The two grandsons, Zain and Aaron, of the renowned singer, Runa Laila, featured in a song together, along with two other child artists Zayna and Najwa. The song titled, 'I Love My Bangladesh', also feature United Kingdom - based Asian singer and songwriter, Raja Kasheff and his wife, singer Rubayyat Jahan. The lyricist of this song is Sudip Kumar Dip and it has been composed by Raja Kasheff. The music video was directed by Minhaz Kibria. This song will be released on February 21. In an exclusive interview, Raja and Rubayyat talk about their love for Bangladeshi Music.
How did you guys get into music?
Rubayyat Jahan: I was involved in music since I was eight years old. Even after moving to England, I still continued with music. When I met Raja, I was looking for a composer who could work on the type of songs I wanted to do. So, when I started working with him, it worked out perfectly.
Raja Kaasheff: I started my music while I was in London. My focus was on the religious and spiritual aspects. They involved no music; but only vocals. Then I started listening to music, my father told me that if I wanted to do composition, I should properly learn it. I then started learning from many different teachers, and after getting some basic training, I was fortunate enough to do a classical based program on television. In the show I would interview classical musicians, Monday to Friday for one hour straight. It worked as a great learning process for me.
Raja, did you fall in love with Bangla music before meeting Rubayet?
Raja: Well, when you fall in love with somebody, you have to love everything about them. What I found out about Rubayet at first was that she loved her language and she is proud to be a Bangladeshi, so why should I not love her language or country? And if she is to sing songs in my language, it is my duty to learn songs in her language too. So, she started teaching me Bangladeshi songs. Soon after that, I started to see the immense value of Bangladeshi artists.
Rubayet: There was this event, where there were only Urdu and Hindi songs. Raja went to them and said that they need to incorporate Bangla songs into the programme. They were hesitant at first, but Raja convinced them so well that they put Bangladeshi songs into the event. The thing is, I want foreigners to appreciate the beauty of Bangla language, and the rich music and culture of Bangladesh. To do that, I need the support of Bangladeshi artists. I also hope that Western, Indian or Pakistani musicians will collaborate with Bangladeshi artists, and Wind of Change has been doing that. I would like to get connected with them soon.
Do you have any plans to make a full album with Runa Laila?
Raja: I would love to. But it is still in the planning stages. I have been showing her my music for many years now. I would love to work with her someday. She is a legendary artist. Another thing, for our song to go to BPL is a very big thing. So many people are enjoying our concept.
Rubayet: There is also a film set to be released very soon, Ratrir Jatri. It is a film by Habibul Islam Habib bhai, and it features a song I sang.
Thank you, it was great talking to you both.
By Ridwan Intisaar Mahbub