing drums.During that time he used to accompany Sadi to jamming pads and started to grow interest in music.
But before he could give his first shot in this field, he fell victim of Sacroiliitis and became paralyzed. It made him completely detached from school as well as music for almost a year which was the whole time of 2001. After recovery he resumed journey towards music, with the formation of Sychokinesis at 2002. It was a musical endeavor by him with some of his school friends.
On the other hand, Sadi formed Kral where he became the drummer, vocal and songwriter. He, with the others immediately organized his first gig named 'Pepsi rock fest' on February 19 where he performed with both the bands. The show was not much of a success. After about four months on July 3 he appeared with Kral and performed 'Pull Me Under' (Dream Theater), 'Strange Déjà Vu' (Dream Theater) and 'Rising Force'(Yngwie J.
Malmsteen). This was the first time he sung while playing, impressing the other contemporary bands present there. In that gig he caught the attention of Bassbaba Sumon, who was looking for a vocal for his band Aurthohin. From then on he used to hang around at Sumon's place and at times used to jam with him.
He also did a few shows with Kral at reputed underground venues of that time. On November 26, 2002 his first studio work was released in the album 'Agontuk 2' which was the first single of Kral called 'Shesh’ The breakthrough: After some jamming here and there with Aurthohin, Rafa finally joined the band officially at the end of 2003 and instantaneously got featured in Aurthohin’s 4th Studio album ‘Dhrubok' as a vocalist. He gave his voice in Bijoyer Gaan](A groovy number), Morichika (Old School Aurthohin metal), Guti from Hell (3rd installment of Guti), Ashte Sotto(Metal),Somadhi Sohor(Metal). In the meantime to fill up his void, Imtiaz joined Kral as a vocal.
It was like his long leap from underground arena to mainstream music industry. While his voice was gaining popularity, he kept on doing gigs with both Kral and Aurthohin. He was 17 years old then, being one of the youngest talents in the music scene of that time. At 2004 two singles of Aurthohin, 'Epitaph' & 'Boyosh' got released in two mixed albums 'Shopnochura' & 'Lokayoto ' respectively where he had significant contribution.
Another single of Kral 'Opekkha' got released in 'Lokayoto' too. At around then he became a member of 'Dripping Gore' the first death metal band of Bangladesh. That year, on February 13 he organized a gig called 'Metal Mayhem' where Kral performed 'Act 1: scene one: Regression' up to 'Act 2: scene six :Home' of the album ‘Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory’ by Dream Theater without any pause. That made the audience and the rest others realize what he can really do with his sticks and pedals.
Moreover that year, the band's longtime guitarist Piklu left the band when Aurthohin decided to continue journey with the rest of them. As a result, Rafa took up the guitar with Shishir. In 2005 Aurthohin's another famous single 'Itihash(heavy metal)' was released in the album 'Agountuk-3' along with two other singles of 'Dripping Gore' in the same album. He was doing shows on and off with all of the three bands at the time.
In those days he used to compose and write his own songs but did not know how to record them. To overcome this obstacle, he began experimenting with recording too. For that, he acquired software from Bassbaba in order to experiment on how to record songs in his computer and since his brother used to make his own songs and recorded them, he started taking interest in his works as well. The Journey Towards Music Production and Beyond: To master the art of mixing and mastering of sounds, Rafa used to read any and every book he could come across regarding this field of work in which he was engaged, then experimented on modifying/remixing a few songs, and in the course of time he learned how to master this technique. As a result, in 2006 he, along with Kamal composed the song ‘Protirup’ (mixed and mastered by him) which was featured in the mixed album ‘Underground’.
At the same time he did his first TV commercial soundtrack for the well reputed apparel brand ‘Ecstasy’. In addition he met Fuad al Muqtadir and began working with him professionally as a co-producer and as a session musician too.In the same year he joined the death metal band 'Severe Dementia' as a drummer and producer. Right after joining the band he produced a single called 'Demented Mentation' and also went for his first ever tour to India with them. In 2007 Aurthohin's two more singles 'Hollow' & 'Nirbodh' from the albums 'Live Now' and 'Underground 2' respectively got released.
'Hollow' was his first ever composition and then came Nirbodh. These were also mixed and mastered by him. At the same year Shuvo, Aurthohin's longtime Drummer left the band for personal reason and Raef eventually took the stick. In course he also produced the first international EP of 'Severe Dementia' named 'Epitaph of Plassey' which got released in the studio album 'Rise of the Eastern Blood' in the label 'Demonstealer Records' along with two other bands from Pakistan and India.
This EP comprised five songs where he worked as a producer and the drummer, vocal, guitarist and sound engineer. He was also one of the judges in the band hunt competition 'Grameenphone Drockstars-2' and produced the full length album ‘Apostrut Juddho’ of the winning band ‘Powersurge' which got released in the label of G series in 2008. In 2008 after a long break of 5 years Aurthohin released their 5th Studio Album 'Aushomapto 1'.There for the first time Rafa sang some melodious soft numbers for Aurthohin. The three renowned songs 'Kadbe bisshoy'(punk rock),' Anmone'(rock) and 'Nikrishto'(heavy metal) were composed by him. In 'Kadbe bisshoy' he played the guiter solo which gave him the public recognition as a guitarist from then.
His two more singles 'Pichuhata' and ' Smriticharon' were released in the album 'Kromannoy' –a mixed album produced by Fuad and co-produced by him. After this, he joined 'FnF' (Fuad & Friends) as a drummer. As of Severe Dementia, he produced the single 'Credence of Fort William' which got released in the album 'Metal Farm Vol-6'.This album got released by a Thai label 'Metal Farm' an also got featured in an anime .The single of Kral 'Song for Jewel Bhai' got released in the album 'Rock-101'-a prominent band mixed album co–ordinated by Iqbal Asif Jewel. Some of the songs of that album were mixed and mastered by him.
He produced a TV commercial for Grameenphone which was the theme song for the independence day concert of 2008. 2009 was a moderately eventful year for him as he formed his starchild 'The Joint Family' in order to experiment with his unexplored abilities. Through this project, he created some ambient and progressive tracks as he claims these two to be his favorite genres of music with some psychedelic touch. The first track of this project 'Rebulation' was released in the album 'Rock 202'. He also co–produced the full length album 'Fuad feat.
Kona' (Label: G series, 2009).He also went to do shows in the USA that year as a solo artist. In 2010,he worked as a producer for the first time for the album 'Rafa feat. Topu – She Ke'. He released the single ‘Ektu Brishty’ in the album ‘The Hit Album too. Also two of the singles of The Joint Family ‘Bhaar’ & ‘The Bicycle Day’ were released in the albums ‘Aashor’ & ‘Rock-404’ respectively and the single ‘Shonga Shongjom’ of Kral in ‘Rock-505’.
In the meantime he kept on doing his own studio production works along with gigs with all his bands. The year 2011 was rather busy for him. His solo production work ‘Ontorip’ got released in 2011 where ‘Sharmin’ gave her voice. Another production work, ‘Aundormohol’ got released which featured ‘Tanjib’ as the vocal. He mixed and mastered the first album ‘Oporajeyo’ of the band ‘Mechanix’ and the latest studio album of Aurthohin ‘ Aushomapto-2 '.
Presumably, the last single of The Joint Family 'Vision of a Mind's Garden' got released in 'Rock-707' that year. Throughout 2012 he appeared in several stage shows which began with his presence in 'Guitarfest 2012'.With Severe Dementia he went for his second band tour at Nepal. They were the headliners of that concert naming 'Ides of March' which was organized by 'KTM rocks'. He released the music video of The Bicycle day, some days after the tour. He also made a guest appearance in the video ‘Agnisnan’ of ‘Powersurge’.
He worked as a producer in that song as well. In addition, he officially started his own company ‘Hotbox Entertainment’ where he also included video production with his primary field of work. The beginning of 2013 kicked off with his appearance in the then most hyped up event with a few other renowned artists for the campaign ‘Go Free(Cholo Bohudur), for GrameenPhone (Telenor). He directed his first documentary ‘Chol Chol Chol’ which was a tribute to ‘Shahbagh movement’. It was quite a success for him as his first visual work.
In the same year, Rafa disbanded ‘The Joint Family’ and joined ‘Cryptic Fate' as a drummer. He appeared in the video 'Akromon' right after joining his new band. Meanwhile he did a few shows and TV commercial soundtracks and started working on his solo album. He has been the front man in the show 'Rhythm & Strings' which was the most anticipated show that year. Recently he has composed one of the native versions of 'FIFA 2014' official soundtrack.
At present, Rafa is working for his solo album. He is also engaged with Aurthohin, Cryptic Fate and Severe Dementia, doing concerts and shows. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..