Kabir Suman, a songwriter, a singer, a musician, a journalist, an author, an activist, and an ex-parliamentarian (Lok Sabha, Parliament of India, 2009-2014), probably needs little introduction. About a quarter century back when Suman burst into the musical firmament of Bengal it was a never-before-seen phenomenon in the contemporary cultural world of Bengal — he had an instant cult following. In this exclusive interview with AlalODulal Suman talks about music, religion, and Bengal.
Our Political Misomusists
by Tibra Ali for AlalODulal.org
It is an elementary fact of linguistics that the same word can carry different meanings. In particular, the word ‘Indian’ can have multiple meanings.
Burning Sensation and the Case of ‘Classical Music Festival’
by Seuty Sabur for Alal O Dulal
I have never been a fan of ‘Prothom Alo’ but I do admire their power to master the wind and change their palates accordingly. Oh! How beautifully they manage to stir up the sentiments of both agony and ecstasy simultaneously.
Anger and rage. Calls for prosecution for sedition. Invoking the Constitution. Expressing concern for future generations.
All standard fare nowadays. But this time, it was from unlikely sources: Mita Huq, Sadi Mohammed, Khairul Anam Shakil, noted singers all. What has aroused their wrath?
And what does Khiyo have to do with it all?
From K-Prime bio: These days in hip-hop when you hear the word Bangladesh you expect to hear the ever-present “a milli” beat following. However, to hip-hop’s newest recruit, K-Prime, Bangladesh is more than a producer’s signature drop, it’s his birth country. Moving from Dhaka to the Borough of Queens, New York at age three, Prime, who was born Anik Khan, was immediately introduced to music and politics by his father who was a poet and a political representative in his home country.
Or, something else altogether?…It is a gratuitous and simplistic binary, but we at AoD could not help notice that the same week that amateur terrorist Nafis’ photo was plastered on a shrill and scaremongering media (with the words “Bangladeshi” attached to an escalating fear narrative), the other face of Bangladeshi youth in New York is The Cosmics’ brand new video.
Remembering Mowla Boksh
Text, Image, & Video by Zaid Islam
Mowla Boksh, a legend of the Lalon Phokir gharana, breathed his last on 16 August 2012. May the Lord rest him in peace.
We don’t realise what we got until it’s gone. Mowla’s departure reminded me of this once again. I started remembering his unique craziness, his humour, his incomparable style of musical mastery, and how passionately he was constantly celebrating every moment.
I started to miss him.
Can you tell a wise man, by the way he speaks or spells? Is that more important, than the stories that he tells?
Asked the late 1960s blues band The Yardbirds. I was reminded me of that classic song by this comment:
So when I see a Bengali rapper, weak as their form may be, I want to celebrate them. Finally, some movement.
While rap and hip-hop has remade the entire context of youth culture globally, Bangladesh remains one of the country’s almost completely untouched by this. At a time when the Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan uprisings all had underground rap songs (in Arabic) as major anthems, how did Bengali lyrics/music/thought remain completely untouched by this. I am very worried as to why, we, as a “culture”, could not find a path to celebrate black America’s most powerful weapon. What Chuck D called “Black America’s CNN”. So when I see a Bengali rapper, weak as their form may be, I want to celebrate them. Finally, some movement. No more Habib songs please. Blow that bubblegum crap out of the water.