“Music is like oxygen to me” – Shusmita Anis | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 25, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:19 AM, February 25, 2019

“Music is like oxygen to me” – Shusmita Anis

As an artiste, Shusmita Anis personifies discipline and drive. Hailing from the same family as legendary singers Kamal Dasgupta and Firoza Begum, the multi-talented singer has created her own identity with her excellence in Nazrul Sangeet and modern Bangla songs. Acting as the managing director of one of the country's leading pharmaceutical companies, the accomplished artiste talks to The Daily Star about her latest releases, musical philosophy, and more.

Your latest release, Megher Chithi, has been praised for its lyrics and presentation. Tell us about how the project was conceived.

It is always an honour to work with a great composer like Bappa Mazumder. When we talked about a duet song a few months ago, I wanted something with a lot of depth in the lyrics and composition. Shahan Kabondho wrote the lyrics, and the tune made by Bappa amazed me. I took a lot of time to internalise the song. We put honest effort into the song and the music video, the latter of which I am particularly happy about since Bappa could manage the date for shooting. I would also like to thank Amzad Hosen Bappy, who did a fantastic job with the mixing and mastering of the track.

How do you manage the time between your music and professional work so seamlessly?

I will attribute this to the environment that I grew up in. Music was not just an extra-curricular activity for me, but a way of life.  Whatever I did in life, be it in school, college, graphics design or managing a company, music was always parallel. Today, I maintain a strict schedule in practice, office and other miscellaneous work accordingly. Music is like oxygen to me, and good time management is my mantra.

Which projects are you looking forward to this year?

I am scheduled to sing four songs for a renowned composer in Kolkata this year, the name of whom I will not disclose as of now. The project is highly ambitious, and I have a lot of expectations from it. A Nazrul Sangeet project with Bappa Mazumder is also in the works. I'd like to share that I am working on archiving the songs of my aunt, Firoza Begum, as I feel that it is my responsibility to do so. 

You learned music from the very best, the legendary Firoza Begum. How was she as a mentor?

She had very high standards as a teacher, and I was a very serious student of hers. She had incomparable knowledge of Ghazal, Thumri, Lalon Geeti, and many other genres of music, which I picked up on. I am also indebted to my uncle, Mohammad Asafuddowlah. He is a great poet, singer and composer, and my current musical mentor.

Do you have any message for our readers?

I have always maintained that a curious mind is required to truly understand and enjoy music. I would request everyone to listen to all kinds of music and support good music, as it nourishes the soul.

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