By Dinesha Senaratne
When Damian stepped up with his friends to perform at a private party at the age of 15 he never imagined where the ride would take him. Over a span of 35 years, Damian now looks back at fond memories of his big break which landed him in Europe, stints with Rendezvous, Purple Rain, Wildfire and Misty. But none compares to those of his days with Purple Rain, “Purple Rain was oozing with talent and the standard of the musician were top class, we all learnt from each other which helped us to maintain high standards. That’s why Purple Rain became what it was.”
Speaking of life after and in between his stints in bands, Damian also had a solo concert in 1995, and has composed a few songs including a song for the Roteract Club in a bid for charity for the children in war torn areas and a chant for the ICC world cup. He was also a judge on the ‘Yes Superstar’ in which he noted that “the talent was amazing! But the thing is once they win, some of them just do it for the sake of winning. And they don’t continue and that blocks someone else of the opportunity. But the talent was amazing and I hope they do it again and again to bring out the talent in the country”
The biggest milestone yet would be the forming his very own band since of two years back. “I’ve been very quiet about it, even though I didn’t talk about it we played quite a bit and just by word of mouth people got to know about it and I was asked to play for the 31st night at the Royal Meridian in Dubai two years in a row and last year Peter Andre was one of the guests. He came up on stage and he complimented us on the music, took a few pictures with us. It was nice to be appreciated”
DeeZone is a 6 piece band which boasts two keyboard players –Georgie and Iraj- Cheryl on Bass, Nalanka on lead guitar, Darshan on drums, with four vocalists. With a wide repertoire of jazz, retro, contemporary, Sinhala classics and baila. With the plans of a possible concert in the cards, DeeZone is here to stay.
The relatively new band has had a few high profile gigs such as a few ICC events, the Annual Josephian Dinner Dance, the Annual Thomian Dinner Dance, Sri Lankan Airline Pilots Guild Dance, Mardi Gras and Dialog Rugby League Event. They also play a quite night every Wednesday at The Keg, Excel World.
Speaking on the philosophy he lives by he mentioned “as a musician I am thankful we can survive as a cover band, and people hire us to hear us play covers and as performers we have responsibilities to entertain others, not ourselves. We should never forget that. And when it comes to supporting the industry, at the end of the day, no matter what profession your in, doctor, lawyer, teacher they all come back and listen to music, it’s a common factor and I think everyone should support the music industry” (Courtesy The Sunday Leader)