Canadian band Zen Cassettes released their debut track “Pixelated Dreams.” Formed by music producer, and filmmaker Bhaveek Makan, the group also includes Bangladeshi-American singer Tanjina Islam and Indian born Canadian actor and singer, Praneet Akilla. The trio collaborated to create this fusion music group testing the waters of pop, electronic, hip-hop and alternative music. Their soulful debut track is evidence of their versatile blend of musical styles. “Pixelated Dreams” is a romantic number with Bengali lyrics sung and written by Islam as well as English lyrics and vocals by Akilla. The overall theme of the song emphasized the weight of physical distance on emotional attachment. The artists wanted listeners to feel hope even when the future is unknown.
The music video is just as unique as the track with an out of this world storyline created by Makan, and directed by Akilla. Makan’s younger brother, Jashan, was in charge of the magic behind the camera—the young filmmaker shot and edited the music video.
“We wanted to make something that has never been seen by a South Asian audience” Bhaveek Makan said. “We are able to experiment with our music and just have fun—without worrying about ‘what sells.’ It gives us that freedom to do anything and make anything, and that is what is most important. There is always something for someone.”
The music video revolves around two lovers who are separated when they land on an unknown planet. The male lead finds some objects near him and is confused as to what it’s for. The entire video is spent discovering the land and figuring out the purpose of the romantic items as the couple find their way back to each other.
Formed in Jan 2016, the band was brought together by music composer and music video producer Bhaveek Makan. Makan had previously worked with Islam in 2009 on the soundtrack for a film he shot so when he was working on the composition for “Pixilated Dreams,” he thought of her as a creative inspiration to reach out to. Interestingly, the band did not create this song; it was the song that created the band.
“I created ‘Pixilated Dreams’ in early Jan when I was feeling very down—music has always been like therapy for me,” Makan explained. “This track started as a fun way to distract myself, but then turned into something I knew I can make grow. I contacted Tanjina and right away, I received these beautiful vocals that I knew fit perfectly with the track. Then Praneet then added the English verse. I knew this was the band I always wanted.”
“I’ve been playing around with music for years, but only really started to put more work into it in 2014. I was trying to find a sound I felt comfortable with,” said Makhan. “Praneet and I were working on a few tracks for quite some time, but only this year decided to create a trio to add a different flair to our music. We blended Bengali, Hindi, and English—but we’re not limited to these languages—in the compositions while experimenting with world sounds.”
Check out the music video which released May 26th!