Anupam Roy Fans

Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Interview With Anupam Roy On His Album Dwitiyo Purush: Courtesy Bengali Paper Ebela

I got to read the original Bengali version of a recent interview with Anupam Roy in the newspaper (?) Ebela (I happened to read it online). Since it was all in Bengali and isn't available outside Bengal (unless you're an e-reader of the paper), I figured it would be good to share it in a translated-to-English version just to let other non-Bengali fans and those who're not very proficient with the language enjoy the read too....I am reproducing the original interview here in a translated English version and have no ownership over it. Its not my work. Also, Im not a 100% correct in the language, so please do forgive me if I haven't been able to write it properly.

If you would like to read the online original Bengali version of the same, please click here

In a market that's going downward, he doesn't fear coming out with a single! Not a music director, he calls himself a 'poet' (I translated this from the Bengali word 'kobiyaal' and felt this is what it means, please correct me if I'm wrong.) After 'Dwitiyo Purush', Anupam Roy speaks with Sangveta Chakravarty.

He was busy in recording. The moment he heard of the interview, the first thing he wanted to know was 'how long will it take?' When I told him half an hour, he said, 'then let's go ahead and begin. Good if it's over, else will again catch up later.' The album Dwitiyo Purush, the singer-music director debate, love - an 'open' and free Anupam about all this on the pages of 'Obela'.

First I'd like to know about 'Dwitiyo Purush.' What kind of songs does it have?
Dwitiyo Purush has 10 songs. They're mainly based around romance, love. It's difficult to typecast the songs. The songs are similar to the kind of songs I generally do. They are written by me, and the music too.

Please continue... 
The songs have a new kind of 'sound' in them. It's very different from the kind of sounds the audience is used to hear from me in the movies. All songs have been arranged by my band. They have been recorded live. Hence the entire album has an uniqueness about it. Musicians in Kolkata have been really happy after listening to the album. They've openly written about it on Facebook and Twitter. We did a video for 'Dwitiyo Purush.' That too became quite popular. Whoever I've spoken to about it has said they've liked it.

Have others in your band been able to adjust to the concept of live music?
See, I mainly work in films. Since they've been popular in movies, we've been performing them live. Earlier I used to rearrange those songs and perform. That's when I felt that if this can be done with the old songs, then why not with new songs? Everyone in the team had an inclination that this would happen some day. Finally, it happened.

These days, the market for singles, especially basic albums, is on a downward roll. But your 'Dwitiyo Purush' has received popular acceptance. How did you get so much courage to come out with this in these market times?
The first credit definitely goes to my producer Shri Venkatesh Films. See, I'll obviously be creating basic albums. Coz that's my identity. If the audience listens, then I have my market, else I don't have one. But I will keep on making these songs to talk about me, about what I feel. Courage, fear, I don't have any of it. The courage is of Shri Venkatesh Films that they decided to stand by me. They could have easily refused!

Anupam asked for a break for the recording.....But he promised he would let me know when he would be able to speak next. The wait wasn't long. He sent a text asking to call. Then began the second round of chatting and getting to know a bit more..

Let's start from the beginning. Since when have you been thinking about this album?
I released my first album in 2012. Called 'Doorbine Chokh Rakhbona.' At first, I was planning to bring out the next one during Durga Puja. The songs were the same. But then, I felt it's enough to have one album a year.  'Doorbine Chokh Rakhbona.' released in Feb 2012. In Feb 2013, we came out with 'Dwitiyo Purush.' Actually, I want to come out with one album each year. It gets monotonous listening to the same album over and over again, even for me. Plus, it's important that we show our audience whatever developments we've had in the span of an entire year.

You mentioned you're busy with recordings. What are you working on?
I'm doing the music for the movie 'Chhaya Manush.' 

For this movie, are you working on the music as well as singing?
I'm working on the music, maybe I'll sing one or two songs as well.

Of late, there's been an ongoing debate about the role of singers and music directors. What are your views on this?
I'm completely out of this entire issue. You've got to realise that this entire term of 'music director' happened quite late. And music directors don't 'write' songs. People like me who deal in music - by that I mean people who write their own songs, create their own tunes and sing - are actually 'kobiyaals' (poets?). If you go back to my forefathers, 'Lalan' would be an ideal person. The way he used to write his own songs, make his own music and then sing it, that's exactly what I do. People like me should actually have been singing along on different stages, in front of a varied audience. Now there are films, so I create music for them. Now since I sing a bit too, hence I do sing in movies if it's required. Case in point movies like 'Baishe Shrabon' or 'Hemlock Society.' If the entire movie has 5 songs, I sang 1. The rest 4 have been sung by others. This is entirely based on the requirement of the movie.

Singer or music director - which role do you see yourself more suited for?
I'm repeatedly saying that I am out of all this categorisation. Writing music is not given much credit in our country. Other than in Bengal, I doubt if any other part of India has people who quite write their own lyrics, make their own music and sing it too. Here we have people like Kabir Suman, Nachiketa, Anjan Dutta who've been doing this. I see myself in a similar space. I'm not a 'music director' or 'singer', I'm a 'Singer Song Writer.' If you come to think of it, Rabindranath Tagore too used to write himself and then put them into music. Nazrul too. If they would have been re-born now and given music direction, that would have been something else altogether.

You yourself are a composer. But you've sung on the music of other composers. Do you think this has affected other singers of your time?
(After thinking a while) It's difficult to say whether this is true or not. I didn't go to any music composer telling them that I wanted to sing. If the movie requires my voice, that's when I'm asked to sing it. If that's hurting anyone's market position, it's very difficult to comment.

Last question. Have you ever been in love?
I've been doing that all my life.

As in?
Love isn't something new to me. If you ask me this question when I'm fifty, you'll get the same answer. 

Then tell us who you're in love with right now.
With many! Actually, I'm always 'in' love. There's nothing new to add to this.