"so this was a major shift for me."
Saadul Islam is the guitar player on Coke Studio Bangla but his performances are just a glimpse of what he has to offer.
He has worked with Shayan Chowdhury Arnob since he was a teenager.
Saadul also worked with two legendary visual poets, Munem Wasif and Sarker Protick.
Speaking about his childhood, Saadul said:
“I was always the curious kid. Being the youngest one from my family, I was quite different from my other siblings.
“Even now, I clearly remember that when I was eight or nine, I took my older sister’s 8th-grade physics book and used it to make some DIY things.
“While I was never inclined towards academics, I had a knack for technology and enjoyed learning about it in depth.”
However, he moved schools quite early on, leaving behind his friends.
This left a great psychological impact on Saadul but also marked the beginning of a new, life-altering, chapter.
During this time, his siblings began shaping his music tastes.
“My sister introduced me to bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pink Floyd when I was 13-14 years old.
“Previously, I enjoyed bands like Backstreet Boys, so this was a major shift for me.
“After this, my brother got me into Guns N’ Roses.
“Soon, I would get my hands on my first electric guitar, an Ibanez GIO that my father got for me from Bangkok. I still have this guitar even after so many years.
“Since I have quite an addictive personality, I started spending a lot of time with my new guitar.
“Although I’m primarily self-taught, a friend of my older brother played a big role in my learning around that time.
“Not only would he show me complex riff patterns, he gradually got me into heavier music.
“I started learning Dream Theatre and Iron Maiden songs by ear quite early on.”
The next couple of years would go by quickly for Saadul, as he found himself going from his first high school band, Birodh, to playing with one of the fastest-rising bands in the underground scene at that time, Fulbanu’s Revenge.
Saadul later went abroad for his higher studies. However, soon after, he dropped out of university.
After meeting with Shayan Chowdhury Arnob one day, he found himself thrown into the mix, recording the evening shifts of two iconic albums, Vibe’s Chena Jogot and Black’s Utshober Por.
This kickstarted his music career.
In addition to music, Saadul Islam is also a photographer and at Chobi Mela 2021, he debuted his physical artwork Inel.
Built on the basis of his personal journey of healing, the auditory-optical based installation delivered an unexplainable metaphysical experience that became an instant crowd favourite.