Habib Wahid - The Magician | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 25, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:05 PM, February 27, 2017

Habib Wahid - The Magician

Usually known for his ingenious works in modern pop music, EDM and a fusion of Bengali Folk music with contemporary techno and urban beats, the internationally known Bangladeshi musician Habib Wahid explains how the music market has been affected by the audiences' needs. His singles “Tomar Akash”, “Moner Thikana”, “Tumi Hina” and “Beporowa Mon” have had huge success in 2016 with a music video for each song. In 2017, Habib Wahid plans to build on that success with “Mitthe Noi”, which has already been released on Valentine's Day, with more songs coming out later this year. His song from the film “Sultana Bibiyana” sung with Nancy is also something to look forward to. In this exclusive interview, Star Showbiz brings out Habib Wahid's source of creativity, passion, and how Telco has helped him earn most of his revenues from ringtones.

When you put out a music video for your songs, how do you produce the video the way you want to, while catering to your audiences' imagination?

When I write a song and vocalize it, I think of someone. It does not necessarily have to be someone specific, I just happen to think of anyone who comes to my mind. I get a lot of texts and emails from my fans telling me how they feel or what emotional state they go through while listening to my songs. So when I have to think of the visual part of my songs, I have to be aware of what my audience wants from me as long as the song correlates with it.

Where do you draw your creativity from and how would you describe it?

I like to be a free spirit all the time. If you don't have freedom, you don't have anything. There are many ways you can define freedom. As a musician, as an artist, or as a creator, what I believe is, if you want complete freedom, your soul has to be entirely free. I enjoy freedom by doing things my soul finds peaceful. That is the only way your work will reflect positivity. Ultimately, music is created from the soul and that is where we should focus upon. Of course, what the soul wants is entirely subjective, but the bottom line is, you should not make your soul unhappy. As long as you understand what your soul wants, and you are attached to that object of need, your creativity won't fade away.

Do you like to travel? If so, how does travelling help you professionally?

Yes, I do. You see, at the end of the day when you get to the core of your mind to create something, to come up with a lyric or a tune, you need to be alone. You need to be free from all the commotion, all the distractions. Traveling is my way of clearing my mind in order to achieve that kind of loneliness. Luckily, due to the nature of my profession, I often have to visit places for shows. So that provides me with an opportunity to explore that area. Since I like discovering things on my own, I don't take that opportunity for granted.

How would you describe the music market as of now and where do you think the money is available? Is it YouTube, Telco or any other?

We live in such an era that producing a music video is not a luxury anymore. It has become more generalized nowadays. If I talk about money for solo artists like me, the market lies in Telco and to speak for myself, ringtone revenues. So for me, YouTube or any form of visual music is not a big factor right now. My point is, if you release singles rather than an entire album, you can actually earn a good amount of money from those singles. So I don't really see the problem with that approach. In my opinion, the money is coming from Telco nowadays: from purchase of caller tunes, ringtones, advertisement revenues, etc. Therefore, you have to treat the entire Telco as a market.

Millions of people in our country use mobile phones, so it is a guaranteed market which won't let you down. The main issue is the trust you have to put on the companies that are sponsoring your songs. Transparency regarding how many downloads are being made and how much you are earning should be made available to both parties.

Are you planning to change the nature of your music anytime soon, or is it something of a signature to you?

I am going with the flow. I produce as per with the demands of the market and it has worked out for me so far. People appreciate my music and that's what matters to me. Now, if there comes a time, say after four to five years, where I see that I need to change my way in order for my audience to connect to my music, I will of course take that opportunity.

By Araf Zahin

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