Fossils came to be at a time when ‘Bangla Rock’ was taking baby footsteps. The little work that was happening in the genre of ‘rock music’ was limited to ‘one off’ songs amongst many. No constructive effort was made to establish the genre of ‘rock’ in the bangla music scenario. Fossils burst onto this scene and changed it.
Rupam Islam, after his debut solo album launched in 1998, went on to form Fossils a year later, with a handful of musical colleagues who shared his vision of a band that would push the envelope in contemporary Bengali rock.
Fossils was not only the first to do continuous constructive work in Bangla Rock but had decided - success or failure - they will stick to their genre. Hence many believe and consider Fossils to be the pioneers in Bangla Rock. Fossils’ first album (2002) also saw the term 'Rock' being mentioned as the genre for the first time in any bangla album. With the popularity of the Fossils’ songs West Bengal witnessed a sea-change in the bangla music scene, especially the bangla band scene. All new upcoming bands who till then were working mainly in the genre of Bangla Folk suddenly took to ‘bangla rock’, and ‘Bangla Rock’ became the established, most popular form of music amongst the youth.
Within a short span of four years, Fossils went from strength-to-strength to become the most popular Bangla band in India, largely due to its explosive live shows and introspective and cathartic lyrics with melodic aggression, pushed forth further by the release of their second album Fossils 2 in 2004.
Probably the only band from Bengal with rock star acumen, Fossils' popularity now spans not just the state, but also across the border in Bangladesh – the neighbours that have had a rich heritage of original rock music sung in Bangla since the Seventies. The band is equally popular with non-resident Bengali audiences across the globe, whether in Bangalore or Bombay, Hyderabad or Houston. Fossils has two successful UK shows, two USA (Banga Sammelan) tours, one Australia show and many shows in neighboring Bangladesh under it’s belt.
- Fossils and Rupam have made it on the covers of 6 leading magazines:
- Fossils remains the only Bangla band to be featured in the prestigious Rolling Stone magazine, with a 6-page write-up.
- The Telegraph rated Kolkata performers on a scale of 10 in its November 29, 2007 edition. Rupam got the highest rating (8) along with Usha Uthup.
- Hindustan Times on July 6, 2007 mentioned Fossils as the No.1 band
- In an interview with Rupam, The Times of India (Calcutta Times) mentioned him as the most popular figure in the Bangla rock circuit (February 21, 2008)
- The Telegraph in its t2 birthday issue on February 2, 2008 mentioned Fossils as 'The Favourite Band'.
- The Telegraph T2 Republic Day poll (January 26, 2013) mentions Rupam as the only singer from West Bengal - the favourite singer of their Kolkata readers and Fossils as the only band from West Bengal – the favourite band of their Kolkata readers.
2 covers on Anandamela; the ABP magazine for youngsters
2 covers on Graphiti: the Sunday supplement magazine of The Telegraph
Unish Kuri: The ABP magazine for teenagers
India Today Simply Kolkata: The Calcutta supplement of India Today magazine
- Fossils has composed a special jingle for Thums Up
- Fossils was part of the Horlicks promotion for the Pujas in 2004.
- For the Horlicks Lite launch at the Hyatt, Kolkata, Fossils presented their version of the Horlicks Lite jingle in Bengali
- Fossils 2 was the first album from Bengal to get a corporate sponsorship
- Fossils composed the Radio Mirchi jingle for the channel's birthday as well as its programme, Mirchi Tram
- Fossils lyrics were used for the hoarding campaigns of Aamar FM and Unish Kuri
- Fossils performed For the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in 2012
- Fossils was the first band to compose a special song for those living with HIV. For the first time, HIV-positive individuals appeared unmasked in a music video with the band and Usha Uthup
- Along with Usha Uthup, the band performed in aid of the 2004 Tsunami victims.
- Rupam has recorded an album with street children of Kolkata, whom he has trained for the past three years.
- The Fossils official fan club – Fossils Force – regularly organises special programmes in aid of the lesser privileged
- Fossils regularly performs free for different causes.