Ferdausi Rahman shares her experience of over 6 decadesCultural Correspondent
Ferdausi Rahman is one of the very few names in Bangla music who has been enchanting millions of hearts throughout her illustrious career of over six decades. Her immense passion made her ride along almost all the genres ranging from classical to traditional music.
She was the leading female playback singer in 1960s, the golden era Bangla film and songs as well. She is equally skilled in rendering khayal, thumri, ghazals, geets, Nazrul sangeet, contemporary songs, traditional genres such as bhawaiya, bhatiali.
The seasoned singer these days is busy with a reality show to be aired on SA TV named Bangladeshi Idol as a judge. She is also continuing her music teaching show Esho Gaan Shikhi, which BTV airs.
‘It’s too early to comment on the reality show. But, I’m not happy with the way the music teaching show is going,’ Ferdausi Rahman told New Age.
‘Esho Gaan Shikhi has lost its grandness and glory for amateurish approach of the state run TV channel,’ she added.
Known as ‘khalamoni’ to the child singers of the most durable TV programme of the history of Bangladesh Television which has been running for around 45 years, Ferdausi Rahman taught the first lesson of music to thousands of singers.
‘I consider myself very fortunate that I have been attached with the programme from the very beginning. Not all the students have become singers, but they learnt to appreciate music,’ she said.
Born in Cooch Behar in India, Ferdausi Rahman is the only daughter of legendary folk singer Abbasuddin Ahmed. With the guideline from her father, she grew up in such an atmosphere that planted deep in her mind a superb sensibility and an avid thirst for music.
She started having lessons in eastern classical music at a very early age from great ustads like Ustad Abdul Gafur Khan,Muhammad Hussain Khosru, Ustad Yusuf Khan Quraishi, Ustad Qader Zamiri, Ustad Munshi Raisuddin, Ustad Gul Mohammed Khan, Ustad Muneer Hossain, Ustad Mastan Gama and finally Ustads Nazakat Ali Khan and Salamat Ali Khan.
‘Father always encouraged me to practice classical music more and more,’ said Ferdausi Rahman.
Ferdausi who believes a singer must have a rich background of classical music, said, ‘We have many incredible voices and talents now here in the country. But they cannot be sustained for long since most of them do not have the foundation of classical music.’
One of the most eminent folk singers Ferdausi had her first record with HMV in 1957 in Karachi, which included two folk songs those became very popular.
In 1964, another significant feather was added to her crown when she became the first artiste to sing on the Dhaka Television, with the number, Oi je akash neel holo aaj.
She had by then already play-backed for quite a few feature films. Later on she became one of the most dominant figures in the playback industry.
‘I quit playback in around 2000 as the trend of copying foreign playbacks started to dominate. I tried to protest the trend but all went into vain. Finally I decided to quit,’ she said.
‘To regain the glory of Bangla film songs, a united effort incorporating singers, producers, music directors, musician and others is needed,’ observes Ferdausi.
As recognition of her career, Ferdausi Rahman has won prestigious awards including The Independence Day Award, Best TV Singer National Award, Nazrul Gold Medal from Nazrul Institute and many more.
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