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Music is my soul, because it teaches people to love others

By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

In today's Bangladesh, Nazu Akhand is a popular name as a singer for her extremely melodious voice and superb qualities. Being inspired by her mother, Tahmina Habib, she stepped into the music world at the age of just 7. From that tinder age, Nazu has been regularly performing in state-owned Bangladesh Television and radio station named Bangladesh Betar.

In 2001, her debut solo album named Kacha Holuder Rong was released by a leading audio production company. Lyrics and tune of this album was by eminent music director Milton Khondokar.

Nazu's second solo album was Shopnohina. Music of this album was by celebrated director Bappa Majumder and young music director Pulok and Rajib.

Her first song as playback singer was in a film in 2001. National award winning music director Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul was the music director of this song. This was a duet song with popular male singer Kumar Biswajit. Since then, Nazu has so far sung 75 songs in 38 Bangla movies.

Commenting to current day's music in Bangladesh, Nazu said, “Now a days, excellent lyrics and tunes are coming back in the country, which was unfortunately absent few years back. This is a great sign and it surely gives fresher hopes to every singer in Bangladesh. We always look for good lyrics and tune, which is actually is the 'soul' of a good song.

She believes, music directors like Habib Wahid and Bappa Majumder are continuing to give quality songs to the music lovers in Bangladesh.

Nazu is also a great admirer and lover of folk songs of Bangladesh. She also sings folk songs, especially those of Fakir Lalon Shai, a legendary Sufi lyricist of Bangladesh. Nazu said “Folk songs contain the real fragrance of the soil. It touches the hearts of the listeners. Folk songs and especially Sufi songs contain message of love for the humanity. It inspires the people in embracing people, instead of hating. Sufi songs teach people to oppose religious extremism, hatred and all forms of evil doings in the name of religion.”

Lalon Fakir sang, “People ask if Lalon Fakir is a Hindu or a Muslim. Lalon says he himself doesn't know who he is.”

Lalon left no trace of his birth or his 'origin' and remained absolutely silent about his past, fearing that he would be cast into class or communal identities by a fragmented and hierarchical society. Despite this silence on his origins, communal appropriation of this great politico-philosophical figure has created a controversy regarding whether he is Muslim or a Hindu – a Sufi or a follower Bhakti tradition -- a Baul or a Fakir etc. He is none, as he always strove to go beyond all politics of identities.

She has visited a number of countries including United States, Qatar, Japan, UAE, India and Pakistan with her music.

Though Nazu Akhand has already been able in establishing a good position in the music industry in Bangladesh, she continues to hold a very down-to-earth personality, where she has been able to abort pride. This has been particularly possible, because of her love towards humanity and her addiction towards Sufi culture.

Currently she is working on her next albums, which she believes will be able to once again win the heart of millions of her fans in Bangladesh and abroad. She said, “I am trying to select good lyrics for my future albums, as I said, there is no alternative to good lyrics and tunes for any songs, which would ultimately become long-lasting if not ever-lasting.”

The writer is a Journalist, Columnist, Author & Peace Activist

Editor & Publisher, Weekly Blitz

PEN USA Freedom to Write Award 2005; AJC Moral Courage Award 2006

Key to the Englewood City, NJ, USA [Highest Honor] 2007; Monaco Media Award, 2007

A word to a wise is enough
By: bright