The music of singer-songwriter-composer Farzana Wahid -- known widely by her nickname Shayan -- can be best classified as 'Jibonmukhi'. With her unique appearance and Bob Dylan-esque style, she sings songs on social issues and the little things around us, strumming her guitar and mouthing the harmonica.
Shayan thinks many opportunities have been created in recent years for women, at least in the music and entertainment industry, but is a little skeptical about their contribution. “I cannot say I am amazed by the work of contemporary artistes in our country who are female, but I think everyone is getting the scope to share their work, at least in the media. I have actually seen women getting preference over men in the sector. They have gotten greater access and facilities. But I cannot instantly name three artistes like Runa Laila, Sabina Yasmeen and Shahnaz Rahmatullah -- in today's generation. But then again, although now there are more channels and platforms for showcasing talent, the viewership is that much divided too,” she said. Shayan is also optimistic about women in the workforce. “I think the society has become accommodating and encouraging to women. Maybe in the personal life, there is still some struggle. But on the positive side, men's attitude towards women has become much warmer and welcoming. I speak mostly of the cities, but I'm sure its impact is also reaching the grass-root levels.”
Speaking on “Inspiring Change”, Shayan said she considers herself a 'change agent'. “I don't expect any radical positive change in society; nor do I expect overnight acknowledgement for it. But if we all keep working towards it, one day we will look back and see that our collective small efforts have culminated into a positive change over time. Personally, I am doing a series of songs on women and their problems, trying to encapsulate the things we see around us. As musicians, if we can share our expressions and in the process inspire one another, it will be very fulfilling,” Shayan concludes.