Reaching a global audience with the music of the roots | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 29, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 29, 2018

Reaching a global audience with the music of the roots

Among the many musicians that enthralled the audience of Dhaka International Folk Fest 2018, Labik Kamal Gaurob stood out with his sheer talent and majestic voice. He made his presence felt as a guest artiste, performing with Shayan Chowdhury Arnob.

His remarkable performance in Dhaka International Folk Fest 2018 helped him receive new opportunities to showcase Bangladeshi music on international platforms. Gaurob is already a well-known name in the industry, having performed in international music festivals around the world including World of Music, Arts and Dance Festival (WOMAD), which is one of the largest international music festivals, Songlines Encounter Festival, BBC Festivals and many more.

The musician's work is influenced by the philosophy of Fakir Lalon Shai. To him, there is unfathomable depth in the philosophy of the works of Bauls and Fakirs of our country, which is why back in the late 90s, he went to Kushtia, the unofficial home of Baul music. “My enthusiasm about the philosophy of Fakir Lalon Shai led me to the roots for a better understanding,” says Gaurob. “For ten years, I have roamed around different places of Bangladesh, and had the opportunity to attend Sadhusangas to learn about not just the music, but the philosophy of around 150 years. One needs to be in the company of the Bauls and Fakirs to comprehend their lifestyle.”

The singer, songwriter and founder of the fusion band Ajob aspires to spread the music of our roots worldwide. “We hope to be musically strong enough to represent ourselves and secure a strong position in the world music scene,” adds Gaurob. “A lot of African and Cuban bands have taken themselves to a position where people from all over the country buy their music and listen to them, even if they do not understand the language. I hope that we, as Bangladeshis, can do the same.”

Gaurob added that Dhaka International Folk Fest is a great platform, where Bangladeshi musicians showcase themselves alongside the best minds in the folk music industry. The artiste mentioned that he is thankful to Dhaka International Folk Fest 2018. “I was invited to perform in Ranthambore Folk Festival, and Dhaka International Folk Fest 2018 was one of the reference points for them to invite me,” he says. “We came out as one the best acts in a festival among 30 bands. It was a great achievement for us to play in Rajasthan and get a great response as well.”

2019 is expected to be an eventful one for Labik Kamal Gaurob and his band, as they gear up to release many upcoming hits.

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