‘Deora’ : Coke Studio Bangla’s latest featuring Pritom and Islamuddin Palakar is an instant hit

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Presenting a high energy, festive song that combines Bangla folk genres ‘Shaari’, ‘Jaari’ and ‘Pala Gaan’ with electrifying urban grooves, Coke Studio Bangla released its fifth track “Deora” on Sunday night across all its digital platforms, reports UNB.

Composed, produced, mixed and mastered by Pritom Hasan – one of the most versatile contemporary musicians, “Deora” is dedicated to the boatmen’s rhythm and energy during ‘Nouka Baich’ or traditional boat race, popular in rural Bangladesh and held during the monsoon and autumn seasons.

The title of the song refers to ‘brother-in-law’ in the regional dialect of north Bengal, and this type of song is performed during the boat races – cheering on the racers – from the banks of rivers.

The biggest surprise in the song has been the superlative performance by Islam Uddin Palakar, renowned in the ‘Pala Gaan’ tradition of Bangla folk songs.

“The rich heritage of this genre usually requires elaborative theatrical performances where the actor takes on multiple roles – sometimes a man, sometimes a woman, and sometimes an inanimate object – to present stories to their audience. These performances can take up to 8 hours without a break.” – Coke Studio Bangla describes.

Pritom jointly penned the lyrics with Fazlu Majhi, a boat racer himself who also performed in the song with his team. The first Bangladeshi Grammy Award-nominated artist Armeen Musa and her ‘Ghaashphoring Choir’ added another dimension to the song.

Describing the fusion in detail, Coke Studio Bangla mentioned on the song’s YouTube description, “…‘Shaari Gaan’, usually associated with physical labour, and ‘Jaari Gaan’ known for its motivational lyrics – the perfect combination for a sport that requires the participants to have quick bursts of intense energy for rowing their boat across the finishing line.”

As the song starts, Pritom offers a tribute to these time-tested genres. The Ghaashphoring Choir joins him to synchronise the grooves, and the iconic Islam Uddin Palakar is joined by vocalists Ariba Tahrim Chaudhury and Sadia Seraj Saba.

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The song then transitions to Fazlu Majhi’s majestic lead and concludes with Pritom’s final ode to the aforementioned genres, clocking in 3:47 minutes of a remarkable urban-folk fusion.

The house band of Coke Studio Bangla featured Ripon Kumar Sarker (vocals, khamak), Animes Roy (vocals, shaker), Pradyut Chatterjea (piano and synth), Imran Ahmed (electric guitar), Mithun Chakra and Md Mobarak Hossain (percussions), Salahuddin Mahmud (harmonium), Wadid Mahmood (electronic drums), Shuvendu Das Shuvo (mandolin) and Nazrul Islam (dhol).

Bass guitarist Resalat Rasheed in particular, however, has been mentioned by many listeners for his performance in the song.

 “Deora” crossed over a million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours since its release – making it one of the most successful songs in the two seasons of Coke Studio Bangla.