With a noteworthy singing career of seven national and international awards, Kamal Ahmed also holds the important position of Director of Programme at Bangladesh Betar, a cultural pillar of the country. Finding his comfort zone in Rabindra Sangeet, the ever-passionate musician keeps expanding his repertoire. He has16 versatile albums of different genres to his credit. The artiste talks to The Daily Star about his latest albums, musical philosophy, and more.
Could you tell us about your latest projects?
This February, two of my albums were released under the banner of Laser Vision. Ekusher Swaralipi is a tribute to our International Mother Language Day, and to my knowledge, this might be the first album with all-original songs to commemorate the day. Adhora released on this Valentine's Day, and has contributions from the likes of Lucky Akhand, Kawser Ahmed Chowdhury and Moshiur Rahman.
Releasing two complete albums within a month is not easy. How is the response from the audience?
It's true that the current trend in the industry is to release one song at a time, with an accompanying music video. I, however, am not a believer of this methodology. With fewer songs released, the audience is basically deprived from a good amount of music. Both of the aforementioned albums have 12 songs each, and since my banner, Laser Vision, does not compromise on the quality of songs, the response is good. Of course, we do plan to release music videos as well.
What inspires you as a singer?
A sense of commitment towards my country and its music is what drives me. In 2016, my album, Mohakabber Kobi was released, which was a humble tribute to the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Ganer Tori was released in the same year, which was a tribute to the Teen Kobi.
Bangladesh Betar has been a lighthouse for cultural activities in Bangladesh for decades. However, as we enter a new era of lightning-fast internet and unlimited accessibility, what is the institution doing to keep up?
We pride ourselves to be an institution which is unconditionally beside our heritage and culture. However, we have kept up with the changing times. From our analogue times to social media in the current era, we have maintained a great relationship with our listeners. We now interact with them through Facebook, and play songs according to requests there as well. We have to move forward, but with our heritage.