Let peace and harmony prevail… | Daily News

Let peace and harmony prevail…

So here we are making our first move in the year 2022, a brand new year starting afresh, with new hopes, new dreams, new beginnings …I’m sure you must be having a lot planned for this year. So first of all, let me wish you a very happy and Peaceful New Year 2022, which will make each one of your dreams come true. Wishing also our fellow musicians and those who are in the music scene a very happy new year, and keeping fingers crossed for the progress and betterment of the music scene in 2022.

Today we feature a very versatile musician who has contributed his share of music knowledge to various bands throughout the years, gained so much experience, worked with the cream of the music industry both local and international, and has a positive attitude about its current status and the way forward. Some of his notable songs include Sri Lanka’s Got Talent Theme song with Bashi Madubashini, and ‘Salli Pokuru’.

Having studied at St. Joseph’s College Colombo, one would say, yes, there was nothing he couldn’t do in terms of music, since he’s also a vocalist, keyboardist and a guitarist.

Most recently, restrictions were lifted and musicians and bands were given permission to perform at open air concerts and hotels, clubs etc, but also strictly according to the necessary health guidelines. Regarding this matter, he assumes there’s a positive change in the industry, but at the same time it’s “prudent” to be careful and play it safe too. Damian Wikramathilake, front man of the band ‘Deezone’ fondly recalls the support given by his band members.

Q: How is life treating you these days?

Got to go with the flow…It’s been tough with the pandemic.

Q: What can you tell us about your Band ‘DeeZone’?

DeeZone is musically a very versatile band. We have a vast repertoire and cover many genres and styles and languages. We adjust our music to the Client needs and wants! It’s a 5-piece band. And we team up with Falan Andrea at times for her performances when needed.

Q: What can you say about your band mates?

They are a very professional well-disciplined bunch. The blokes are very talented and we'd almost been a family - It’s a tight nit set up Keyboard player/vocalist Georgy has been there from day one. And now it’s 12 years since. Shivanka, Andrew and Darshana too are very dedicated and have been DZ boys for over 5 years.

Q: How are things for you during this time especially since it’s the festiveseason. What are the gigs you have got lined up?

Thank God things are happening in Colombo! We played at Weddings a few Corporate function more than a few private functions which we are very reputed for and of course the Night Club scenario Wednesdays at YMOR ( Clancy’s) at the CCC and Fridays "On Top of Colombo" at Virticle by Jetwing on the 30th floor of the Access Towers.

Q: What do you think of the Sri Lankan western music scene compared with the popular music scene in Sri Lanka?

Music and the World of entertainment has evolved huge and big time compared to them days for sure. The digital world has exposed so much and then it becomes a numbers game. Obviously the majority market super seeds any genres as such The Sinhala music paradigm shift is fascinating and mind boggling.

Hence my original Sinhala Ballad released listen to it on YT it’s called "Jiwithe Gala Yai".

Q: Do you see any increase in gigs, musical performances or any positive change in the industry, after the Covid restrictions were lifted?

Absolutely YES. We are a resilient nation are we not? But I feel its prudent to be a tad careful and must play it safe.

Q: You were also the former president of the Western Musicians Association. How did you find your stint there?

Initially it was very tough as we worked three years just to set it up. Now it’s a solid Association built for our Western Musicians. There is now a foundation set in motion.

Q: How did you enter the music scene and can you recall your first performance as a musician?

It’s a very long story… I had to do music while I was in school and continue to explore my dreams. My first performance was at the Sapphire Hotel lounge called the "Semiramis"

Q: Who were the musicians supported you when you first came to the industry?

Honestly we had to support ourselves but the seniors did, too many to mention though. Having said that a relative Sunil Fernando and my school time Cricket Team dear friend Hiran Cooray was so nice to ask his sister to lend her guitar for me to practice. That was my first touch of an Electric Guitar.

Q: Can you recall the bands which you played for, before Deezone?

Stratus, Blaze, Rattlesnakes, 20th Century, Gypsies, Utopia, Rendezvous, Clan, Alpen Dollar, Egon Eggerman Band, Leones, Friends, Purple Rain, Wild Fire, Misty, Dee ZonE … that’s a lot, loads of bands in Sri Lanka and the EU Circuit.

Q: Tell us some of your best moments and experiences while performing.

Meeting Sir Paul McCartney is right up there that's for sure. Working with the sound engineers and being on stage with them for Brian Adams and Michael Bolton. In addition some very serious times we had while doing the European circuit! Too many to mention.

Q: What are your plans for 2022?

Peace and Harmony with my Life and self for a start. 2021 was almost a battle ground for my Band DeeZone, expect a few surprises which I could not complete through these last 364 days.

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