The "not so profitable" market of Nazrul Sangeet | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 25, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 25, 2008

The "not so profitable" market of Nazrul Sangeet

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Lina Taposhi's album, Choiti Chander Alo, released by Agniveena, a sister concern of Geetanjoly and Nasima Shaheen's solo album, Akashe Bhorer Tara, produced by Bengal Foundation

As the nation celebrates the 109th birth anniversary of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, the market of Nazrul Sangeet is going through a gradual decline. Over the last few years, the number of albums featuring Nazrul Sangeet was few and far between. However, production houses are trying to find a way to deal with this issue.
“Starting in 2006, so far we have released three audio CDs and a video CDs on Nazrul Sangeet -- all featuring Ferdous Ara,” says Asad Islam, marketing executive, Impress Audio Vision Ltd.
Asad focuses on the commercial aspect of Nazrul Sangeet. According to him, “I think in our country, Nazrul Sangeet is quite popular but many Nazrul artistes do not get the much needed exposure. To put it bluntly, they don't sell. In the current situation, we have to think about our business. It is not financially feasible for us to launch albums featuring the virtually unknown singers.”
Among the organisations that are working to uphold traditional Bangla songs, Bengal Foundation is a notable name. Every year Bengal Foundation launches CDs on Nazrul Sangeet as well as Rabindra Sangeet and other genres. Neel Jamunar Jol by Jannat-e-Ferdousi; Sandhya Godhuli by Sharmin Shathi Islam and Nishi Bhorer Bela by Yakub Ali Khan are some of the recent CDs featuring Nazrul Sangeet, released by Bengal Foundation in 2007.
On their initiative, Luva Nahid Chowdhury, director general of Bengal Foundation said, “The appeal of Nazrul Sangeet is timeless. We release CDs of Nazrul Sangeet and other traditional songs, not from a commercial point of view, but because we consider it a social commitment. Profitability is not the major concern here.”
“Though print and electronic media are doing well to emphasise on Nazrul Sangeet, I think everyone should work together to reach a wider audience,” she added.
Agniveena, a sister concern of Geetanjoly, released a solo album of singer Lina Taposhi titled Choiti Chander Alo recently. It is the only CD on Nazrul Sangeet, Agniveena has produced in the last few years.
Kamruzzaman Hasan, general manager of Agniveena said, “I think, Nazrul Sangeet is not that popular among our target audience.”
He added, “At present people are more interested in Adhunik Bangla songs than Hindi songs. It is a positive sign to come forward with albums on Nazrul Sangeet or Rabindra Sangeet.”
Laser Vision is another bigwig in the audio market. Every year they launch albums featuring Adhunik, Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Sangeet and more. Some of their Nazrul Sangeet albums are Shey Ashey Rudra Binaye featuring Fatema-Tuz-Zohra; Bhorer Hawa featuring Salahuddin Ahmed and Biroher Gulbagey by Dr. Nashid Kamal. This year, on the occasion of Nazrul's birth anniversary, Laser Vision has launched an album of Nazrul Sangeet titled Prothom Moner Mukul featuring Chhanda Chakrabarty.
Mazharul Islam, managing director of Laser Vision said, “We want to release more albums on Nazrul and Rabindra Sangeet. But we have to face issues like piracy. The retail market is well occupied by the Indian pirated CDs of Nazrul and Rabindra Sangeet, which are cheaper than our CDS.”
Proprietor of Fahim Music, Md. Monir said, “We have taken several initiatives to uphold our traditional songs. Few weeks back we have released an album of Rabindra Sangeet titled Ektuku Kotha Shuni by Ismat Noor. At present we are working with Fatema-Tuz-Zohra for an album of Adhunik songs. An album of Nazrul Sangeet by the artiste is also in the pipeline.”
Though production houses, cultural organisations and the media seem eager, it is the audience who can take the most important step in widening the horizon of Nazrul Sangeet.

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