MUNNI FROM FOLK TO FILM | The Daily Star
12:02 AM, November 02, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:35 PM, November 02, 2013

JUKEBOX HERO

MUNNI FROM FOLK TO FILM

Dinat Jahan Munni has been singing playback since 1998. Now after a decade and a half, she is still surprising us with her versatility. In this interview, she talks to Sadia Khalid about how she came this far and what lies ahead.
The 5 times National Champion/Runner up
I started singing at the age of five. My inspiration was my Mom. I won 5 National Awards in my school days - three gold and two silver medals. Jatiyo Shishu Puroshkar Protijogita 1985 was my first recognition as a singer. I received the award from the president and bought a tape recorder and an album of Farida Parveen.
MunniEnlisted Artist for TV and Radio
In 1996, I auditioned for TV and radio and got enlisted as a singer in both platforms. So I left my hometown Chandpur for Dhaka to chase my dream of becoming a big singer. I enrolled in Chhaayanaut for a formal training in music while continuing my education at Eden College.
The Game Changer
I got married to lyricist Kabir Bakul in 1997. I took vocal training from Nilufar Yasmin, Khondokar Nurul Alam and Shonjib De. Then with the help of my husband and Shouquat Ali Imon, I started working on my first album.
The Albums
Of a total of 14 albums, two are solo, three are duet and the rest are mixed albums.
1st Solo Album: Protikkha (1998)
2nd Solo Album:Ami Opar Hoye Boshe Achhi (2001)
I did around 150 film songs so far.
From Folk to Film
I have sung Lalon and folk songs since my childhood. But I was also eager to prove the versatility of my voice. So I started singing modern songs and film songs. It costed me quite some time and effort to make this transition. Film songs require a lot of different expressions according to the situation, sequence, actress and the character. It's like acting, but only with your voice.
International Tours
I've been to Sweden Norway, America, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar and India on international tours. When I sing on foreign soil about my country or sing on request, I've seen the audience cry, especially the blue collar workers of the Middle East, who probably won't get to go back to Bangladesh for a long time, they get very moved by my performances. I think they are some of the biggest patriots.
Family vs. Career
My family (two daughters and son: Prerona, Protikkha and Prochchhod) is my first priority. Till 2009, I avoided stage shows, as I felt like I needed to give more time to my children. My husband and I are very organized when it comes to family. For example, once I went to Canada for a show; he was invited as well, but decided to stay back to look after the kids. On another occasion, he went to America but I stayed back. These small sacrifices are very important for our family life. Bokul is a blessing for me. He built me up and supported me throughout my entire journey in music.
Purno Doirgho Prem Kahini
O Priyo Ami Tomar Hote Chai - is definitely one of my best works. This song was so widely anticipated that people were asking for the CD even before the release of the film (Purno Doirgho Prem Kahini). Jaya Ahsan told me during my TV show Ranga Shokal that my voice matched her perfectly. When the actress pays you such a compliment, you just know that you did your job well. The audience in the theatre clapped when this song was playing on screen. It was one of those songs that stay with you for a long time to come.
On Munni's Plate at the moment
I want to release my 3rd solo album. I'm gearing up for two international tours: in Qatar (November) and in America (December). Every morning I have a TV show called Ranga Shokal. With all the shows and the recording sessions, I hardly have time to sleep, let alone any other personal indulgences.
Biggest Achievement
When my listeners show their love and respect for me, there really isn't any bigger achievement than that. In my 17 years in the music industry, I didn't ever try to become a star right away. I took it slow, persevered and I can proudly say now that I have secured my place with honour and integrity.

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