The power of lyrics | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 28, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 28, 2009

The power of lyrics

In conversation with Kabir Bakul


Kabir Bakul is one of his generation's most successful lyricists. Over the last two decades he has been writing songs, some of which have been featured in films. He has worked with most of the talented and established singers and composers of the country. At present, this behind-the-scene cultural personality is also successfully hosting a musical programme. But his success did not come overnight. Recently in a conversation with The Daily Star, the lyricist talked about his struggle and success.
Bakul was born and raised in Chandpur. His passion for the arts, in particular poetry and music, was evident at a young age. In his early days, he was involved with theatre, recitation and music. But it was noted 'adhunik' singer Tapan Chowdhury who first recognised Bakul's talent. "In 1988, I showed three of my songs to Tapanda. At that time he was the vocalist of the band Souls and I had a cordial relationship with him. My first song "Kaal shara raat" was featured in Ayub Bachchu's (also a member of Souls at that time) first solo album "Moina." It earned me my first recognition as a lyricist," said Bakul.
Later another of those three songs, "Pothey jetey jetey" was featured in another Souls member Nasim Ali Khan's solo album.
Soon Bakul saw a potential career as a lyricist and during his student days in Dhaka University, he started to maintain liaisons with musicians. In his words, "I started going to recording studios and eventually met Sheikh Ishtiaque and Pranab Ghosh."
"Tapanda played a key role in promoting my songs. I'll always remain grateful for his support. He and Pranab Ghosh made tremendous contributions to what I've become today," said Bakul.
Bakul turned to writing songs professionally in 1991. In 1994 he wrote his first song for a feature film, the late Abu Taher's "Agni Shantan." The film featured two songs written by Bakul, rendered by renowned singers Andrew Kishor and Runa Laila. According to Bakul this was another remarkable incident in his career.
He said, "Those two songs changed my career as I was nominated for an award. It inspired me profoundly and I decided to write songs for films regularly after that."
In recent times, films like "Bachelor," "Chandra Grahan," "Shubho Bibaho" and "Rani Kuthir Baki Itihash" featured Bakul's songs. Some of his popular numbers in these films are "Keu prem korey," "Tomarey dekhiley poran bhoria" and "Bhalo bashbo bashborey."
At present Bakul is hosting a musical programme titled "Sur Shambhar," aired on Bangladesh Television. Alongside noted singers, the programme features behind-the-scene artistes and musicians.
"I think for a song to attain popularity, eloquent lyric, able composition and effusive vocals are must. A good song is a result of good teamwork. So credit should go to all who work behind a song. I consider myself a behind-the-scene person. So I want to give recognition to those who seldom come to the front but deserve accolades," said Bakul.
So far Bakul has grabbed numerous awards including a Citycell-Channel i Music Award.

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