The music band ‘Bhawaiya’ recently celebrated its first founding anniversary. The main vocalist of the group, Shafiul Alam Raza talks to Robab Rosan about their planning and objectives
By Robab Rosan - May 12, 2009
New Age: Would you tell us something about the history and objectives of the band group Bhawaiya?
Shafiul Alam Raza: It was my long cherished dream to form a music band that will sing only bhawaiya, one kind of popular folksongs of this country. The band, formed on April 20 last year, aims to spread the melody of bhawaiya songs among the audience of younger generation. We have selected the word ‘bhawaiya’ as our band’s name.
We are mingling the modern instruments with the traditional ones so that the melody of the bhawaiya songs get a new dimension and become suitable for the modern audience both at home and abroad. But primarily, our target audience are the people of the Bengali nation. We want to make the word ‘bhawaiya’ popular among them.
NA: Who are working in your group?
SAM: Ziaul Haque is working as the music director of the band and I am working as the chief vocalist of it.
NA: Is it decided that your band will sing only bhawaiya?
SAM: Yes, we have decided that we will sing only bhawaiya. I take the pleasure of repeating the answer that the band group called ‘Bhawaiya’ is formed only to spread the melody of the folksongs bhawaiya.
NA: How do you want to spread bhawaiya?
SAM: First of all, I believe that if we can sing bhawaiya carefully and keeping the traditional style unhurt or undistorted then we will get many good listeners and hope that their number will gradually increase. We are planning to arrange regular stage programmes to present bhawaiya songs in different places of the country so that the music lovers can enjoy its melody.
NA: You have told us earlier that your band will present the traditional bhawaiya. How will you ensure that you are following the traditional style?
SAM: We have decided that we will follow the style of Abbasuddin, the great maestro of bhawaiya songs as the authentic style of the songs. We will bring some changes in using music instruments.
NA: Is there any stream of modern bhawaiya songs in the country?
SAM: There are many lyricists of bhawaiya songs who are writing bhwaiya on modern events, such as, the Language Movement and the war of country’s independence. The singers are also getting good response from the audience.