Friday was the ninth death anniversary of iconic Bangladeshi rock star Azam Khan, a legend who is considered a pioneer and one of the greatest music artists in Bangladesh.
His courageous attempt to bring western rock into Bengali music inspired countless youth, fellow music artists and millions of fans and followers who still remember him as the ‘Pop Samrat’ (King of Pop) with utmost love and respect.
Born as Mahbubul Haque Khan on February 28, 1950, Azam Khan earned massive respect from the industry as a versatile singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead singer for the rock band ‘Uchcharon’ in independent Bangladesh.
Before conquering the music scene as the ‘poster boy’ of the Bangladeshi rock scene, Azam Khan also fought for the country as a freedom fighter. He took part in the Liberation War and fought in sector-2 in Dhaka.
On his ninth death anniversary, many of his fellow music artists and fans took to social media to convey their feelings about the legend.
Naquib Khan, another popular singer and frontman of Bangladeshi band Renaissance, wrote on Facebook: “9 years ago, today on 5th June 2011, We lost great singer, pioneer of Pop music in Bangladesh, freedom fighter, wonderful human being Pop Guru Azam Khan, who popularised and driven Band music from so-called urban Elite class to common people of all over Bangladesh. Really miss our dearest Azam Bhai... May Allah grant him Jannah... R.I.P. Ameen [sic]”.
Founder of another popular Bangladeshi rock band ‘Ark’, singer-songwriter-composer Ashiquzzaman Tulu wrote on Facebook: “Azam Bhai, you have always hold love for everyone in your heart and your songs, your soul was very pure, you were a truly humble man who never adopted the celebrity lifestyle like other celebrities - rather always remained simple like other human beings and thus, you have always been ‘unbeaten’, which you will remain forever. Love you, Azam bhai [sic].”
Azam Khan has also sung for many films and acted in ‘Hiramon’ (1986) and ‘Godfather’ (2003). His legendary solo tracks including ‘Rail Line er Oi Bosti te’, ‘Papri Keno Bojhe Na’, ‘Obhimani’, ‘Ashi Ashi Bole Tumi’, ‘Highcourt Er Majare’, ‘Ami Jare Chai re’, ‘Alal O Dulal’, ‘Ore Saleka Ore Maleka’, ‘Jibone Kichu Pabona re’ and many other tracks have cemented his legacy in Bangladeshi music industry.
Apart from being a freedom fighter and rock icon, he also played professional cricket as a passionate cricketer in the second division league of Dhaka in 1998, at the age of 48.
For his immense contribution to Bengali music, Azam Khan was posthumously awarded the second highest civilian honour award "Ekushey Padak" in 2019.
Azam Khan died on June 5, 2011 at the Combined Military Hospital (Dhaka) at the age of 61, after a long battle with oral cancer. Till date, he is remembered with utmost respect among his fans, peers, followers and mostly the common people - whom he always portrayed and voiced in his superhit tracks.
Masudul Haque Liton, 45, the vocalist of popular band Steeler, passed away due to brain stroke on Thursday in Chattogram.
Family sources said Liton felt unwell and suffered a brain stroke at home on Thursday afternoon. He was immediately taken to Metropolitan Hospital where doctor pronounced him dead at 5 pm, they added.
His popular song ‘Tomaro Chokher Anginay' made the music lovers happy in early 2000.
Starting his musical journey in 1986, Liton and his band ‘Steeler’ from Chattogram came into the spotlight through the ‘Benson and Hedges Star Search 2000’.
He is best known for his widely popular song ‘Tumi Ki Amay Ager Moto Basho Valo’ from the album ‘Mon Jole’, released in 2016.
The song was tuned by legendary singer-musician Ayub Bachchu, another Bangladeshi artist and rock legend from Liton’s hometown Chattogram.
Media public relations company Show Entertainment Biz has announced to host a series of professional workshops on lyric writing, photography, electro dance music, sound engineering, and music marketing.
“Some of these courses are not available at any school or college or even universities. But they have global demands,” the company said in a statement.
Certificates will be given after successful completion of the professional courses. The main idea is “learn fun and earn”, Show Entertainment said.
Next week, the company plans to host a ‘Seminar on Sound Engineering’ where musicians will appear as guests. Sound engineer Shamim Ahmed, a colleague of Bangladeshi legend Ayub Bacchu, will host the seminar, the company said.
The participants will talk about the music industry, sound design, sound engineering schooling and many more topics. The live show will provide an opportunity for musicians, fans, recording studios and event organisers to share their problems.
Show Entertainment Biz said they will help rising musicians perform during their live session every Thursday.
Anyone can join the workshops by simply registering from the event link of the company’s Facebook page.
The Business Star is the media partner of the programmes.
Popular singer Topu has urged people to join the battle to help people affected by coronavirus outbreak through donation and support.
The singer joined live musical session of Resource Co-ordination Network Bangladesh (RCNB) presents 'Music Against Hunger' from his official Facebook page on Sunday.
"People are suffering all over the world due to this pandemic. The privileged community should lend support to the sufferers. I’ve always been loved by my fans and from that responsibility, I joined hands to support as much I can with my abilities as an artist," Topu told UNB.
When asked about his first-ever live musical session on Facebook, Topu said, "With the team of 'Music Against Hunger', I, along with three other popular musicians - Rafa, Tahsan and Minar - performed in solo live sessions on Facebook on May 23 and 24. This has been a continuous part of a charity concert series which will continue in future and collect donations from home and abroad for the pandemic victims."
Bangladesh has been grappling with an increasing number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks. The country’s confirmed cases stood at 33,610 on Sunday with 480 deaths.
The government announced a general holiday from March 26 to slow down the transmission of the virus, putting millions out of job.
Topu said he has collaborated with T-shirt brand 'GoodyBro' to launch his signature printed T-shirts.
“Our slogan is "Buy a T-shirt, feed a family" - as a T-shirt worth Tk 500 is equivalent to providing a day’s meal to a family. This isn’t for business,” he clarified, adding that he handed over a cheque of Tk 51,500 to RCNB on May 19.
“I’m also donating from my part to the fund to help people," Topu said.
During his one-hour live acoustic session, the singer covered his hit numbers at the request of his fans. Topu thanked RCNB and the organisers from 'Music Against Hunger' for providing technical support.
RCNB, the organiser, said the fundraising concert is an opportunity to extend a helping hand to those who have been financially affected in Bangladesh during the pandemic.
Food items will be distributed to the needy people in different districts through the fundraising concerts. According to the organisers, the Public Health Foundation of Bangladesh will distribute the collected money.
Financial assistance can be sent to the Public Health Foundation of Bangladesh's Prime Bank (account number 2503116000594).
Volunteer organisation Dhroopad will be accepting and distributing all concert proceeds collected from outside Bangladesh. International donors can donate to the campaign through PayPal at email@example.com.
Following the global trend of online concerts, a grandiose online event titled 'Music For Hunger', organized by Resource Co-ordination Network Bangladesh (RCNB) with the participation of four of the heartthrobs of Bangladeshi music - Raef Al Hasan Rafa, Tahsan, Minar and Topu, is scheduled to enthrall audience at home on Saturday and Sunday night. The concert, according to Rafa, one of the most famous singers-composers-music directors in Bangladesh - is going to be unlike anything that the Bangladeshi audience have seen.
"The music industry around the world has been brutally suffering, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Many international artists have been participating in fundraising charity concerts via online. In our country, however, I think we have marginalised the performance and compromised the quality in terms of online musical performances - and that we believe, changes tonight," Rafa exclusively spoke to UNB.
As one of the four participating stars of Bangladesh music scene in this special live musical performance, Rafa believes that online is the new medium at least for a year or more during the absence of live crowd-based musical events - and so the professional artists should focus on more enriched and quality performances for the audience of online, something that the organisers of this special charity concert heavily emphasized on.
"After being motivated for this noble cause by Shafquat Rabbee Anik bhai from USA, when we got united for the concert - our main focus was to provide an exceptional musical performance in terms of quality. Performers in the West are doing a number of quality concerts in this crucial time, which could not been possible without adequate and advanced technological support", Rafa emphasized on the necessity of proper assistance behind quality performances.
"From the beginning, we kept that mindset that we will maintain the highest possible quality, something that can be useful even for the future arrangements like this - and for the last couple of days we have worked extensively so that we can provide an overall better experience to our audiences at home, as they are donating for a noble cause in this charity concert. Our audience comes first and they deserve the best", Rafa thanked the organizers, audience and donors.
Regarding the problems music artists are facing in terms of online performances, Rafa believes that Internet Service Providers (ISP) have major roles to play in this situation. "As both the artist and audience are using internet as the medium, I believe the ISP companies can surely lend a hand of support in terms of sponsorship or at least with stable assurance of their service - something that came to aid performers in the West."
The concert, hosted by Zunaed Rabbani and Juneyna Kabir, will be broadcast live from the official Facebook page of 'Music Against Hunger' at 10 pm on Saturday. Rafa and Tahsan will participate in the concert on Saturday night while Minar and Topu will participate on the second and last night on Sunday.
Aiming to help the pandemic affected people who are financially devastated by the Coronavirus scourge, the fundraising concert is an opportunity to donate towards vulnerable families in Bangladesh and session musicians whose livelihoods have been severely affected by Covid-19, stated the event organizers.
Food items will be distributed to the needy people in different districts of the country through the fundraising concert. According to the organizers, the Public Health Foundation of Bangladesh will distribute the collected money. Financial assistance can be sent to the Public Health Foundation of Bangladesh's Prime Bank account number 2503116000594.
Voluntary organization Dhroopad will be accepting and distributing all the concert proceeds collected from outside Bangladesh. International donors can donate to the campaign through PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org
Close-up and Bioscope and ABC Radio are co-sponsoring the concert online. Further information will be available at Music For Hunger’s event page at Facebook and https://choloshobai.com/campaign/music-against-hunger/.
Online streaming platform Bioscope will also stream the concert at the app and private FM Radio station ABC Radio will broadcast the concert at their Facebook page at the same time.