Saturday, June 22, 2024

Penning songs for over two decades

Tête-à-tête with Mahmud Khurshid
Who hasn’t heard the evergreen Miles songs “Phiriye Dao”, “Bhulbona Tomake”, “Dhiki Dhiki” and “Jala Jala”. These songs are still fresh in the memories of millions of fans, and they were penned by Mahmud Khurshid. Twenty-one years on and Khurshid is still going strong.
On the occasion of 40 years of independence of our country, George Harrison’s iconic song “Bangladesh” has been translated in Bangla by Khurshid. The song was performed by Miles.
Mahmud Khurshid is a man of many talents and is actively involved with several social and cultural activities. He started with writing rhymes at a young age and later shifted to short prose. He wrote his first song “Ek Jhor Eshey”, later titled “Shopno Bhongo” (in 1989), when his friends who were forming a band. That band, Octave, requested him to write songs for them. The song did not come out in Octave’s album but his other songs did. “Shopno Bhongo” was later taken up by Miles and came out in their second album in 1991.
His first released song was “Tumi Chole Gechho”, the title song of Octave’s album. Next, he wrote lyrics for Miles, which instantly brought him into the limelight.
Some of Khurshid’s popular songs like “Phiriye Dao”, “Neela”, “Dhiki Dhiki Agun Joley” appeared with “Shopno Bhongo”, “Jadu”, “Ridoyheena” and other songs in Miles’ second album “Prottasha”. In fact most of Miles’ (four albums) hit songs are written by Mahmud.
Khurshid also wrote the popular numbers “Josh” and “Uru Uru Monta” performed by feedback. Warfaze’s “Dhupchaya”, “Aasha” and “Mounota” are also written by him.
Besides bands, he also wrote songs for several artistes such as Ankhi Alamgir, Kaniz Shuborna, Mehreen Khan, Waqar Chowdhury, Lopa Hussain, Dilruba Khan, Khaled Hassan Milu, Feroz, Lyla and many others. In 2004 he was awarded the Bhashani Padak as a lyricist.
“The lyrics of most my songs are tuned while they’re still in the process of being written. The lyrics and the music are interlaced in a complementary manner,” he adds. “’Phiriye Dao was instantly cooked up in the studio. Not all songs came so spontaneously though, like ‘Bhulbona’ for example which I wrote over a span of six months.”
As a lyricist, Khurshid also takes into account the artiste who will sing his song. He says, “Lyrics conveys messages to the audience.” I have remained cautious whether the song will communicate with the target audience or not.
Speaking on why he thinks his songs have longevity, the lyricist says, “’Phiriye Dao’ was actually inspired by lines from Tagore’s ‘Shesher Kobita’.” He was also inspired by Kishore Kumar and Kazi Nazrul Islam’s songs. “Having knowledge about global music trends is also important. When writing ‘Obak Shahar Dhaka’, sung by Mehreen Khan, I not only kept her style and the type of song that goes with her voice in mind, but also wanted it to have a Latin vibe, as it is becoming more popular these days.”
Apart from writing songs, Khurshid also wrote the jingles for Banglalink, School Football Campaign (with FIFA and AFC) and Food for Hunger (WFP, UN project).

-With The Daily Star input

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