Nirjher Chowdhury is a music director and Rabindra sangeet singer. He is also the lead vocalist at 'Dharok' band. A gold medal winner in classical music at the national level, he has been teaching in Chhayanaut for the last 13 years. Star Showbiz caught up with him to learn about his work and passion.
1. When did you start singing?
From early on, I was learning how to sing and I observed different Gurus. I remember that I was in class five when I learnt the basics for singing, but my command over musical harmony came much later. At first, I started singing from my passion to music, especially classical music. This was back in 1992. If I talk about singing in a platform, I would say it came back then. Until now, I have worked on many songs and contributed as a vocalist to many other songs. My mixed album in 2008 brought me much success and the audience appreciated my work.
2. What are you doing recently?
I am part of a fusion band named 'Dharok'. Besides, I am teaching at Chhayanaut simultaneously. My solo album named 'Hridoye Robi' on Rabindra sangeet was released from Bengal Gallery - a culmination of all my effort, my heart and soul. I have worked on another solo album named 'Trio to Tagore with Love' which will be released under the G-Series banner next week. It is basically an experiment of fusion with Carnatic, Rabindra sangeet and western melody. This type of experiment is unique to Bangladesh to my knowledge. I am quite hopeful of its success.
3. You also work as a sound director, right?
Yes. I have been able to compose music for 20 albums in what I consider a short span of time. I am still working and need to develop myself and my career further. I am still learning to improve my quality. I learned South Indian classical music which is commonly known as Carnatic, a genre quite unfamiliar to the Bangladeshi audience. Following my success in classical music, I was honored with the chance of teaching in Chhayanaut, which I am still carrying out.
4. Who are your favorite singers?
I like many singers and it is really tough to name few singers from this long list. However, I would say that Shuvomita, Mousumi Bhowmik, Srikanta Acharya, Nachiketa, Asha Bhosle, Ustad Rashid Khan are some of my favorite singers and musicians.
5. What are some of your favorite songs?
“Aj Josna Rate”, “Ekhono Tare Chokhe Dekhini” and “Moyna Pakhi” are some of my favorite songs that I can remember right now. In fact, I listen to a lot of songs of diverse genres and origins. Listening songs depends on my mood really.
6. What about other art forms? Who are your favorite authors?
I read books. I think books provide me with the chance to understand my feelings and inner thoughts. Books also inspire me to sharpen my passion for music. In a word, books help me think of uniqueness and open mindedness that consequently help me get a broader outlook about my surrounding. I've always liked the work of Muhammed Zafar Iqbal. Besides, the storytelling technique of Humayun Ahmed attract me as well. I also like Rumana Boishakhi, amongst younger writers.
7. Would you like to add something to say to our audience?
Yes. I would ask the audience to listen to songs that speak of our everydayness and the unique identity of our culture. The audience's support is really inspiring in the type of work I am undertaking. Moreover, I expect that the audience will buy the albums from the market. They should remember that a musician or artist lives on his works. Any piracy of genuine work destroys the inspiration of an artist. I expect that the audience will support us in this regard.
Interviewed by Mohammad Zahidul Islam