by Kimberly Shires
Kronedge is an original melodic hard rock band based in Ashburn, Virginia. Alchemical Records met with Rafi (vocals), Tony (guitar), Sharif (guitar), Amit (bass) and Enam (drums) to discuss their next single, to hear their thoughts on building a fanbase through social media and leveraging their tightly knit Bengali community for global reach.
Kronedge’s next single, “Utthan” will be released in April. “Utthan” translates to “Uprising” in Bangla. Enam explained that the song is about how “students driv a lot of positive change, such as safer streets and healthier drug free lifestyles from their college campuses.”
A number of Kronedge songs are steeped in current events and social change. Amit noted that they write about “the things that are happening around us.” Kronedge covers topics such as suicide awareness, immigration and the freedom of press using poetic lyrics, mostly in Bangla.
Kronedge calls the DMV home now but they were all raised in Bangladesh and were active in the music scene. Amit was the bass player for the band Icons, which was one of the best Bangladeshi rock bands according to thetoptens.com and Tony played with Koprophilia. The guys grew up on albums by western bands like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Iron Maiden, Megadeath, Pink Floyd, and Disturbed as well as Bangladeshi classic rock and popular bands. Kronedge is part of a wave of Bangladeshi bands that create music using a fusion of eastern and western influence and while building the new styles on top of old traditions. As a matter of fact, the band’s name “Kron” or “Chron” and “Edge” gives a nod to the idea that geographical borders and generational gaps are not a constraint in the language of music.
Kronedge hails from a tight knit community. Bengalis stick together. Enam said, “people will go see a Bengali band perform, just because it is in Bangla. We recognize that, respect it and try to cater to it.” Kronedge admits that it is a challenge to cater to a community of so many generations and musical tastes however. This challenge leads to an opportunity to create something new that connects them with their audience. While Kronedge is primarily focused on creating poignant originals, they use the familiarity of cover songs to connect with various market segments. For example, Kronedge may cover a classic Bengali song, but reimagine it “The Kronedge way” in their own melodic hard rock style. This keeps their traditional audience engaged. At the same time, Kronedge aims to connect with English speaking fans by covering some of their own western classic rock influences. Kronedge plans to continue to engage English audiences by also writing more in English going forward.
Kronedge’s target market are primarily Bangladeshis living in the DMV, but the band is relevant far beyond that. Kronedge has strategically decided to build their fan base through social media, where they already have over 10,000 followers on Facebook. Kronedge realized they needed to have a continuous social media presence to keep the page active and fans engaged. To achieve this, they made a strategic decision to release singles one at a time rather than develop a full album. Tony discussed how Kronedge reaches new fans in mass by connecting through relevant facebook pages such as DMV Bangla Band Music. Rafi also explained how they use tribute videos of popular Bangladeshi artists to expand their sphere. As a matter of fact, Kronedge covered the Bangladeshi band, Miles, who subsequently endorsed Kronedge as an artist. This important endorsement increased Kronedge’s social media popularity. Kronedge plans to use their social media analytics to improve their fan outreach in the future.
Kronedge performs regular Facebook Live sessions in favor of booking gigs around town.They realized that if they relied on live venue gigs, they would only capture a fraction of their fan base but Facebook Live sessions yielded over 4000 viewers. Kronedge would not have been able to achieve this reach through live venue sessions alone. The band described their choice to use Facebook Live as a tool as a “no brainer”.
Kronedge explained how they made their Facebook Live concerts happen. Kronedge worked with Mixit Studios, in Alexandria, Virginia, to set up cameras for a live online show. Mixit Studios has continued to use the same set up to help other local artists build a broader fan base using Facebook Live shows. One of the things that made the Facebook Live performances so special is that Mixit applied studio sound to the broadcast. In short, Kronedge played a live album over Facebook. Enam noted, “Somebody mistook one of our live sessions as a music video because of the quality of the sound.”
Going forward, Kronedge plans to start performing live venues to interact directly with the local fan base built through social media. They will link up with other local bands through the Bangladeshi American Band Alliance (BABA) and various other Bangladeshi associations which regularly bring the local community together for concerts featuring Bangladeshi artists.
Make sure to follow Kronedge on Facebook and check out their next single “Utthan”.
Kimberly Shires is a native of the DC Metropolitan area. Kimberly is a freelance writer, music degree holder, road bike warrior, songwriter, corporate ladder climber, and a Subaru driving nature enthusiast.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8pvNq7nosw Betamax performing “Big World” live at Dangerous Pies in Washington DC. This show was headlined by Stone Driver featuring special guests Betamax and Not