A JOURNEY WITH MUSIC
I used to listen to music from an early age. I had a good collection of music, which always attracted my attention. However, I never thought that I would become a singer myself one day. I had always been involved with the creative arts though, like writing poetry, recitation, and even acting. When I was in class ten, one of my school friends used to say that I had a good voice, and I would make a good singer; this sparked my initial interest in music. However, I thought that I will sing in proper Bangla if I had to sing and thus, I enrolled in and completed a diploma course in Folk music, so that I could learn proper Bangla pronunciation and the basics of singing Bangla songs. Besides, I also used to cover the English songs that I used to like. These pursuits later proved to be very useful for me.
My life is full of interesting anecdotes. Since I have long hair, often people would want to come and touch my hair, sometimes even girls used to come up to me ask me about my haircare regimes. It seems my hair was always stealing the limelight. Once I was travelling to Faridpur on a ferry. Around midnight a cake came from nowhere with “Happy Birthday to Hasan” written on it. It was then that I realized that it was past midnight on April 19 – my birthday! I was caught off-guard. All the people on the ferry gathered around me. It was a night to remember. On this other occasion in Rajendrapur, I was performing at a concert one night in front of around 30 thousand fans, and suddenly everyone started singing “Happy Birthday, Hasan” around midnight and they got me a cake. To be able to cut a cake live and receive so much adoration from my fans is what makes me happy to be an artist. These nostalgic memories help me relive the good times and encourage me to go on making better music for the masses.
Bangladeshi bands nowadays have lost their previous glory. Dedication is necessary to repossess what has been lost. Back then, every musician had a unique sense of creativity in them and an affinity to practise music regularly. Besides, this generation has access to greater opportunities, and technological advancement has opened new gates for them to create better music. The artists should be making better songs now, and I hope they are making the best use of the opportunities available to them. Our music has been loved by the fans for decades; because we made them with love and dedication. I am hopeful and optimistic about the future as well.
My extended family never encouraged me to pursue this career. Nobody appreciated the art but I still continued singing by sneaking away to practice music. My extended family came to know about my talent only after I appeared on the television one day. They had very negative things to say. I had to face questions like, since when do you sing? What will you do by becoming a musician? They even told me to leave my passion as they felt it has no value. I had to go through many barriers before I reached my goal. Mercifully, I was blessed to grow up in a cultural surrounding. I inherited my sense of devotion and dedication from my parents. My father’s personality taught me devoutness and my mother’s contribution can never be forgotten. My beloved and respected elder sister, Hossain Afroz was an actor. Besides acting, she used to recite and was a regular artist in the radio dramas. I grew up under her guidance, witnessing her cultural activities very closely. She nurtured my artistic inclination and helped me embrace the world of the arts and culture. My biggest inspiration would be my sister, as since my childhood, I have always looked up to her work with utmost respect and admiration.
I love spending quality time with my family and most of my leisure time is spent with them. I spend time with my beautiful daughter and with music. My biggest star icon or idol is Michael Jackson. His breathtaking voice always kept me wondering, how can a person be so awe-inspiring and sing so impeccably? The unfulfilled desire in my life is the need to rectify my past mistakes. If I ever get the opportunity to go back, I would undo the blunders I have made along the way. I still have a lot to do and I wish to fulfil all of them before I take leave from this world.
TO THE FUTURE
Ark is in a good position currently and we are regularly doing shows. We will soon come back to our audience with new releases and most of our focus is now on making better music. The only plan right now, is to do good work. I want to complete all my unfinished works and do something for the betterment of the society. The fulfillment of all my fragmented desires is my only aspiration and goal for the future.
Interviewed by Robiul Kamol
Transcribed by Joana Nomrata Mazumder