As a student of class seven, he participated in an inter-district school competition on music. Finding his vocals mature, the radio authority included the young singer in a programme, “Nabokallol”. In 1977, along with Ayub Bachchu, Miki Mannan and Pilu Khan, he formed a band that would practice regularly. Since the song “Torey Putuler Moto Korey Shajiye” recorded by him came out, he hadn’t looked back.
For three decades, Kumar Bishwajit has held sway over music enthusiasts in Bangladesh. The Daily Star (TDS) recently caught up with the artiste.
TDS: You have recently launched 40 songs in four albums. Could you tell us more about them?
Bishwajit: I’ve been deeply involved in the music scene for 30 years. During this long journey, I have sung many songs. These selected 40 songs have been released by G Series. The albums are: “Megher Anagona”, “Ekta Akash”, “Shopner Palki” and “Premer Abash”. All these songs have also been made available to Grameen Phone subscribers.
TDS: You have won two National Awards this year, as a singer and a music director…
Bishwajit: Yes, I won both the awards for the movie “Shami Strir Waada”. I was the music director and singer of the song, “Ekta Chand Chhara Raat”, featured in the film. Lyricist Kabir Bakul won a National Award for the song as well.
TDS: When did you do your first playback?
Bishwajit: It was in 1982, for the movie “Inspector”. Since then, I have done numerous playbacks.
TDS: What is your opinion of music launched on mobile phones?
Bishwajit: I think we have to move with changing technologies, that’s all I can say.
TDS: What do you think of this generation of musicians and artistes?
Bishwajit: The popular trend seems to be heavily dependent on technology. I know I said that we have to move with technology, but one needs to draw the line somewhere. You cannot expect “soul” in a song that’s more or less a product of technological manipulation. I call them “Machine Songs”. At times I feel angry at these practices.
TDS: What differences do you see between music today and when you started?
Bishwajit: A lot of differences, the biggest of which is technology. Technology is playing a big role — ensuring great sound quality and opportunity to use instruments and styles we were not familiar with.
TDS: Whom do you admire among the musicians today?
Bishwajit: Definitely Habib Wahid. Many of his songs are stirring and can be considered remarkable mood enhancers.
TDS: What do you miss the most?
Bishwajit: I miss my school days a lot. We used to fly kites, pick mangoes, fetch eggs from birds’ nests, and go to fairs at Sitakunda. Those are days I will always miss.
TDS: What has been your biggest achievement as a musician?
Bishwajit: Love and affection from everyone. The people of this country have given me a lot of love, which would have been impossible had I not been a singer. I consider that to be my biggest accomplishment.
TDS: Whom would you blame for the declining music market?
Bishwajit: I would blame piracy for this. This is what caused the catastrophic downfall in the music market. I think internet, FM radio, free download are to blame.
TDS: Tell us about your next album.
Bishwajit: I’m working on it at the moment. So far I have completed three songs. Hopefully, the album will be launched next year.
TDS: What plans do you have at the moment?
Bishwajit: I have survived and thrived in the music scene over the last three decades. I’ve had the opportunity to sings some really good songs. Unfortunately, some of them are now unappreciated and unnoticed. Hardly anyone knows about them due to lack of publicity. I want to breathe a new lease of life into these compositions by reintroducing them to the audience.
Courtesy of The Daily Star