The Inception

All it took was a bunch of young musically talented boys collectively holding onto a dream and vision in performing quality live music and entertaining the masses of the Sri Lankan public. It is certainly amazing to see where a dream and hard work can take you and this holds true for this extremely talented band.

Their inception in 2008 saw them performing as school boys with a passion for music and a hunger to reach the very top in their respective industry.  Shane Vas, Sahan Silva and Janith Gamlath who were 3 of the founding members of the band went on to join Royal College after finishing their Ordinary Level Examinations at St Sebastian’s College in Moratuwa and their first performances were for SAGA which was a reputed school event at the time upon the invitation of Mr Ashok Pushpakumara. Interestingly enough, Glory was initially a boy band by the name of “Dollar” when they started their journey to one day becoming a premier band in Sri Lanka with its founding members being Shane Vas (Lead Guitarist), Sahan Silva (Bass Guitarist), Janith Gamlath (Saxophonist), Sachintha Wickremasooriya (Lead Vocalist), Rayan Mendis (Keyboards) and Nisala Perera (Drums).

The first changes in the band’s setup took place from 2008 to 2011 with the boys having to say adieu to their lead vocalist and two other members within this time period. Instead of getting disheartened the boys mustered up some extra vigour and found an amazingly talented lead vocalist in the form of Sanuka Wickramasinghe. Funnily enough the boys crossed paths with Sanuka while performing for SAGA and immediately knew that he would be able to bring a new dynamic to the band. The band also needed a suitable replacement for a drummer and found an amazing talent in the form of Lakshan Fernando who was referred to them by Sahan as he was an old friend and knew that Lakshan would give the band the right balance.

With an invigorated attitude and a talented lead vocalist and drummer to boot, the boys decided to revamp themselves in multiple ways starting with their band name, hence the band was newly christened Glory. This name certainly fit the bill as the band would enjoy some glorious times in the years to come and transcend through the ranks of the Sri Lankan music industry.

A Memorable First Live Performance

Glory took to the stage for the first time in 2011 at a successful concert by the name of “Eve of Acapella” organized by the Interact club of Royal College. The boys truly shone throughout their performance and it was clear that their future in the music industry was indeed a bright one. The positive reception given by the crowd after this performance proved that they had the talent and skill to entertain and perform at a high standard. From this point onwards the Band never looked back and went on to get their first contract Gig at Kingsbury Hotel with a little bit of help from Shane’s father Mr Ranil Vas who was interestingly enough a guitarist for perhaps Sri Lanka’s most  iconic Band “The Gypsies” and a respected senior musician in the industry and some assistance from Mr Derek Wickramanayake who is a notable Manager for Bands and senior musician in the industry. The band then went on to gain contract gigs at some of Colombo’s most prestigious hotels such as Taj Colombo, Grand Oriental Hotel, Cinnamon Lakeside and Galadari just to name a few.

Eve of Acapella & Sparkling glory

What’s interesting is that Glory never limited their scope to just Pubs and Bars and also performed at some of Colombo’s most notable clubs such as R&B and Clancy’s just to name a few. After a special performance at Margarita Blue the boys got the opportunity to perform at “Musician’s Night” which was an event organized by Mr Melantha Perera and Mr Benjy Ranabahu who are both prominent members of the popular band “Mirage”. Glory also notably played for Qbaa for 3 years and this proved to be yet another great opportunity for the boys to jam at such an exclusive club owned by Sri Lankan cricketing legend Sanath Jayasuriya. In terms of concerts, the performance at “Eve of Acapella” was just the first of many Glory Concerts for fans to enjoy and treasure.

Washington D.C - Gloryfied!

2013 was indeed a memorable year for the boys as they got to perform on their first Overseas Tour in none other than Washington D.C at Trinity College’s Alumni Dance. This was a momentous occasion for the boys as this was an amazing opportunity to show their prowess as a premium band to a more diversified target audience than the one they were accustomed to locally.

Washington D.C 2013

A New Dynamic in 2015

In 2015 the band saw another important addition and change in their setup with the need for another lead vocalist to back Sanuka. The boys didn’t have to look for too long for they got a colorful and extremely talented Lead Vocalist in the form of Asanka Sahabandu who complimented Sanuka with his own vocal style quite well and together made a formidable duo on stage.

A New Dynamic in 2015

First Original

Before long the boys realized that they had the talent and skill to produce some authentic songs and music of their own and in 2016 Glory dropped their first Original “Hada Pathule” which was written and composed by Sanuka Wickramasinghe. The music backing for the song was done by the band themselves, with a music video to accompany it produced by Mr Chamil Pathirana of “Thaala Roopa Productions” and was of course a success. It was the band’s first experience in producing their own music and they kept moving from strength to strength from that point onwards.

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Transition and Second Original

It was in the year 2016 to 2017 that Glory truly became recognized as a top notch band for Sri Lankan weddings in the music industry. The band’s natural flair and talent shone at every single event they performed for, backed by glowing reviews from all their clients.

Glory faced their final transition phase till date in 2017 when both their lead vocalists had to be replaced, though the challenge of finding two individuals of similar stature and personality was by no means easy. The chemistry within a band is very important and the boys needed to find two vocalists who could back the flair that Glory was renowned for and the band was blessed with two amazing vocalists in the form of Trehan Edirisinghe and Shijan Seneviratne. On the back of this transition, the band fearlessly decided to take a shot at their second original “Handa Welawe” in 2018 which was once again yet another success. “Handa Welawe” was written and composed by Sahan Silva with the band once again backing the song with their own music. There was no official music video made to accompany this song however.

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Third and Fourth “Gloryfied” Originals

Glory went on to becoming quite the household name in 2018 and 2019 with the band frequently performing at high profile events ranging from weddings, dinner dances and private events however the band never settled for just performing at events but was rather focused on creating an identity of its own as well. The band’s interest in the the creation of more original songs lead to their release of “Sakmane” in 2019 which was once again written and composed by Sahan Silva and musically backed by the boys themselves. A music video for “Sakmane” was produced by a close confidant of the band Mr Janadara Samaradiwakara of “Magic Monkeys Ceylon”

Making of "Andare"

Glory’s next and most recent release “Andare” in 2020 was actually written and composed by Sanuka five years earlier, back when he was a part of the band. The boys decided it was the right time to release “Andare” and the music video was interestingly enough done at Sahan Silva’s home with the video production done by the band’s own Shane Vas who is known for his natural flair and creativity with some assistance from Rehan Fernando who played the role of a DOP. “Andare” was an unforgettable release for the boys as they did almost 80 percent of the project themselves from the song to the music and of course the music video itself.

What is significant about the release of “Sakmane” and “Andare” was that they were both produced at a time of great strife to the nation and were released with creative music videos to boot as well. The Easter Sunday attacks in 2019 and the spread of Covid in 2020 may have deterred an ordinary band but not Glory. The band never lost their passion for music and was still able to produce some quality music of their own, even in times of hardship despite the deteriorated state of the music industry.

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10 years of “Glory” in the Music Industry - 2021

At present the band is due to celebrate 10 years of musical brilliance in the industry since their inception and is no doubt aware of the significance of this milestone, as it represents a journey first embarked on by a bunch of school boys back in 2011. No doubt it is truly an amazing tale. This extraordinary band started from humble beginnings to evolving into one of Sri Lanka’s hottest bands for weddings and other large scale events. The sky truly is the limit for this young group of talented musicians as they look to “Glorify” crowds every single time they perform.

Written by Hashantha De Mel