Put yourself in the shoes of an emerging artist in 2023, and think to yourself what the nerves but also the excitement must feel like when your about to release something as special as your debut EP. A chance for you to step into the world as you share a body of work! Well one such lady who has recently gone through this process herself is Bengali-American songwriter, composer and producer Meera Naz from Washington DC.
Having released her EP titled ‘Volume One’ which consists of four tracks, Meera gives listeners a taste of her influences as she brings Western music and infuses it with her Bengali roots to give us something authentic to encourage you to try something which may not necessarily be your ordinary go to.
The EP begins with No Hero which grabs my attention from the get go as I hear the familiar sounds of instruments you tend to experience in a variety of South Asian heritage, which is complimented nicely by Meera’s welcoming vocals. Combine this with the lyrics then you will actually surprise yourself because with an open mind No Hero can be pretty catchy especially during the chorus ‘Na na na na Dherey na na na Dherey Dherey na.’ Given that the song is predominantly spoken in English, I think although it may be a few words of Meera’s mother tongue, even the simplest of lines really helps elevate the experience and bring everything together nicely. So as far as the EP goes, I think No Hero is a pretty impressive start as Meera puts her best foot forward.
After the opening track setting the track we then move onto the second track, There Was A Time. Such a beautiful song, and almost reminds me a little bit of some of the music I sometimes hear whenever digging into a good ol’ Hindi film, especially as we get even more of a nicer fusion of something bi-lingual. It feels so natural and you can really hear and feel Meera getting into the zone as we delve deeper into the song. You may not have to be a fan of someones music to appreciate their art, because when you hear the heart and the passion at the level that Meera is giving us, it's that which helps give music its strength and character.
I will tell you something as well, while it was good to hear English vocals, I actually found the Bengali to be my favorite part of the song, with lines such as “Amader bhalobasha shesh hobeyna (our love will not end), Was a time, Ei chirobondhon bhengey jabena (this forever bond will not break), Was a time , Jotodin beche achi (as long as I am alive), Ami tomar shathi (I am with you)”. Everything about Meera’s approach to this song makes everything so refreshing and making me enjoy listening to her music even more.
Next we come to Truth Is, which being honest (pardon the pun) did take a two or three re-visits to really get the vibe of the song, that is not a bad thing, but more of a case that compared to the other two tracks, this one is more of one that grows on you. You can really tell though that Meera is trying to push herself and mix things up with this song, as it feels a lot more experimental lyrically and sonically. Compared to the initial two songs Truth Is brings creates its own energy, but in the sense you get a glimpse of traditional styles which you still see even in a lot of today’s South Asian music.
The EP comes to a close with an acoustic version of No Hero, so in a way it feels like we have come full circle, but with a twist. No vocals on this number, but the solo piano a chance to really celebrate and be inspired at Meera’s finesse and skill on the keys. A truly beautiful performance which just brings a smile to your face after what has been a pleasant and enjoyable listening experience into the world of Meera Naz.
As I mentioned briefly before, this may not be something you would normally listen to especially if you're used to your set genres, but you know what any form of art such as music can also be enjoyed when we are fluid with our choices. Volume One by Meera Naz is the wild card to your collection. I am looking forward to seeing what is next for this emerging artist, and wish her all the best. Fear of Missing Out? Give Meera’s new EP a spin today!
Stay Connected To Meera Naz
Article By Thushara S Chandrasiri