New voices keeping the Eid audio market abuzz
Eid is an opportune occasion for all. The entertainment sector and media, like other industries, present special offerings on the occasion. These include special programmes on TV channels, new movies in theatres, attractive offers and discounts at amusement parks and latest audio albums in the market.
Like previous years, this year too the audio industry is releasing a number of albums, most of which are already available in the market. However, a change in the usual trend is that these albums released on the occasion of Eid mark the debut of several artistes. Usually, studios and record labels highlight release of albums featuring star singers.
One of the major labels, G-Series, along with its sister concern Agniveena, has released over 30 albums for this Eid -- both audio and video. Most of the albums feature either new artistes or those who are yet to establish their footing in the audio market. Among recognised artistes, G-Series and Agniveena albums feature Bappa Majumder, Samina Chowdhury, Fahmida Nabi, Habib, Balam, Milon Mahmud, Dinat Jahan Munni and Kona. None of these albums, however, is a solo except Milon's.
Bappa, Samina and Fahmida along with Indian (Kolkata) singer Rupankar are featured in a mixed album, titled “Poroshpor”, while Habib, Balam, Milon and Kona are featured in another mixed project. Other notable albums by G-Series and Agniveena are Milon Mahmud's solo “Mon Jamuna” and the band Crematic X's debut album “Rananganer Daak-ticket”. G-Series and Agniveena also released albums featuring new singers such as Shaju, Lupa, Popeye, Asheq, Ovi and Asif Reza. G-Series' mixed sequels “Rock 404” and “Rock 505” are also available in the market.
G-Series proprietor Nazmul Haque Bhuiyan said, “This holiday season, popular artistes have been reluctant to record new albums. The albums released by G-Series and Agniveena are doing quite well and we are content.”
Another major label, Laser Vision, has released about 15 albums, including Shironamhin's much talked about fourth album “Shironamhin Rabindranath”; Ripon Khan featuring various artistes; Arfin Rumey featuring Sayera Reza; Aabid Ronne featuring Sohel Mehedi and solo albums by Rajib, Shetu Roy, Mukta Majumder and Porshi. Laser Vision is also the distributor of the album “Just Wahidz”, featuring cousins Habib Wahid, Shayan and Ershad Wahid. Gaanpoka has produced the album.
Popular singers of the late 1990s and early 2000s are seemingly missing in the audio market. When asked about this, executive director of Laser Vision, Mizanur Rahman Bokul, said that those artistes are no more on fans' priority list at present. “Public taste in music has changed. Consumers now want to listen to something different from the adhunik songs produced in the 1990s and early 2000s,” said Rahman.
Noted singer and managing director of Gaanchill, Kumar Biswajit, sees the arrival of so many new voices as a positive sign. He also pointed out that audio piracy is a major cause that hinders production of new albums. “It's a good thing that new singers are getting opportunities to emerge in the market. I hope this Eid will play as a platform for those who want to pursue career in the music industry,” said Biswajit.
Gaanchill has produced 8/10 albums. Its notable releases include Rinku's solo “Fakir Lalon Boley”; Mahadi's solo “Onno Rokom”; soundtrack of the film “Common Gender” and a mixed album featuring 11 “Khudey Gaanraaj” contestants.
Fahim Music has emerged as a noteworthy production house over the years. Last year Fahim Music released several albums but this year the number is very modest. Head of Fahim Music, Monir Hossain, claims that audio piracy is the main reason behind this. “If we release an album, it will probably sell on the first and second day. From the third day, songs from the album would be available free online. How can I take such a risk then?” said Monir.
Other production houses including ATN Music, Soundtek and Geetali have also produced albums prior to Eid.
Production houses see the arrival of new artistes as a positive sign for the audio market. But many question the quality of these albums -- are they up to the mark and are these young singers here to stay?