Who could think of a Bangladeshi acoustic drums brand 6 years back? When most drummers dreamt of having a western branded set of drums, Nafeez Al Amin was struggling to make one for himself. It all started out of dismay in 2015 as one of his snare drums was stolen and he could barely afford another.
As he tried and succeeded making a snare all on his own that’s when the story of Nafeez Al Amin’s Beshi Joss Customs began. Though it began as a one-man-project at his home garage, now it has a factory and a dedicated team working to take musical instruments made in Bangladesh to the next level.
Nafeez, who happens to be the drummer of a renowned Bangladeshi band, Arbovirus, said, “We never say no to anything, whatever demand someone comes up with, we do it our way. We have come all these way through many ups and downs, we had hurdles but we kept trying. We believe something which is done or achieved by trying relentlessly is ‘Beshi Joss’ and that’s how the brand stands.”
Nafeez, also an assistant professor at Daffodil International University, was much appreciated by his peers after he succeeded in making his snare drum. This inspired him to make drums for others. So, he started the brand Beshi Josh Drums, the first custom acoustic drums manufacturing brand of Bangladesh.
Later, the brand began making cajons, custom electric and acoustic guitars, and that’s when the brand was titled to Beshi Josh Customs. Reuben Custom guitars, Beshi Joss drums and Ocean cajons- all these are now produced under the same roof at Beshi Joss Factory in the capital’s Baigartek.
Pandemic had been hard for Beshi Joss Customs team as they had to leave their previous place in Ashulia. Besides, as the lockdown was imposed across the country their sales went down. However, the team passed through the hard days and started with a new spirit at the new factory-place as the lockdown was eased.
Though it started with acoustic drums Beshi Joss have already made a good number of custom electric guitars on orders. They have been producing cajons on mass scale which are sold in different musical instrument stores across the country.
Nafeez has turned himself a master luthier, has a dedicated team that he has trained up and is being highly appreciated by the musicians and music enthusiasts across the country and beyond the borders. Now it’s time to take this dream project to the next level. Nafeez says, “For our survival we must export. Though the demand in our country has been increasing day by day, it’s not always possible for domestic customers to afford these products. As many of our buyers are students and struggle to gather money for their required instrument.”
Getting into the global market is not quite easy, we have to overcome a number of barriers. One of the common challenges is breaking the stereotype ‘made in Bangladesh’. If we look at the garment industry or cement industry- these are globally flying high but there are lots of products which are not getting the proper value for being ‘made in Bangladesh’ despite their high-end quality, he said.
The factory has been making export quality musical instruments yet before going global the brand needs to work on a couple of things, he added.
Nafeez who had been fighting social odds to call himself a luthier, gets constant support from his wife.
He believes there is every bit of opportunity in this sector and ‘made in Bangladesh’ musical instruments might one day flourish like the garment or cement industry.
He said, “I might not earn a lot of money from here but it gives me relief when some musical instrument maker comes up to me and says you inspired me to get into instrument making; that’s an achievement for me. And If everything goes right, I believe, within the next five years Beshi Joss will reach another level of success.”
Source: United News of Bangladesh