It is impossible to evaluate the evolution of Nazrul Sangeet without considering the immense contribution of Feroza Begum. Yesterday marked the fourth death anniversary of the iconic singer.
She received musical tutelage for two and a half years under Kazi Nazrul Islam himself and composer extraordinaire Kamol Dasgupta. She captivated the poet with the rendition of the song Jodi Porane Na Jage Akul Piyasa at the audition of HMV.
She once said, “In 1962, HMV gave me an offer to record two songs for the Pooja season. I told them that I would do it but the songs I want to record are Nazrul Sangeet. They refused but I held my ground. Eventually HMV budged and I recorded Dur Dwipobashini and Momer Putul for them. The songs were huge hits.”
She was also immaculate in singing Adhunik, Urdu Geet, Ghazal, Thumri and even Rabindra Sangeet, but playback was something she could hardly agree to. In her illustrious seven-decade career, Feroza Begum performed in about 80 solo musical shows at home and abroad. Before she passed away, she released as many as 12 LPs, four EPs, six CDs and more than 20 audio albums.
For her lifelong contribution to music, Feroza Begum received many awards and honours including the Shadhinata Padak, Netaji Subhash Chandra Award, Satyajit Ray Award, Nasiruddin Gold Medal, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Gold Medal, Meril Prothom Alo Lifetime Honourary Award, The Daily Star-Standard Chartered Celebrating Life Lifetime Achievement Award, D Lit from University of Burdwan and Bongo Shomman from West Bengal State Government.