Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Kuddus – an icon of Bangla folk music

n the realm of folk music in Bangladesh, Abdul Kuddus Boyati is a name that needs no introduction.
In popularising folk music, especially Palagaan, his contribution is yet to be surpassed by any.
Through his organisation Bangla Folk Media, Kuddus, along with a bunch of young Bauls, has been making attempts to enrich the country’s folk scene.
From Jarigaan to Bhatiali, Sarigaan to folk or Palagaan, the folk singer, with his unique style, has made his mark in every branch of folk music.
His songs, epitomising the very essence of rural Bangladesh, have great appeal for the music lovers.
With his songs like Aam khaiyo jam khaiyo kanthal khaiyo na, Ai din din noi aro din achhey and Shunen shunen deshobashi, Kuddus played a key role in making people conscious of various social issues.
In a recent interview with daily sun, Abdul Kuddus Boyati has shared his views on various issues, including his own life and work.
Like many others, Kuddus had a tough time to establish himself as a folk singer. While speaking about his early days, he recalled, “I was born and brought up in a poor family in Netrokona. In my school days, I loved to study, but folk music attracted me.”
“Mansur Ali Boyati, a blind folk singer in my neighbourhood, inspired me greatly and taught me the art of Palagaan,” said Kuddus.
“Playing truant, I often went to the house of my guru to enjoy Palagaan performed by him. And one day, I became his dohar (supporting vocal in a Pala performance). Later, I became popular as a folk singer by performing a tragic Palagaan titled Holek Badshar Pala,” he added.
About his turning point as a folk singer, Kuddus said, “In November 1988, I got my first big break in capital Dhaka. I performed folk songs at Mahila Samity Stage. That performance was highly enjoyed by the city dwellers and they started loving this genre of music.”
“But the major breakthrough in my career came in 1992 through a TVC titled Ai din din noy aro din achhey through which I inspired children to join school. Composed by novelist Humayun Ahmed, the TVC song made people conscious about child education,” he recalled.
Kuddus has so far composed and performed almost 200 Palagaan on different folk tales and Puranas. In a unique style, he performs a Pala in which he plays 20-30 different roles.
About his Palagaan, he said, “A Palagaan is based on a long story and I have to play various characters in a Pala. To make it attractive, I often use props like dolls, pillows and sarees.”
Out of his Palagaans, Holek Badshah, Kanchan Badshah, Feroz Khan Dewan, Mahua, Malua, Kamola Rani, Dewan Madina, Rupaboti, Behula, Mehernegar and Feroz Khan Dewan and Moriom Bibir Pala are worth mentioning.
To preserve and practise folk songs, Abdul Kuddus Boyati has established Bangla Folk Media, an organisation for the young and promising folk artistes of the country.
“My dream is to collect and preserve folk songs from the rural areas of the country. Bangla Folk Media has been working to make a platform for the young folk artistes,” he added.
Asked about his recent ventures, he said, “In the coming winter, I, through Bangla Folk Media, want to hold a nationwide folk music festival with the slogan Loko Sangeet Bachao. Apart from that, I am working on an audio album featuring a few popular Palagaan of mine.”
Abdul Kuddus Boyati, who has not received any national recognition yet, concluded with the determination that he would do everything to save the folk music in Bangladesh.”


Courtesy of Daily Sun

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