The fact that musicians, in spite of hurdles such as the absence of shows – their primary income source – are soldiering on to make new projects from the confines of their homes, speaks volumes of the resilience and passion that they possess. Bappa Mazumder has always been at the forefront of the music industry, which had been mired with issues even before the pandemic. The Daily Star had a heart-to-heart conversation with the renowned artiste about his new release, future plans, and more.
Your new release, Lock Down Dhaka was written, arranged and shot by yourself. How did you manage to accomplish this?
To be honest, we all have way too much time on our hands now! (laughs) I will admit that I am not much of a lyricist, but the word faaka (empty) was circling my head, and I had to write something about it. I had collected some drone shots of Dhaka city from various sources, and I incorporated them in the video that I shot and edited it at home. The song was mixed and mastered by Amzad Hosen Bappy.
Do you think artistes, especially during this quarantine, will get used to doing everything by themselves, leading to some tertiary companies to lose their clients?
Not at all! It took me an entire month to finish this project by myself. For professional musicians, this is too much time to finish a single song. Since not a lot is going on during this pandemic musically, we have the time to learn new crafts. However, this does not mean that we can replace the efficiency of a professional, who has been shooting or editing videos for years.
What is the biggest positive realisation that you have derived from this period?
It has to be the realisation that as human beings, we do not really need much to survive. What use is an uber-expensive Rolex watch, or a BMW car in the face of a pandemic? Although most people already know this fact within the depths of their hearts, this helpless situation will help put more things into perspective.
Some people say that in order for online ticketed concerts to succeed, artistes should stop singing live on social media for free. What is your take on this?
I do not agree with this at all. An artiste can entertain his fans on his social media feed if he wants to. However, if a client hires them to do so, they absolutely must be paid for it. I do not think these two are mutually exclusive, so it is not fair to make this an excuse for not paying musicians.
As a fan, I feel like some of the music that you have released over the years deserve re-masters and renditions. Can we expect anything as such in the future?
Funny that you would mention it – I have been working on the re-releases of some of my songs for the past five years. I chose 20 songs that I want to work on, many of which I have completed. However, I will say that this project will only be released when I am completely happy with the sound and arrangements.