Model for a Famous Music Album in Exotic Bangladesh
Once upon a time long ago in an exotic faraway land, I served as the face of a love song. From being a party guest with unexpected paparazzi to a model posing on the cover of a famous Bangla music album, this trip surprised me time and again. It’s a tale too good not to share, so keep reading for my surreal experience as a music industry model in the tropical country of Bangladesh.
It was almost summer in the hot city of Dhaka and much of the entertainment revolved around socializing in air conditioned spaces. Though local friends, I was introduced to some of the glitterati of Bangladesh, including their top music producer of hits sung in Bangla, the language of the region. He was talking about his latest release by a famous male pop singer who was known for being quite edgy and provocative. This singer loved American-style music and movies… and girls, the producer let me know with a wink.
Music Producer Was My Personal Paparazzo
One thing led to another, drinks were drunk, snapshots were snapped, and then more celebrations ensued. I was only too happy to play celebrity photo shoot after a few delicious drinks, especially by the gorgeous pool. It’s not every day you have a music producer wearing clothes more expensive than your car asking you to pose (with your clothes on) for a potential modeling job while onlookers cheer.
My travel motto is to embrace every good experience, no matter how crazy, so that’s what I did.
Though I might not have agreed to model for anyone had I been sober, I had a fabulous time pretending like I was a famous Bollywood star for a night. The appeal of parading around like a royal princess in gorgeous jewels, gowns, and situations was undeniable. It was just a silly fantasy though, and I never thought anything would come from it except for some cute Facebook photos.
He Wants YOU on the Cover of His Album
Fate however, had something special in store. The producer got in touch with me the next night and wanted to ask me a favor. He told me that he had shown the musician our silly snapshots, that he loved my look, and wanted ME for the cover of his CD! I was extremely flattered and quite bewildered, since until then I thought he might just be making it all up. Our friends insisted I accept, and I was happy to go along with it.
By then I had realized that my dark-hair, pale-skin, heavy make-up look was popular in the area. I just happened to look the way that regional movie stars did, and I was often mistaken for Bollywood actresses. So, I just rolled with it. Since I already had droves of locals line up to stare at me in the shopping mall and markets, I thought I might as well have something to feel noteworthy about.
The photoshoot was very low-key, like most of the professional services in Bangladesh. The singer wasn’t involved, he was in India performing, and I actually never heard from him at all. I donned my custom tailored sari which was a stunning bright teal with gorgeous molten gold accents, and felt like a princess. We capped off the look with a pair of massive golden bejeweled earrings that sadly you can’t see from this angle.
Trying to figure out how to get into a sari for the first time with only men to help was the bulk of the shoot. Modesty is a huge concern for people there, so at one point I had four men trying to wrap me in yards of cloth while making absolutely certain they didn’t touch a single inch of my exposed skin. Rather difficult, considering the top of the sari is the size of a sports bra!
You Are the Bhalobasi, My Beloved One
The aura of the shoot was unrequited love. I was told to smile only with my eyes to show my beautiful mysteriousness. The title of the main song of the album was ‘Bhalobasi’ which translated to ‘My Love,’ but it was a sad song about a love he could never catch. I was supposed to be like a ghost or a dream, a love you could only think about but never hold in your arms. I don’t remember how to say any of the other words in the album name, but I’ll never forget Bhalobasi.
After several poses they were satisfied, and my first music industry shoot was over.
Though they chose to employ some heavy handed editing that stripped away the beautiful blue and gold colors, this shot with a bunch of Bengali script is basically what went on the album cover. This was a pre-production version the producer emailed to me, sadly I lost the rest of the set. I do still have the sari and might have to do a re-enactment shoot one of these days… leave me a comment if you’d like to see that!
Would You Be Up for Fame in Another Country?
That is the story of how I am a model for a famous musician on an album on the other side of the world. A tiny bit glamorous, a little bit silly, and a lot of good fun with random people met while traveling the world. What did you think? If you could be someone famous in another country, what would you like to be known for?