State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid said on Monday that music was one of the main and influential sources of inspiration for the Bengali nation in various democratic movements, including the Language Movement of 1952 and the great Liberation War of 1971.

The minister was speaking as the special guest at the launching ceremony of 'Coke Studio Bangla,' which will be the local adaptation of the widely-acclaimed platform for fusion music that started in the early 2000s. Monday night's launch was organized by Coca-Cola Bangladesh in the ballroom of the Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden.

"February is the month of our glorious Language Movement, and our enriched musical heritage is widely revered by music enthusiasts around the world. I believe Coca-Cola Bangladesh's debut of the 'Coke Studio Bangla' platform, the Bengali version of 'Coke Studio' for Bengali speakers in many nations across the world, including Bangladesh, is an amazing initiative in this glorious month," the minister said at the event.

Highlighting the popularity of Coke Studio for its fusion songs, he added, "I believe that 'Coke Studio Bangla' will become more popular worldwide than the way 'Coke Studio' has gained popularity in different countries of the world, including our neighbouring country India. We are hopeful that this wonderful platform will further uphold the glory of our diverse collection of songs."

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak also spoke as the special guest on the occasion, while Coca-Cola Bangladesh Managing Director Ta Duy Tung delivered the welcome speech.

Popular singer-composer and music producer of 'Coke Studio Bangla' Shayan Chowdhury Arnob, singer-actor and Coca-Cola Bangladesh's brand ambassador Tahsan Khan, folk-icon and Member of Parliament Momtaz Begum, and other popular music stars including Bappa Mazumder, Ankhi Alamgir and others also joined the gala launching event of the world-famous musical fusion programme.

The 'Coke Studio Bangla' Season 1 theme song "Ekla Cholo" was also premiered at the event, simultaneously released at Coke Studio Bangla's Facebook and YouTube platforms. The song is a beautiful fusion rendition of Bengali Polymath Rabindranath Tagore's popular song "Jodi Tor Daak Shune Keu Na Ashe," Baul singer Gagan Harkara's famous song "Ami Kothay Pabo Tare" and popular band Shironamhin's cult hit song "Tumi Cheye Achho Tai," performed by Arnob, Bappa Mazumder, Samina Chowdhury, Momtaz, Kona, Pantha Kanai, Rituraj, Masha, Mizan, Boga Taleb, Sheikh Ishtiaque and more. The inaugural event was then followed by musical performances by the project's participants.

Coke Studio's first season will premiere in mid-February, featuring a total of ten tracks. Music enthusiasts will be able to enjoy the fusion performances on Coca-Cola Bangladesh's official Facebook page, YouTube channel and Spotify.

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