Kona is one of the most popular singers of the time, mesmerising audiences with her well-trained voice. She has lent her voice to jingles and playbacks, along with trying her hand at acting as well. The talented artiste was at DS Cafe recently to answer questions from her admirers.
Ataullah, Notre Dame College, Dhaka: If you had a magic lamp in your possession, what would you wish for?
Kona: My first wish will be to put a stop to the rampant audio piracy that is going on. Secondly, I’d wish for a better-maintained Dhaka city. At the moment I feel very concerned when I look at the city; there is no planning, while a constant fear of earthquake is hovering over us. I’d wish that there was no traffic jam in the city as well. My third wish would be to have my parents alive as long as I’m alive.
Kabir Ratan, Mohakhali, Dhaka: How did you begin your journey in music?
Kona: I grew up in a house full of music, with my parents admitting me into music school early in my childhood. They were very enthusiastic and supportive since the beginning and this inspired me to become a singer when I grew up. Later, I started taking music classes at the Shishu Academy. I also trained for nine years at the Nazrul Academy, while an ustad gave me music lessons at home. Music is my everything.
DS Café: Your experience with jingles also stretches back a while…
Kona: Yes, since 2001. I also did playbacks and title songs for TV plays. Back in 2003 — me, Tisha, Rumana and Nafisa (who passed away) — also brought out an audio album. The four of us had a band, called Angel Four. Later in 2006, I released my solo album, called “Jyamitik Bhalobasha”.
DS Café: Do you think the music industry is seeing a rise?
Kona: Honestly speaking, the musicians are doing a brilliant job, along with the singers. We have an opulent music tradition.
DS Café: Do you emulate anyone?
Kona: No. However, my mother’s admiration for Runa Laila made a major impact on me. Her (Runa Laila’s) versatility makes me admire her even more. She can take on any sort of singing challenge.
Rumel, Dhaka: Your programme on Radio Today is going brilliantly.
Kona: Please do tune to the programme every Thursday from 10pm to 1am.
Mahfuz, Mymensingh: You have a beautiful voice along with good looks.
Kona: Please pray for me. Thanks for calling.
Sifat, Dinajpur: When will your next album arrive?
Kona: A mixed album featuring me and Bappa Mazumder is coming out next month.
Masud, Rajshahi: What qualities do one need to be a singer?
Kona: The first requirement is to have tonal quality. You’ll also need patience, a knack for learning, and dedication.
Russell, Rajshahi: Why do you think many are leaning towards western music?
Kona: Difficult to answer. I guess people feel that the world is moving forward and we have to keep up with it.
Towhid, Comilla: Will singers and musicians, who rely on technology, survive the test of time?
Kona: I think they get lost in the stream once the audience loses interest in them. I do not support such practices. You can also look outside the country and you will see that artistes who rely heavily on technology disappear into oblivion after a year or two.
Lonnie, Banani, Dhaka: I’m a huge fan of yours. Where did you learn your ABCs of music? Who was more supportive — your father or mother?
Kona: There was a school near our house where I had my first music class. Both my parents gave me immense support; my whole family continues to do so.
Raju, Rajshahi: Do you lead the “celebrity life”?
Kona: No. I’m more comfortable living a simple life. I take rickshaws or CNG three-wheelers. The “celebrity life” doesn’t fascinate me.
Rafiqul Islam, Dhanmondi, Dhaka: Who is your favourite music director?
Kona: I work with many such talented people. I don’t want to name just one.
Shoikat, Chapainawabganj: Are you moody? What’s your favourite colour?
Kona: The first answer is “no”, and my favourite colour is white.
Hasan, Chittagong: Which is your native district?
Kona: Gazipur district.
Belal, Rajshahi: Are you an angry person?
Kona: Do I sound like that? No, I’m not an angry person.
Shanto, Dhanmondi, Dhaka: Are you single?
DS Café: Share some interesting stories from your career.
Kona: I was performing at a concert in a theme park. For the first time in my life, I heard people booing. Later I realised that there are factions of the audience who like to do this. Now whenever someone boos me, I say that this is what I was waiting for. If I don’t get some boos, then it doesn’t feel like a concert.
DS Café: You’ve mentioned that you trained in Nazrul Sangeet. Why isn’t Nazrul Sangeet that popular among the youths of the nation?
Kona: There are several reasons. In the past there was only one TV channel, BTV. Now the world is in our grasps. BTV is not highlighting Nazrul Sangeet like before, and neither are the private channels. Rabindra Sangeet, however, seems to get much attention. If the TV channels step up their efforts in this regard, the genre will become popular to the youths.
Rakibul, Rajshahi: I recently learnt from a newspaper that film actress Bobita is working for the welfare of underprivileged children. Do you have any such plan?
Kona: I most certainly wish to do something like that. If God gives me a chance, I will certainly take it.
Courtesy of The Daily Star