Friday, July 12, 2024

“Music runs in my blood” — Kiron Chandra Roy

Rapid Fire
“Music runs in my blood” — Kiron Chandra Roy
Kiron Chandra Roy, a dedicated folk singer of the country, has been performing since 1976 and has contributed immensely in popularising the genre. The virtuoso singer exchanged thoughts with The Daily Star on his musical style and other issues.
How and why did you take up music as your profession?
Kiron: Music runs in my family. My first guru was my uncle. I then took lessons under eminent composer, Khondokar Nurul Alam, for about 14 years in classical music. I also took classical music lessons in Krishnanagar, India. Apart from singing, I also teach at a school.
From classical to folk must have been a great leap?
Kiron: Those who are familiar with light classical music, know that thumri, dadra, or geet, are melodious songs with a folk beginning. This is why the songs are very popular. So with my classical background, I have used the thumri style with ease in folk songs, which my audience admires greatly. I have tried to follow the footsteps of the great musician Sachin Deb Burman.
How do you view fusion music?
Kiron: It is totally incomprehensible to me. It is like khichuri — a hotchpotch. Every genre has its own beauty and I prefer the neat variety where one genre is distinguishable from the other. Composers often try to be innovative but such compositions die an early death.
What attracts your audience?
Kiron: I prefer singing the “chotul”, light folk songs in public. My fans, of all ages, love to listen to the timeless songs of Sachin Deb Burman. While presenting his songs, I often use the nasal sound to give it a ‘Sachin Karta’ touch.
Why wear the gerua costume of the Bauls?
Kiron: Swami Akkharanando of Ramkrishna Matth once asked me to wear “gerua” (saffron) which represents the typical Baul singers. It was some time around 1988-89 when I presented Baul songs in front of a huge gathering at a Pahela Boishakh programme at Chhayanaut. I received tremendous applause and felt that the audience was delighted with my new outfit. Attire plays a very important role for performers. Now if I wear Western outfit when performing Bangla folk songs, it would seem peculiar. The typical gerua outfit matches perfectly with the mood and melody of Baul songs.
Want to share a hilarious experience?
Kiron: Out of many interesting incidents, I would share one during our trip to Moscow at a Bangladesh festival, in 1994. There is a famous park (I can’t remember the name though) where every year a musical programme is held during spring. Here people get carried away with music and at times the tradition runs such that people start to bang each other’s head with vodka bottles when the listeners reach a certain high. This is exactly what happened while I was presenting the song “Neem Tita Nishinda Tita”. It was a strange and unforgettable experience for my teammates and me.

-With The Daily Star input

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