You can call a transformational change that the current Bengal music industry is undergoing. It’s a welcome change for the Bengal movie industry, especially when you compare them with such hero fights for revenge or boy meets girl kind earlier efforts. There comes a fresh change in everything – right from drafting otherwise innovative lyrics to ultra modern musical arrangements to introducing raw talents. And if you still have a doubt over the acceptability of such attempts, visit any youth centric hangouts and pay an ear to what they are signing or discussing about. A majority of such singing together acts comprise the current Bengali movie songs. That didn’t happen in a day, however.
Speaking about the talent availability, Kolkata never lacked it. What it lacked was the professional infrastructure facility to nurture them. No one can deny about the beyond outstanding contributions made by the legends of yesteryears, but their success wasn’t enough to construct a steady supply line. And another problem was that such legends came contemporarily. Once they started to call it day from the musical world or failed to live up to their high standards, a void was created. The next generation Adhunik singer in Kolkata wasn’t ready yet to fill that gap, and Bengal music had no options but to outsource musical ventures to other state based composers. That might have saved the industry from being slapped with huge losses, but the quality drastically fell. And Bengal music started to lose her old glories in the hands of few low graded composers. New talents had no options but to try their voice in remake albums. That was the scenario of Bengal music industry from early 80’s to late 90’s.
And the stage was set to greet rebels, otherwise called Jibonmukhi artists and Bangla Bands. Influenced and inspired by western music lessons, these firebrand talents tried to bring a change in the stereotyped Bengali music. Tomake Chai by Kabir Suman earned its milestone status among the community of Adhunik singer in Kolkata. But more importantly, it made ways for the next generation talents to venture their unconventional singing approach, right from Nachiketas to Anjan Duttas to Mohiner Ghoraguli to Bhoomi. The lyrics and composition started to include everything that constitutes a common man’s daily life; expectations, desire, failure, love, anger, revolution – everything. That prompted the reputed names, right from classical to Nazrul Geeti singer in Kolkata busy in recording another remake album to their kitty. And undeniably, that fetched a much needed break from the habitual scores that music lovers were desperately looking for.
One interesting aspect of this music changeover lies in its attention catching ability among the younger age group. Compositions are made in such a way that the youth population could relate to it easily. That broke the barrier, and you won’t be surprised now-a-days to hear an eminent Nazrul Geeti singer in Kolkata singing the latest foot tapping chartbusters.
It’s merry making time that the new age as well as experienced campaigners is enjoying these days, in terms of improvised singing. Experiments may not yield the desired results all the time, but without it, you can’t expect renovation either.