Those who were at the Galle Literary Festival were more drawn to the music than the book signings and discussions. The source of the music that floated over the open food court of GLF was young musicians’, Dilan Jayakody (36) and Naomi Wijemanne (27) of the band The At Last Project.
They both grew up surrounded by music in their childhood and now have made a career out of it. Speaking of her early days, Naomi said, “my grandma was a music teacher and that’s all I have been hearing since I was small. I joined the industry only about four or five years ago.” Dilan has a similar story to tell of his childhood. “My dad was a musician; he was Sarath Jayakody from the band Masquarade. So there were musicians all over the place and dad got me a guitar around the age of 14.”
Speaking of how their paths crossed they said, “We were in a band together and we moved to our own thing as we have the same taste in music; blues, Rnb and reggae. Also, our voices complement each others.” It took time and effort for them to come out as a band. “We tried for a long time to get the musical ball rolling and we finally managed to get it done,” said Naomi. It was Dilan who came up with the name, The At Last Project. “It has been in the pipeline for such a long time. We finally got to it, so we were like, at last,” said Dilan.
“Music is our passion,” they declared, almost in unison. Speaking of her music career, Naomi said, “I wish I could devote more time to music. My track, Happy Pill was number one in the YES FM Homegrown Chart. I plan on doing music full time, eventually.” Dilan, started off by participating in music competitions. He won the TNL onstage in 2003 and then performed solo, before joining up with a band.
They have been playing together, part time, at events that happen around Colombo, for about two and a half years. They have hopes of expanding, so they invite all the aspiring musicians out there, to contact them via social media. “We try to do originals,” said Dilan. “Playing with Naomi is good and our song, Jump just became number one, in the YES FM Homegrown Chart. We are currently working on an album together. It’s called Shut UP And Sing and we have plans for around 11 songs. It would consist of fusion songs, jazz, reggae, RMV and dance tracks. We already released an extended play and few of the songs hit the chart,” added the young musician, quite casually. In the future, they have plans to take their talents to the international sphere.