Blend of Harmonies | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 13, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 13, 2020

Blend of Harmonies

London based music duo, singer and music director Raja Kaasheff and singer Rubayyat, Jahan have taken the music industry by storm with their melodious projects. In this interview with Rafi Hossain, the pair talk about their new songs and the experiences with great artists they have worked with.

Rafi Hossain: Welcome to Uncensored with Rafi Hossain. Today, we are here with Rubayyat Jahan and Raja Kaasheff. They have recently released some songs which have been greatly appreciated by the listeners and critics alike.

Raja Kaasheff and Rubayyat Jahan: Thank you for having us here today.

Rafi Hossain: I have seen your new songs receiving a lot of praise from many big names of the industry. Raja had also done the musical arrangements for Runa Apa's songs, which were also praised. I think this is a huge achievement for your career.

Raja Kaasheff: It is a huge honour for me to be able to have done this. I feel very blessed. I also have to thank you for giving the idea to work with such big names like Runa Laila.

Rafi Hossain: 'DutiChokh' and 'Srabone', among other songs were very well received among the audience. Can you talk about those songs?

Rubayyat Jahan: DutiChokh was written and composed by Hira Kanchan Hirok and the musical arrangements were done by Raja Kaasheff. Srabone is a very beautiful song. The lyrics are quite old and folksy. I could describe it as lyrics passed on from one generation to the next.

Rafi Hossain: Can you talk about your journey to becoming a musical duo?

Raja Kaasheff: When there is love and passion, the journey is always a good one. We got together because of our love for music. Now, being able to do the project with Runa Laila is a big achievement, making this journey even more fruitful. I have to thank Rubayyat since Bangla isn't my first language, but I'm trying to improve every day. I also had the opportunity to go to India to record Bangla songs. We also made a song in Bangladesh in Bangla and Hindi, along with the music video which was released under T-Series. The videos were immensely appreciated. This shows that there is so much talent in Bangladesh and these talents can gain worldwide recognition. I'm trying to work with such talented individuals.

Rubayyat Jahan: Bangladesh has many talented individuals who can reach the international standard. We should appreciate and encourage them.

Rafi Hossain: Are you doing any new project we should look forward to?

Rubayyat Jahan: We have worked on many duets which will be released soon. The pandemic has definitely made the process slower, but we are still working hard. The release is happening at a slower pace because not everyone's emotional state is normal right now.

Rafi Hossain: How did you join hands with Runa Laila in your project?

Raja Kaasheff: Musical legends like Runa Laila are not only a master of their art, but they alsoappreciate youngsters and newcomers. I wrote to her on Facebook that I have a song that I wouldlike her to sing. She asked for us to meet and we did. I also had a patriotic song which I wanted torelease. She was given a formal invitation to the British Parliament to honour her for her fiftiethyears in the music industry. There, she launched our Hindi and patriotic Bangla song. Then, I told herthat I want to launch another patriotic song which she also loved.

Rafi Hossain: Were you ever expecting her to agree to your proposal and end up here?

Raja Kaasheff: I never imagined this would happen, and I am incredibly grateful. I am so thankfulthat she appreciated my work. Appreciation encourages an artist to work hard. Runa Laila did thatfor me. She launched our album at the Commons and let me compose for her. She paved a path for us in Bangladesh.

Rafi Hossain: Can you talk about your experience with Asha Bhosle, Hariharan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khanand Adnan Sami?

Raja Kaasheff: It was an incredible experience with music and the respect great artists have for eachother. That's what I want to exist between all artists, regardless of age or experience. Another thingabout them is that they are willing to sing over and over again until they get the perfect take.Hearing all of these artists sing in Bangla was breathtaking. I think this project will be rememberedby generations to come.

Rubayyat Jahan: I feel very fortunate that we could work with Runa Laila. She is a national treasure.We were able to learn a lot from her.

Rafi Hossain: Songs that have stood the test of time are of the melodious kind. I think Raja has thatold-school melodious aura in him.

Raja Kaasheff: I feel very honoured when someone says that I have that old flavour in my music.Some artists are unable to do that now because they do everything themselves. I believe that youneed many heads working together to get the perfect sound. While making the songs with RunaLaila and Adnan Sami, we had a very interactive and communicative process. When there is a groupof people being working for a song, it always turns out better than a one-man project.

Rafi Hossain: I think that a song will remain evergreen if it manages to touch the hearts of people.Do you agree?

Raja Kaasheff: Any song from any genre is good if it has a good melody and beat, be it old-school ornot.

Rafi Hossain: How do you think the new generation is taking Bangla songs?

Rubayyat Jahan: The new generation has a slightly different taste. Some may not be skilled in thelanguage, but they still appreciate the music. We tend to put a mix of English and Hindi in our songs,or even when we are singling in full Bangla, we try to deliver it in an interesting way so that theyenjoy it. I think that the delivery is very important. It is our duty to compose good music and lyrics sothat the new generation accepts our songs.

Raja Kaasheff: The musical legends would learn certain techniques from classical singers and makesongs from those. They would give the audience a fusion of the raw organic tunes with their ownflavour. It's all about the presentation of both language and music.

Rafi Hossain: Thank you for being here today. I hope you work with many great artists and takeBangla songs to new heights.

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