INSPIRATION ABOUND | Labik Kamal Gaurob speaks candidly about his new venture, StudioLKG

Labik Kamal Gaurob speaks candidly about his new venture, StudioLKG the motivation behind creating an audio production company and how technology is changing the entertainment industry
What was the motivation for creating an audio production company?

I started a company when companies around the world were shutting down, and things were uncertain. I have been working as a music producer for two decades, doing original and commissioned work. During the pandemic, I realised that while industries such as restaurants and factories were being affected badly, online content businesses are thriving all over the world. So I started focusing on OTT, OVCs and online content in general. I realised the only way to work sustainably in the sector in this current situation would be through online media.

Photographs: Tanzim Ahmed Bijoy
You have 3 music producers collaborating at StudioLKG. How did this come about?

In this current situation, I realised the value of collaboration, so I approached Rezaul Karim Leemon and Ahnaf Khan Anik to co-run the studio. Ideally, making music is a collaborative work that has changed in the last decade as technology has made production way more manageable than before. You can sit in your room for ten straight hours and produce a complete song all by yourself, but that is tedious and uninspiring.

As Anik and Leemon are producers and musicians themselves, it’s not unlikely that producers collaborate and work together. I didn’t want to include people who would just follow instructions and not invest ideas, so I approached go-getters who would push me to make the best of my abilities. Leemon has been a friend to me for ten years from the golden album days of Habib and Arnob and we have shared a strong connection ever since. On the other hand, Anik is a young and mature guitarist whom I came to like working with in the past few years.

Congratulations, you recently won a Cinegolpo Eid Award for the series 7 dugune 14! In what other areas does StudioLKG specialise? What is its vision?

I have been working as an artist in the industry for 15 -20 years and a decade as an entrepreneur. So I have been trying to merge the two and enter the entertainment industry as an entrepreneur. We have a food court called ‘The Garage’ where I arranged live sessions under the banner ‘Garage Arts’ with Bappa Majumdar and Arnob in 2019, just before the pandemic. The sessions were also recorded in audio and video formats for content creation. Unfortunately, after one and a half years of preparation behind the project, it was put on hold after the first two sessions due to the pandemic. Stepping forward, we would like to expand to education, content creation, and visual studio as small parts of a bigger picture.

Photographs: Tanzim Ahmed Bijoy
How promising is the local music industry from a business perspective? Do you think that the current climate will support the growth of a commercial studio? How are you working towards achieving that?

There is nothing called a local industry anymore. The world is your village, and the village is your world. I worked as a musician in the international circuit for ten years, playing all over Europe and India. We performed in the world’s most renowned and largest music festivals, WOMAD in 2015. I got my degree in Music Production from SAE London and tried to get involved in the international world music circuit. From there, I have been travelling back and forth to Europe for festivals and international collaborations, whether that be on albums, tours, films or other things.

I have spent almost a decade roaming around Bangladesh, working with Fokirs and folk music before London. I have learned all sorts of skills throughout this journey and learned to play multiple instruments. However, in the end, I believe, like Rabindranath said, ‘Amar pothchola tei anando,’ I am glad that I am enjoying my musical expedition. It’s like swimming – it doesn’t matter where you are; as long as you know what you’re doing, you can stay afloat and you will find your course. And even if you fail, it’s fine as long as the journey goes on. The main idea is to enjoy the process.

Currently, StudioLKG is more interested in commissioned works than renting out the studio as we already have plenty to do ourselves. My studio is open to my fellow musicians and is often available for jamming, but we are not planning to cater the studio for general rental business purposes. If anyone is interested in producing a particular kind of sound, we can arrange that.

Still, the studio is not yet avilable to hire as a professional set-up. Indeed we have started small, but we plan to expand the studio as work progresses.


How do you balance your role as a musician and an entrepreneur?

I have many roles right now with very little work-life balance. Either I am at the studio making music, at my factory making shoes or my food court implementing business ideas for marketing. It is my time to work, and I want to keep doing that at least for the next ten years. Let’s see where it goes, but as I said, I am eager to enjoy the ride.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your illustrious music career?

The tours and international festivals and collaborations have been the focus of my career. I want to take the musical capabilities of our musicians to the international audience regardless of language. Being in London for a few years helped me to connect with suitable bodies. We appeared on many festivals, including BBC Alchemy Festival in 2013 Songlines Encounter, WOMAD in 2015, Ranthambore festival in 2017, and Dhaka International Festival in 2015-18. Among all these we had the opportunity to take my guru Rob Fakir from Kushtia to WOMAD and Songlines festivals. That can probably be singled out as one the most rewarding musical achievement.