Chords and conversations: A Chat with Dads in the Park

Dads in the Park, the rising indie-rock sensation in Bangladesh, recently attended its first international event with the world-famous bands- Slipknot and Trivium. The band members, vocalist Ishmam Salim Chowdhury and guitarist Tajwar Ul Islam, alumni of Brac University, shared this experience of a lifetime and reminisced about their university days in a recent interview with BracU Express.

Interviewer: Thank you for taking the time to sit with us. I would like to start this interview with your performance in Indonesia. How was the experience of sharing the same musical event with the world-famous Slipknot?

Tajwar UL Islam: It’s hard to explain in words because we never even planned so far ahead of us. But when we did come by this huge opportunity, it was an absolute blast. We had everything working in our favour; we had so much fun playing in the country, meeting new musicians, and, most importantly, learning a lot from other international artists- it was like a whole package. And hopefully, this is only the beginning.

Photo Credit: Anthony Scanga

Interviewer: Was it your first time playing in an international event?

Tajwar: We did perform in India once, but that wasn’t exactly an international event. It was more of a local thing. However, the event in Indonesia was a full-scale international one, with a good deal of bands from other countries performing together. So technically, yes, this was our first international event where we were invited as international artists.

Interviewer: It might be quite challenging to perform in such an event. What was the biggest challenge you faced?

Tajwar: Usually, in such events, bands come across problems like performance anxiety, stage fright, or things like that. But surprisingly, we didn’t face those. I would say that the biggest challenge we faced was not while performing at the event, but rather the journey before we got there, like managing finances for our trip, and organising documents. Fortunately, we received a lot of help in that matter from everybody, including our manager.

Interviewer: How was the experience with the audience in Indonesia? 

Ishmam Salim: Actually, we didn’t really have much expectation for the audience, since it was our first time performing in a new city. But the engagement we got left us in awe. While we were performing, we saw an Indonesian man in the audience singing along with us- it really blew us away.

Tajwar: At such a huge event, with multiple stages, and multiple bands playing, people had no idea who we were. So the amazing response from the crowd was honestly quite surprising.

Photo Credit: Anthony Scanga

Interviewer: Do you hope to share the stage with these world-class bands again?

Ishmam: Well, we hope so.

Tajwar: Of course, yes, that’s the dream, right?

Interviwer: Tell us about your experience in performing at BRAC University.

Ishmam: I always love coming back to campus. Seeing all these familiar faces truly makes me feel amazing.

Tajwar: It really feels liberating that we get to come back here with the purpose of playing music for our fellow people here. Since our journey started here at BracU, it has always been a soft corner for us.

Interviwer: Share something about your BracU days and your musical experiences on the campus.

Ishmam: I was actually a very active person during my university days. I was part of many clubs, busy running around for academics as well as music. I was also the vice president of BracU Monon.

Tajwar: I was in BracU Cultural Club for a semester or so. When I first got into this university, I used to see all these people playing music in the cafeteria with their guitars and ukuleles while I sat there watching others play. That’s where I met Ishmam bhaiya and wanted to be involved with the musical side of BracU. Even though we don’t really have any memory of playing there ourselves, we always enjoyed watching others play.

Photo Credit: Orchid Chakma

Interviwer: What are your tentative plans right around the corner? Any new releases or shows?

Ishmam: Well, actually, all of them. We have plans to work on our album and many more unannounced works after Ramadan.

Tajwar: Obviously new shows as well as new music. We are looking for more local and international shows.

Interviwer: Would you like to say something to your fellow BracU music enthusiasts, or the young aspiring musicians of our generation?

Ishmam: Well yeah- those who are singing in the cafeteria right now, great job! We hope you make your own stuff, and create your own music.

Tawar: One thing I noticed while we were in BracU was that everybody used to sing covers of already existing songs. There was barely any new stuff there. We believe that there are musicians out there who are a hundred times better than we are. All you have to do is create your own sound, explore your music, and have fun with it.

Prodipta Hasin

Prodipta Hasin is a journalist at BRACU Express. She is a Sophomore majoring in English Literature at the ENH department in BRAC University. She loves to read voraciously and write wildly. In her free times, she daydreams about being a mythical witch in the woods. Find her at

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