Voice.Print is certainly a name imprinted in the hearts and minds of almost every Sri Lankan citizen who listens to local music. Eshan, Naresh, Ryan, Dilan, and Nicole are five guys who have been together since 2014, and are taking forward the legacy of the band that took Sri Lanka by storm with their very first single, “Gayu Gee” in 2011.
Although only three of the original members are presently part of the band – Eshan, Naresh, and Dilan – the authenticity, and “voice print” of Voice.Print still remains unwavering. As they have comfortably established themselves as one of the first, perhaps even the very first, boy bands of this island, they are attempting – no doubt, successfully – to submerge themselves in this aspect of their music.
However, the guys are looking to introduce a new element to their music before the end of this year. Voice.Print will be hosting a show similar to the ones we’ve attended before, on 19 October at Botanik Rooftop Bistro and Bar, to entertain us with their electrifying sounds.
They will begin a series of performances come December, with the first starting on the 10th of that month. This series of shows will witness them tone down their loud, rocking sound and embrace a softer side of music, performing selected songs that are embedded in the hearts of the people and the band itself, in an acoustic, unplugged form.
While their last show entertained an audience of around 2,000 people, their upcoming events are being planned to accommodate just about 200 individuals in an intimate location. They have identified that while their usual sound is ecstatic and deeply loved by almost anyone, there are many of those who would love to witness just their harmonies. Their upcoming performances, which they prefer not be referred to as concerts, they determine, will be all about music and harmony.
Voice.Print is a band known well for spearheading risk-taking in the Sri Lankan music industry; they are the first acapella group of the country and were also responsible for firing off a brand new beat boxing culture.
While at present they are able to keep going down this path, not only without fear but also with the support of all their fans, it was not always so for the guys. After having won silver and bronze awards at the choir games in China as a 10-man choir, they were not at all looked at as a boy band.
Thanks to the guys’ sheer talent and strenuous practices, they were able to make a mark after one TV channel played “Gayu Gee”. Next came their unforgettable hit “Pem Love”, which as the band proudly says, is still played every day, at least once on the radio and at every single wedding.
Most people wouldn’t have guessed that Voice.Print has been functioning since 2006 – a long, long time before they finally made it. But of course, everything happens in due course. They say they could have released their first song a long time before its release date, but the band simply wanted to be 100% confident with their sound in order to ensure that the release was a success. They are still able to rock a stage with it.
Their commitment, faith, hard work, and determination are truly what kept the band running, along with the passion they put into their music. This is also the advice they give to aspiring artists in Sri Lanka today.
They have already made it clear that making it in Sri Lanka is not an impossible task and they also believe that Sri Lanka is a country filled with talent. They wish to see the field of music in Sri Lanka overflow with various kinds of musicians. However, they too admit that the opportunities available to talent in the arts in our country are extremely scarce and almost nonexistent. Hence, they, being the pioneers that they are, have begun taking dreamers under their wing.
The first of this venture is Voice.Print Academy which, as the name suggests, is a music academy for students both young and old. Currently, they have a children’s group and an adults group with students varying from ages five to 30. They don’t simply teach them singing, which of course they do, but they also instil in them, especially the children, the joy of doing music. They say that their aim is not just to put the children up on a stage and ask them to sing, but rather to show them that while music can make you happy, it can also help make many, many people around you happy too. They have already begun this process of spreading the joy of music to the younger generations with their academy’s activities such as training the children and then taking them to perform in an elders’ home or an orphanage where they themselves can spread the joy – this is similar to the guys themselves, who as choristers went all around these places, learning of the happiness music can give.
Additionally, Voice.Print have begun management and production for upcoming musical artists. Their first such venture is the girl band “The First Ladies”, who have just now begun to face the music industry under the patronage of Voice.Print. They are also willing to support any young artist who aspires to be like them, under one single condition: You must be dedicated.
In continuous pursuit, they look towards creating a new generation of Sri Lankan musicians who could one day become a fully functional music entity, like them.
Photos Krishan Kariyawasam