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The Eighth Note: Rezwan Ashraf

The Eighth Note is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians. A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.
Up next is Rezwan Ashraf, originally from Bangladesh but now based in Wellington. Rezwan Ashraf was known in Bangladesh for being the Brand Ambassador of Nestle, after he was awarded the best Guitar Player in the country in 2012 following the nationwide talent hunt, Nescafe Get Set Rock. The talent hunt competition focused on finding the best Rock musicians in the country and forming a notable Rock act. The result of the competition was his band S.I.X. Prior to this achievement, he has been part of the pioneering Nu-Metal band in Bangladesh called Shrapnel Method.

Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
My name is Rezwan Ashraf and I am originally from a small country called Bangladesh. I moved to NZ back in 2015 and have been living here since. I started playing guitar in 2004 and never stopped. In Bangladesh I was mostly popular for winning a nationwide musician talent show called Nescafe Get set Rock. I am a rock guitarist and focus primarily on guitar based music. I am heavily influenced by guitarists such as Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Jeff Kollman and the list goes on and on. I have so far released 3 guitar instrumentals and in the process was very lucky to work along side Grammy Winning Bassist Scott Cannady in one of my instrumentals ‘Oceans Apart’. Currently, I am focusing on my guitar instrumentals and my other band Age of Destitute
where I am the singer and the guitar player.

What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
I have been working on an album with my band Age of Destitute , we are a rock duo and we make music remotely via Skype and other remote apps. It’s a very new process for me and so far it has worked great. The album will comprise of six original tracks. Other than the band, I am also a solo guitar instrumentalist and love making rock instrumental guitar music. ‘Vortex Prison’ was released in April, and ‘Lunar Love’ was released in May.

Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
I am available on most social media platforms and I am also available to contact on my Website. I am quite active on Facebook as well. My music is available on YouTube & Spotify.

What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
The three most influential albums for me personally were :
1. Metallica- Black Album
2. Joe Satriani- Surfing with the Alien
3. Linkin Park – Meteora

Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
I would have loved to work with Shihad if possible.

What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?

In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
When I am writing as a solo guitarist I usually write in my DAW. I set a tempo which feels nice and start recording a chord progression and then come up with a motif based on that harmony and build up from there. I tend to borrow a little from contemporary jazz theory and combine them with rock to get my desired sound. When writing songs with my band, I usually write the song and send the files to my band mate (Sammy Iqbal) in Auckland and ask him to play around with his guitar and bass and we discuss the songs over skype or messenger and track the instruments to see how it sounds and create a workable demo. We refine the song everyday till we are both happy with the sound and whatever parts we have written on software, we usually hire a drummer and keyboardist to play those parts live in studio under our direction.

Where/when is your next gig?
At the moment, there is no gig in the foreseeable future.

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