‘Stars’ should be ‘stars’ | Daily News


‘Stars’ should be ‘stars’

Roshan Fernando
Roshan Fernando

The outdoor concert concept in Sri Lanka is viewed in the local context in different ways – where most people see it as a mode of entertainment where you meet different audiences –ranging from the high class rich to the beggar in the street.

For those who cannot afford to buy a ticket for an indoor concert performed in some theater or a hall, this is the best possible entertainment , to relax and enjoy. For a few decades, numerous bands have been established, and some of them have even risen up to international fame, while the others left without a trace.

With Flashback

There are a few established bands in Sri Lanka, who have not lost their fame and reputation all throughout these years, and ‘Flashback’ can be considered as one of those. Flashback is a Sri Lankan Pop Band which started in the early 1990’s, and has become one of the most sought after bands in every concert, function and festival , both local and overseas, and seems to be getting better each day! They are named as Sri Lanka’s most Popular Live Music Band, and also won the Slim Nielsen People’s Award of the Year 2013, for their contribution to the music field.

According to Roshan Fernando, the charismatic front man of the band, most Sri Lankan’s perception about the live concerts and bands should be changed.

He says that an outdoor concert is the best way to mix up with different types of people, and understand the society around. Further, when it comes to live concerts and Outdoor Musical Bands, most people tend to think that ‘Live Bands’ are full of members who are addicted to drugs, bad behavior and filth. Even in the international arena, the general view is the same.

What Roshan wants is to happen is to change this general perception and give the idea to the people that ‘Live musical Shows ‘’ and ‘’ bands’’ are there to give the audience the best of entertainment , and also convey an important message to the society. He says that’s one of the best ways to convey an important message to the society.

Flashback has released a considerable number of hit songs which became popular overnight, such as ‘Poojaneeyai Adare’ , ‘Anthima Satana’ , ‘Cricket Song’ and throughout the years, have earned the reputation as One of the best bands in Sri Lanka, and has made ‘Flashback’ become a ‘Brand’ in the music and entertainment field . Led by Roshan Fernando as Frontman , vocalists include Rose Alagiyawanna, Kingsley Peiris and Roshan himself , while Aruna Thamel is on keyboards, Niroshan on Drums, Octa- Pad by Nalaka Sampath, Suran Darshana Jayasinghe as the Lead Guitarist, Nishan Ambalangoda on Rhythms, and Sam Livera as the Bass Guitarist.

Their record label is known as Flashback Sounds /Flashback Studios and they have a large audience both in Sri Lanka and overseas. We had a brief interview with Roshan Fernando, the man behind the success of this popular band, who has earned their fame through Hard Work and Dedication.

Excerpts :

Q: So Roshan, please tell us what’s happening in your music career these days.

We are carrying on with our musical events, and outdoor concerts, and there are a few more plans in the lineup, so I think everything is going on pretty smoothly.

Q: Can you recall the beginning of your musical career?

The character named ‘Roshan Fernando’ was born via ‘Flashback’ band in 1991. I joined flashback as the drummer. Through songs like ‘Anthima Satanata’, ‘Yaluwe Api Awa’ , Roshan Fernando becomes popular as a vocalist . He creates his name as a vocalist through the Album ‘Poojaneeyai Adare’.

Q: Who inspired you to start your music career?

It was my father Donald Fernando who is the Manager of the Flashback Band now, and also Ernie Pieris. I learnt everything from him from being a vocalist, a performer, to a music director.

Q: What Inspired you to start the band Flashback ?

It was an idea of my father. As per his guidance and instructions, we started a small band. It was I and Kingsley Peiris who started it first. Then my father understood that we could go forward as a talented band and has a good future ahead of us. So afterwards he gave his maximum support to bring the band forward as one of the most popular music bands in Sri Lanka. We won 2 Slim Nielsen People’s Awards in 2013, and also received an award for the song ‘Dumriyapola’.

Q: What do you think of the time when you started the band, and it’s position now?

I think we can be happy that we have become one of the most prominent bands in Sri Lanka, and an established band.

We have a company of our own, Sounds and Equipment of the highest international standard and world’s best, and for every Flash Back concert we get a massive audience, ranging from doctors, engineers, other professionals to those who earn their living by doing odd jobs.

Q: What are the challenges which you have to face, when dealing with different audiences?

There has to be some important message conveyed through each performance to the audience. I think stage shows are one of the best modes to express what you feel, and also to deliver a message. We get all types of people coming to a musical show. So we have to deal with these people through humanity. Those who can afford will go to some indoor musical concert in Nelum Pokuna or a hotel, or else go to watch a film, but there are those who cant . So for such people, this is the only way of entertainment. This is a plan of nature. So as a leader of a famous band, it is my responsibility to do it properly. Further, the sound system which Flashback is using now is one of the World’s best brands. We don’t use filth in our performances and even our dress code is elegant and made out of best material. A musical show is the best place to convey a message to the society, because its not limited only to a certain crowd of people. These days, whenever we end up a concert we tell the audience to pick up all the toffee wraps or anything they have put on the floor and clean up before they leave. I believe these things should be done through any responsible band.

Q: How have you managed to keep the Band together throughout all these years ?

I’m the leader of this band. Everybody work according to my vision. I’ m fortunate to have a band who have understood me, and know exactly what I want from them. We enjoy music, at the same time we’re performing. This is our job. So we enjoy it. Apart from that, this is a merit we’re doing, by entertaining people and keeping them happy.

Q: How do you see the difference between the Local and the international audience?

Well, even if we go overseas, we are catering to our Sri Lankan audiences there. So whenever we perform we are asked to perform Baila, or some patriotic song, or anything which has the Sri Lankan flavor and identity. There we have the ‘Sri Lankaness’ and they want keep that exactly in the way it is.

Q: What are the music genres which you mostly perform and to what type of audiences do you entertain?

It differs according to the nature of the show. Say, like, if we are in an outdoor musical concert, all of them are cool and likes to chill. So we perform Baila or anything which keeps them in a good, enthusiastic mood. On a TV show, we have to perform according to requests made by other participants or the audience. So there it’s different. And at a function or an event, it might be a different environment.

Q: Out of the concerts in which you have performed, what was your most special concert?

I think ‘Deyata Kirula’ concert was one of the most special concerts which we performed, since it’s unforgettable as we had to perform in front of a crowd of two lakhs. We also did a concert in Nelum Pokuna two years back.

Q: How is the support which you get from your family, for your music career?

I get a lot of support. I lead a busy life, and I have to come home early morning, and have to travel overseas, so I’m glad I have found a good person who understands me and taking care of the children. She is so helpful and understanding that she doesn’t even speak when I’m concentrating on a new music creation, thinking that it might disturb. We live very happily and we have three children, and all we want to do is to make them become good citizens and as well as good humans.

Q: Looking back at your journey, how do you feel?

I feel happy that I was able to reach this position, starting from a small place, and then coming up gradually. That’s because I did the correct thing. My only wish is to be born as a musician again in my next birth and as Roshan Fernando, to keep people happy. I enjoy the music and at the same time I give it to other people too. It’s really a great merit I’m achieving.

Q: Any future aspirations?

I have a new video called ‘Adambarakari’. And there is a song which is all about Sri Lanka, ad what happens inside this small island. There are a few tours to be made in a few countries, and also our usual events. My main aspiration is to preserve the bands reputation and standard as one of the best bands in Sri Lanka, because I believe ‘stars’ should be ‘stars’.

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