By Venessa Anthony
Kiran Hameed is a music producer and curator, with an affinity for many instruments like the guitar and drums. He used to work as a music curator at Pulse and he currently works at Banger.lk as a music curator, where he lists out the music that plays on their radio. Hameed started up Banger.lk, along with a friend because of the notable lack of a proper electronic music radio station where electronic music was given the spotlight. “Even though I had the idea to start banger.lk as a virtual concert space and online electronic radio platform, it was my friend Omesh Yapa who helped me initiate it, who then later introduced me to a genius of a web developer by the name of Ishan Marikar.”
He informed us that Banger.lk streams electronic music exclusively, for 24 hours a day. The platform also allows users to add songs that they like that were streamed on Banger.lk, directly to their Apple Music playlist for the users’ convenience.
Hameed talked to us about a virtual music festival that was hosted by Banger.lk on 14 December. “We got two DJs from India; we did the show with Culture X, Pulse, and with support from Decibel.lk.” He noted that it was a bit tough to organise because of the pandemic, but a lot of people attended as the tickets were not that expensive either. He credits the amazing visuals to Sun Burn, which came on board for this festival. “We recorded everything on a green screen, so the DJs were playing in front of a background to make it look all the more authentic.”
Hameed got into the music industry after higher studies on engineering. “Like most Asian parents, mine too wanted me to become a doctor or an engineer. I studied engineering for one year before I realised I had no interest in the field.” Music has always been part of his personality; he started off as a drummer and eventually ventured into the electronic music field. Later on, he decided on pursuing sound engineering as his field of study, which helped him immensely with the technical side of music. He enrolled in Music Oven Institute, an institute where one can learn audio technology. That’s around the time he saw a job opportunity at Pulse, for their radio station Island Pulse, which he took up. He stated: “That was the point where I realised my path in life. It’s what set off my desire to be part of this industry because I found that it was something I enjoyed doing a lot.”
In Sri Lanka, many artists struggle with copyright issues. “For instance, we don’t have Spotify yet in Sri Lanka, and record labels can’t claim rights. Especially in the metal and rap scene, this is a common problem.” Additionally, he noted that the rap and metal industry in Sri Lanka are doing quite well these days. Our local artists are out there killing it and making a name for themselves and the country. He also highlighted the biggest challenge when creating music as affording the gear. “You need a lot of equipment to afford gear, and these items don’t come at a cheap price. If you’re a producer, you need proper software like Adobe to record and mix and master.” He observed that here, many people just pirate the software, adding that he and most others wished to avoid that but unfortunately, when starting up, there’s a chance you simply won’t be able to afford the premium software.
Talking about his hopes for 2021, Hameed plans on doing a series of DJs playing at interesting locations, like on a boat. He also wants to focus more on Banger.lk’s YouTube content to really spice up the platform and bring in a wider audience. His goal is to bring Banger.lk to its peak and help everyone discover the wonders of electronic music.
Visit their website: www.banger.lk