Photo: Prabir Das
Labik Kamal Gaurob, singer-songwriter of Bangladeshi folk music band 'Ajob', is a popular name nationally and internationally for his Baul Fusion songs. The rock fusion band 'Ajob' was founded by him in 2001 and since then, he has been the lead vocalist of the band. Pursuing his education in Sound Audio Engineering (SAE) in London, he successfully established himself as a renowned musician in the circuit of folk and baul music in Bangladesh.
Being at hand in Baul and Folk music, the talented and exceptional musician also has some other skills with several instruments like Khomok, Dotara, Guiter etc. These techniques have made him an all-rounder and he is now recognised as a multi-talented musician in the country with a lot of possibilities.
Ajob's first debut album 'Ajob' was released by Ektar Music Ltd in 2006. Later, in 2009, Gaurob introduced his first solo album “Paar Koro” in which, he mainly focused on baul songs. The songs of the album of “Paar Koro” were greatly praised by baul music lovers, as well as the international folk music aficionados. Ajob's second album, “Hajar Bhooter Rajar Doya”, released under the label of Bengal Music Company Limited in 2013, was also produced by Gaurob.
Apart from these three albums, Gaurob worked and is still working with different projects of home and abroad. He has worked with international dance choreographer Akram Khan for his production “Desh”. Also, he has toured with 'UK Mercury' nominated Jazz artist Zoe Rahman and recorded with her for her album “Where Rivers Meet”. Furthermore, he has recorded and performed with UK based Cuban Jazz Band “Lokkhi Terra”, BBC Three, South Bank Centre multiple times.
Besides Ajob, Gaurob is an active member of the latest band 'Shikor Bangladesh All Stars' along with the legend baul musicians Nazrul Islam, Baby Akter, Rob Fakir, Mohammed Mobarak Hossain, Anup Kumar Mandal and Jalal Ahmed. Shikor has released their first album 'Soul of Bengal' this year.
Gaurob has performed in three international music festivals this year along with the musicians of 'Shikor Bangladesh All Star'. Recently, he has performed in WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival 2015. “It was an exclusive opportunity to perform in the largest world music festival. That was the first time Bangladesh was represented in front an international mainstream audience”, says Gaurob. He has also performed in 'Songlines Encounter Festival-2015' in the United Kingdom.
Last week, in Dhaka International Folk Fest 2015, Gaurob has entranced the gallery with his wonderful performance. He performed with his band 'Ajob' and also with one of the greatest Baul singer ever, Paban Das Baul. “I got the contiguity of him before, but for the folk fest-2015, we have practiced for two-three days and then performed on stage. It is really delightful to perform with the legend of folk music on stage”, says Gaurob.
When asked about the significance of the Dhaka International Folk Fest 2015, Gaurob welcomed the initiatives of the authorities. According to him, Bangladesh should observe such festivals every year so that the people of Bangladesh will get in touch with our own culture. But he also mentioned some issues of mismanagement. He claims that the time management system was not satisfactory, as he and his band were supposed to perform for one hour, where they got only eighteen minutes on stage. Apart from these, to him, the overall environment was good.
This year, Gaurob is working on his personal projects and also working in numerous festivals and stage shows. If everything goes well, next year, his fans will be able to enjoy his upcoming projects.