“The voice is just another instrument” – Mithun Chakra | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 04, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:05 AM, June 04, 2018

“The voice is just another instrument” – Mithun Chakra

Born to prominent tabla player Avijit Chakraborty and folk artiste Kalyani Ghosh, music is in his blood. Even though he is primarily known as a percussionist, Mithun Chakra has been singing since the age of two. The musician's newest voiced release, 'Shantir Bani' will be available on most musical platforms from today. The Daily Star talks to the young artiste about his new projects, ambitions and philosophy.

Tell us about your new song, Shantir Bani.

Shantir Bani is a devotional song, and it is made with the respect and love that I have for the superhuman body -- Prophet, Mohammad (PBUH). I have always admired him and the fact that he has always preached peace. I have always wanted to produce a song that reflects the philosophy that I believe in, and I found inspiration for this song from a Darood that my friend had sent me. The video will be launched through WhiteOut, a production agency.

You're known around the industry as a percussionist. Do you plan to sing more regularly as of now?

For me, singing is just using your body as an instrument. It is no different than playing any other instrument out there. I absolutely do not believe in labels such as 'singer' or 'instrumentalist', everyone is a musician. Music is the sound of the soul that is in the human body, and through which instrument it comes out is arbitrary. I have given some attention to my singing recently, and Shopno Jabe Bari-2 with my voice was a huge hit. I can only say that I will continue doing music.

We often see that people playing instruments are overlooked in favour of singers, and that they are not given enough credit. What do you have to say about this situation?

Well, as unfortunate as it sounds, it is true. A lot of people talk big about copyright laws and whatnot, but sometimes the same people will treat people who play alongside them unjustly. For example, if the payment is a lakh for a show, the singer will take eighty thousand while the rest of the money will be divided between the other musicians. We need to change this mentality, as these musicians are equally important. On top of that, they are often called the singer's 'hands', which is very offensive in my opinion. However, these things are slowly but surely changing as we move forward in this industry. You have to remember that a musician can be a singer, but a singer has to try really hard to become a true musician.

What would you say are your greatest achievements in your career until now?

I have played percussion with AB (Ayub Bachchu) when I was only 15 years old, and I would say that is an achievement. I played with the Royal Academy of music in London. My greatest achievement was being able to play alongside the great AR Rahman and my mentor, Anandan Sivamani, who is one of the greatest percussionists in the world.

Is there anything that you want to achieve in the future?

I just want to keep performing on the international stage. Who is to say I wouldn't be spotted playing alongside Pink Floyd next? (laughs) The sky is the limit.

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