August 1, 2010

It is rare that we at creativeBangladesh get an opportunity to converse with the younger school-going generation. Today we are very excited to have BASHMA SHEEA represent the 2nd generation of Non-Resident Bangladeshis who not only have to assimilate to their adopted homes but also retain the heritage of their parents and the motherland. A tough act of double-duty if there ever was one. A big welcome to Bashma!

– Labiba / creativeBangladesh

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Tell us a little about yourself – where you grew up, what you like to do for fun, hobbies, etc.

I was born in Bangladesh and came to America when I was 7 years old. From the very beginning, I loved to draw, read, and play with Barbies just like any other kid does in her childhood. Believe it or not, I hated to sing. I hated to learn songs and found myself dreading each voice class and session. But after I came to America I started to find myself through music and learned that it’s not something to dread but to enjoy.

You attend the famous Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York. What made you decide to major in music?

What made me decide? Well, when I look at adults I know- mom, aunts, and uncles- they all complain about their jobs saying how boring and dull it is. I didn’t want to end up with a job like that; I wanted something that would leave me satisfied and happy at the end of the day. Music is something that moves me – that keeps me motivated to do more and that’s why I decided to make something out of my hobby.

Who is your role model and why?

My role model is my mom because she’s very straightforward, kind, and caring. She puts other people’s wants and needs before hers and will do anything to make them happy. She’s shown me to do things full heartedly and I love her very much.

Who from the music world is your inspiration?

Artists like Green Day, Kelly Clarkson, Linkin Park, and many many more. They are very talented and are not afraid to tell the truth, to express what they feel about something. They inspire me to step out of the box and think about what’s going on in the world.

If you could be a character from a book, which one would you be and why?

I’d be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. She gets to be Harry’s close friend, which I really to be, and she gets to be a wizard. I mean, how cool can that get? Magic really intrigues me because it something that ultimately doesn’t exist and Hermione gets to experience and learn about it everyday. She also has a lot of brains, guts, and strength that I love about her. It shows that she’s not just some sidekick who does what the leader tells them to do. I’d love to be her on any given day.

What is your favorite place to visit when on vacation in Bangladesh?

My favorite place to visit in Bangladesh is Dhaka because that’s where all of my family is. We all get together- my cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents- and just eat, laugh, and remember old times. No matter where I go in Bangladesh, if my family is with me, then I always have a great time.

Which was more fun – middle school or high school? Why?

Middle school was definitely more fun. That was the period where I didn’t give a care about the regents or what college I want to go. I had recess and a trip to Wendy’s every other week. It was a time of carelessness and freedom, where I felt like I had all the time in the world. But now, I feel like I need more time because I have so many things to do. I wish I can go back to 5th grade.

If you weren’t studying music, what would have been your second career choice?

Honestly, I really don’t know. It’s one of those hypothetical things. I might have gone with a major in math because it’s my next favorite subject after voice. I’m really good in math and I actually love doing it so it’s kind of like my 2nd passion.

If you were asked to do a cover version of a popular song, which one would it be and how would it be different from the original?

I really don’t know which song it would be because there are so many popular songs that I love. But if you give me a pop song by Lady Gaga, I’ll turn it into an acoustic/rock song. I have my own way of interpreting songs and each interpretation is different. For example, No One by Alicia Keys which is an R&B song sounds like a soft rock song when I sing and play it on the guitar.

What piece of advice you would give to young Bangladeshis your age growing up outside Bangladesh?

Don’t forget your roots. It’s easy to become westernized or modern or whatever you want to call it, maybe “cool”- I don’t know. But do not forget your culture, your religion, and your traditions. It is a part of who you are and who you will be as a person. It doesn’t matter that you live in America, England, or even France. What matters is that you don’t leave behind the origin of your ancestors.

BASHMA SHEEA, besides going to school and majoring in voice/music, is also part of the three member band – ‘Tin Konna’. The band has already played at a few gigs in New York to very positive audience response. The name, ‘Tin Konna’, was conceived by Shahnaz Yousuf of Adhunika Foundation.

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CREDITS:
photos: Roshni Basu / Raad
graphic design & layout: Labiba Ali for creativeBangladesh

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