Rafi Hossain: Welcome to Uncensored with Rafi Hossain. Today, we are here with the musician, Habib. Thank you for your time. Recently, you have released two new songs. What is the response you received for them?
Habib Wahid: The two songs are very different. The first, Mon Tui had some philosophical elements. Rakib Hasan Rahul wrote the lyrics. I received a lot of positive feedback for the song. The other song, Moner Kinaray was released on the CD Choice YouTube channel. The song is based on a story. It too gained a lot of positive responses. Whenever I appear in a video, I want to see myself in a certain way. So, I make my roles in videos in accordance to the way I want to appear.
Rafi: When you started your career, you only composed music. Now, you both sing and compose. Which do you enjoy more?
Habib: I enjoy music composition more. However, I have created a fanbase with my singing. So, there is always a demand for that. Moreover, I have to sing because the audience wants to hear my voice. This year, I started featuring other artists on my YouTube channel. Recently, I made a song with Porshi, and one with Liza. I hope to make other songs featuring various artists in the near future. I have also made a lot of jingles in my career, and most of these have been sung by other artists.
Rafi: How did you come up with the idea of remaking folk songs?
Habib: I came up with this idea after I went to London. It was the first time I was living in a multicultural environment. I got to experience many different cultures. There were a lot of people from Sylhet there, and I became very close to them. As they missed their culture, they would sing a lot of folk songs. I was really surprised that Bangladesh has such melodious folk songs. I also learnt about other musical cultures. I then tried to combine those together.
Rafi: Did you think the audience would like it?
Habib: I assumed that the audience wouldn’t completely reject it, but I didn’t think they would love it either. I tried to keep the main essence of the folk song as I believed it would make the audience like it. But, I never expected the amount of appreciation I received.
Rafi: Were you inspired to become a musician after seeing your father?
Habib: Yes, of course. Since my childhood, I have been seeing my father doing music; that inspired me a lot. I have to thank Allah for blessing me with a family surrounded by music, and the ability to be able to make music.
Rafi: When you first came into the industry, you surely had to face a lot of criticism for making techno music. How did you handle that criticism?
Habib: There will always be some people who will criticise your work and try to bring yow down. Whenever I hear negative criticism, I don’t pay heed to them. If I see that most people are praising my work, but a few are criticising it, what’s the point of listening to the minority? I don’t see a point.
Rafi: It might happen that a great project is not accepted by the audience. What are your thoughts on it?
Habib: I don’t think that’s possible. I believe that if a project is good, it will receive positive feedback from the audience.
Rafi: Do you consider yourself to be a very reserved person?
Habib: Well, I think I might be a little reserved in some situations, or with some people. I wouldn’t say that I’m very open and friendly, but I’m not extremely reserved either.
Rafi: Do you have a lot of close friends?
Habib: I’m still very close to a few people I grew up with. I don’t have too many friends, but I have connections with a few of my school friends. I’m very close to my family, especially with both my parents. Even though I have arguments with them, we’re still very close. I consider my parents to be like my friends. I think that everyone should be the same. I want a similar relationship with my son, where he can share everything with me, and when he gets older, he can come to me when he faces any problem.
Rafi: How are you as a husband or a lover?
Habib: If I’m being honest, I would say that I am not the greatest husband or lover. In a relationship, there are a lot of expectations, and I’m not good at understanding those.
Rafi: So, are you single now?
Habib: I am not willing to share that information as I like to keep that side of my life private. I don’t want people to talk about it. Many stars make that side of their lives public, but I’m going to keep it private for now.
Rafi: Are you happy?
Habib: Yes, I’m a very happy person. I really don’t know the reason behind it. If I wasn’t happy in life, making music would’ve been very difficult.
Rafi: Our music industry has been going through a transition period. People are relying more on ‘YouTube’ videos, instead of simply listening to music. What are your thoughts on that?
Habib: It’s only happening here. Internationally, there are many platforms to listen to music. Similar platforms are developing in Bangladesh. To name a few, GP Music, Banglalink Vibe, Airtel Splash are enabling music lovers to stream music online.
Rafi: Habib, it was a pleasure talking to you. Do you have any final message for the readers?
Habib: I hope all of you enjoyed reading this interview. I would like to say that everything I said is my personal opinion, and it may or may not be correct. I hope all of you stay healthy and happy.
Transcribed by Ridwan Intisaar Mahbub