A songster speaks
Singer Robi Chowdhury had an early initiation into the world of music. Over the passage of years, he has cut several hit albums and has many other achievements to his credit, such as recording the first duet album in Bangladesh with Sabina Yasmin.
The Daily Star (TDS) talked to Chowdhury on a range of issues. Excerpts:
TDS: How did you begin your career in music?
Chowdhury: I was into music since childhood and eventually the dream of bringing out my own album cemented in my mind. I took great care when I released my first album “Prem Dao” in 1990, which was a superhit. Although my second album failed to fulfill expectations, I regained ground with my third album “Ekjon Priyojon” (1993). Music for the album was directed by Pronob Ghosh and production was done in Kolkata.
TDS: Did you expect your first album to be popular?
Chowdhury: It was beyond my imagination that listeners would embrace me this graciously for my debut effort.
TDS: What are you currently working on?
Chowdhury: I am working on a genre of music that is in great demand among the youth. An album for the masses, a melody-based one and a ghazal album are also on my to-do list right now. Groundwork on another album with Indian artiste Nachiketa is also on.
TDS: What about your stage appearances?
Chowdhury: That goes on yearlong. I recently came back from America and have plans to perform in Qatar soon. Offers for shows at home are also coming in. Performing on stage is something I always enjoy.
TDS: What was your last album?
Chowdhury: My last album “Ronger Bondhu” received much praise from the audience.
TDS: An eponymous movie is supposed to be made on your famed song “Putro Jokhon Poishawala”. Can you tell us more about it?
Chowdhury: Nargis Akhter will direct the movie under the banner of ATN Bangla. Casting for the film is still on. I'm hoping shooting will begin soon.
TDS: You're also the music director of the film?
Chowdhury: Yes, this will be my debut as a music director for the silver screen. I will sing the title song as well. There will be nine other songs in the film.
TDS: The country's first duet album was recorded by you and Sabina Yasmin?
Chowdhury: Working with an artiste of such calibre was a great honour for me; the thrill was greater as “Dujone Miley” was the first duet album in the country. Another first in the country: an album featuring 10 famed female singers and one male vocalist, me. The album's name was “Ei Shei Mon”.
TDS: You've composed songs for other artistes too. Can you name a few?
Chowdhury: The artists for whom I've composed songs are Dolly Shayontoni, Baby Nazneen, Shakila Zafar, Samina Chowdhury and Momtaz.
TDS: How many playbacks have you done?
Chowdhury: I have performed for hundreds of movies till date.
TDS: Counting solo, duet and mixed albums, how many of your compilations are out in the market now?
Chowdhury: At least 250.
TDS: Name some of your most popular numbers.
Chowdhury: “Rimjhim Ei Brishti Jokhon Jhore re”, “Bedonar Shobtuku Amake Diye”, “Khub Beshi Mon-e Pore Tomake” “Akash Harae Nil”, “Prithibi Ke Chini Aar Tomake Chini”, “Tumi Dukkho Pao”, “Shada Kafon-e”, “Ek Noyone Kando” and “Kal Nagini”.
TDS: Whose songs do you love listening to?
Chowdhury: I love ghazals of Ustad Ghulam Ali, Jagjit Singh and Mehdi Hassan.