Sabina Yasmin is a household name in Bangladesh. Renowned for her patriotic songs as well as her playbacks for Bangladeshi films, her appeal as an iconic musical figure extends far and beyond Bangladesh's borders.
Who would have known that Sabina Yasmin's recording of "Amar Shonar Bangla" in the film "Jibon Theke Neya" by Zahir Raihan would in the near future become our national anthem? Even before it became our national anthem, the song was on everybody's lips and reached iconic status prior to our independence in 1971.
â€œI have proud memories of those times. I recorded the song in a higher octave than usual. Credit goes to Ata Bhai (Khan Ataur Rahman) who directed the recording of the song. The film attained huge popularity in Kolkata, India," says the artiste.
The artiste's records of "Shob kota janala khule dao na", "Jonmo amar dhonno holo maa go" and "Ekti Bangladesh tumi jagroto jonotar" has withstood the test of time and unfailingly stirs listeners to a sense of patriotism, such is the intensity of her voice and rendition.
"Indeed, I have recorded many patriotic songs; but, with the passage of time, those numbers have become songs of the masses. I visualised Freedom Fighters coming from the battlefield and the grim faces of many Beerangana prior to recording the song 'Shob kota janala khule dao na'. Nazrul Islam Babu composed the song,â€ said the artiste.
"I would record songs in FDC throughout the night; take part in rehearsals with many artistes at radio station, and come morning, attend college and university. Those were really hectic days for me,â€ said the diva.
The mellow numbers recorded by the artiste still have a hold on numerous music enthusiasts. We fall into melodic nostalgia while hearing songs like "Eki shonar aloe jibon bhoriye dile", "Ei mon tomake dilam", "Keu konodin amare tho katha dilo na", "Katha bolbo na", "Osru diye lekha", "Shondhar chhaya namey", "Ami achhi thakbo", "Ami rajanigandha", "Chithi dio protidin", "Dukkho amar amar bashor", "Ei prithibir pore", "Geetimoy ei din", "O amar mon kandey", "Shudhu gaan geye porichoy", "Sundar subarno" and many more.
Remarking on the absence of timeless patriotic songs in contemporary Bangladeshi films, Sabina says, "The making of beautiful films with dramatic social backdrops is waning. That's why creating memorable music has come to a halt. If music is the essence of performing arts, it needs to be nourished with combined artistic hands where lyricists, composers, music directors and producers work together. But the reality is that very little quality music has been created over the years. There is a lack of emerging quality singers too. Furthermore, the albums that are in the audio market, fails to deliver a lasting impact on the listener's mind.â€
Born in 1953, Sabina Yasmin, as a child prodigy, started singing for films, radio, television and gramophone companies and has been active in the Bangladeshi music industry since the '70s. The artiste has so far recorded more than 10,000 songs.
Sabina's repute went form strength to strength throughout the late '70s and early '80s with numerous patriotic songs and folk songs as well. Over the years she has recorded songs with noted Indian singers including R.D. Burman and a duet with famous Indian singer Kishore Kumar.
She has received prestigious awards including Shadhinota Padak, Ekushey Padak, Jatiyo Cholochchitro Puroshkar (The National Film Award) and Best Playback Singer Award (by Bengal Film Journalists' Association, India) as deserved recognition for her illustrious musical career.