Dhaka: one of the most densely populated, tumultuous and cruelly misrepresented cities in the world – despite its troubles, the Bangladeshi capital is rich with a culture and people reputed as vibrant and generous as they are humble and wise. Dameer is no exception.
Pairing lo-fi tones with psychedelic guitar riffs and mesmerizing vocals, Dameer draws an ethereal bridge between East and West. His street-smarts fuelled by a strong academic background offer a unique viewpoint to storytelling: amongst sobering observations of the effects of social corruption and oppression on his home, his all-too-common childhood experiences were fortunately sublimed by the iridescent highs he experienced and created through music, art and philosophy. For although he often addresses the Sisyphean subject matter of political unrest, mental health and heartbreak, Dameer’s outlook has remained relentlessly positive throughout.
Plucked from his home in Dhaka and plunged into the privilege and luxury of corporate expat life at 16, Dameer discovered an urgency for new direction when he and his family moved to Kuala Lumpur. He found himself surrounded by the uber-privileged in an ungrounded often chaotic environment, working through his unrest and angst with music to eventually carve his own path through the Asian metropolis and encounter local artists including Yuna, Nelson Chong and Adam Sinclair. Throughout those years Dameer immortalised his personal catharsis in a debut collection of songs christened ‘For We Are Distant’, “this nice little polaroid of what it’s like growing up in a distinctly global arena”, including singles Sun, Michelle and Amar Jaan.
The eldest son of a family of musicians, Dameer wields the intimate art of songwriting and production across an astonishing breadth of sonic palettes ranging from indie rock to pop, funk and jazz. The now twenty-one-year-old picks and creates his own virtual drum machines and synths over which he layers his hallmark vocal tone and processing, his traditional Bashi flute and the electric guitar he was handed as mentee of legendary Bengali guitarist Labu Rahman, just one of the Bangladeshi musical heroes his parents immersed him in – others include Arnob, Tahsan, and Renaissance – and predecessors to the global icons who soundtracked his internet- driven coming of age, from Stevie Wonder, Prince and Ariel Pink to Tom Misch, Charli XCX and Mura Masa. It’s no surprise his writing today displays a remarkable depth and contrast in his unparalleled capacity to compose catchy and bright hooks subliming the dark lyrics he sings over them. “I love the ability of pop instrumentation to hook the listener, but I want to compound that with honest, anxious, vulnerable lyrics that represent how I truly feel.”
After his debut single ‘Easier’ put him (and Dhaka) on the map, he signed (then unsigned*) a record deal with Majestic Casual, releasing his debut EP to critical acclaim from the likes of NME, who called him ‘Bangladesh’s new indie heartthrob’, CLASH (‘a vital, unclassifiable new Bangladeshi talent’) and Complex (‘to say he's a prodigious talent would be an understatement’). In the first 2 years of his career, Dameer’s music has also graced the pages and playlists of DIY, Vogue, Kaltblut, gal-dem and i-D as well as the headlines of national newspapers like the Daily Star at home in Bangladesh. Thanks to a hyper engaged fanbase and placements on pivotal playlists like Bedroom Pop, Lemonade and Fresh Finds, Dameer has now amassed over 5 million streams and a 50k strong following across socials.
Now living in Canada as a political science scholarship student at McGill, it is clearer now than ever that Dameer’s mission to give Bangladesh a global voice knows no borders. The first of its kind to resonate at such a global scale, Dameer’s story of extremes bears the promise of global pride for Bangladeshi representation.
In 2022 a *newly emancipated and independent Dameer will release a string of singles along the same day-1 team he started out with.
FOR WE ARE DISTANT
[EP - 7 TRACKS - 2021]
Dameer’s debut EP is the start of a mission for global representation and an admission of the distance we all have experienced this past year (both from each other and, in some ways, from ourselves), the distance he’s come to terms with as a Bangladeshi living in Malaysia (soon moving to Montreal to study political science @ McGill) and the distance that has come to 7 songs inspired by Dhaka, written in Kuala Lumpur, recorded at RBMS Berlin, co-produced between his Kuala Lumpur bedroom and a French studio, then mastered in the UK.