Published: 16 Nov 2023, 02:34 pm
Ashiquzzaman Tulu is the creator of countless heartwarming songs such as 'Priyo Kobitara', 'Ei Dur Porobashe'.He has entertained the audience for three decades. Born in Nakol village of Magura district, this talented artist joined the music industry in 1980 and ruled the country's band music. With his own singing image and soft rock style melodious songs through the bands 'Chime' and 'Ark' who is still in the hearts of listeners. Sophisticated, elegant and extremely vibrant, this artist is currently in exile. Tulu recently came to Bangladesh and at that time he told the story of how he became today's popular music personality after going through many ups and downs of his life. Interviewed by Zafar Khan, Shamprotik Deshkal's joint news editor.
Want to hear the love of music, childhood memories, the beginning of music career
I grew up in a musical family. My father Ustad Munshi Raisuddin was a renowned music teacher of this country. He became popular at that time by writing a book for teaching children basic music. I have seen children and teenagers come to my father to learn music. From early morning, a strange atmosphere was created in the house with the sound of harmonium and melody. I could not contain myself. Since then I started learning to play tabla. Around 1976-77 I studied in sixth or seventh standard - at that time I slowly picked up the rhythm of tabla with the inspiration of my father. Later I joined Udichi. After tabla, I decided to learn to play drums. After learning drums in 1978, I took guitar training from my cousin Jahangir in 1979. This is how I walk step by step.
When was the first album released?
In 1980, my self-produced debut album titled 'Golden Hits of Zulfikar' was the country's second disc album. I remember making 3000 copies.
How did the journey from solo artist to band world begin?
I believe leadership is a human genetic trait. Maybe not everyone. I felt that if I formed a band, I could create another creative world by adding some more human qualities to what I could do alone. I knew that I might have the ability to lead and from that idea I formed 'Chime' in 1982. After the 90s, the birth of 'Ark'.
How do you keep yourself connected with music even in the busy expatriate life?
For me, music is something that is mixed with blood. I can live without eating rice for a day but it is not possible to stay out of the world of music. But yes, I may not be able to do it in 'huge scale' in abroad; But I sing constantly. I have kept separate time for singing in various programs, concerts or any domestic event.
There is a touch of sadness, melancholy, nostalgic stories in your music, what is the reason behind giving special priority to this style of composition?
In fact, each composer creates music in a different way. I prefer the minor scale. And when you compose on this scale, you usually get a dissonant tone. Listening to which the listeners may think that there is such pain in my personal life that I am more focused on creating such a tune! Everyone has more or less memories of the pain left behind. But I actually have an indomitable attraction and love for this scale, so I tune like this.
You have a YouTube channel called 'Tulur Golpo', what message do you want to convey through it?
Besides singing, I started writing stories from 2012-13. Then everyone said why am I not sharing my own musical experience. The journey of the channel started from this. Where the whole journey from the beginning of entering the music world of my life till today has been a journey of friends, failure, success, enthusiasm, inspiration, hard work and how I have come so far is an arrangement to convey the stories of that journey to the new generation. I want to show the new generation of artists how hard we once had to learn everything. There was no YouTube like now, no digital platform. If you want to know the melody and lyrics of a song, you had to find it with great difficulty in our time.
Another thing to note is that people's 'attention span' has decreased in this age. People are not interested in reading much. More interested in learning something special through video or voice over. This is another reason for this generation to communicate.
After the 80s-90s, since talented artistes like you have reduced the number of new songs, since then there has been a dearth of heart-touching songs and words. Why do you think this is happening?
I have a logical thought - I thought that those of us who sang in the 80s and 90s took our audience with us. Time frame is an issue in this case. When we worked we did not understand the difference between right and wrong. I used to work with love. Now come and see we have created a huge audience. Maybe this is the case with this generation. People who are listening to the artists of today will also look for these artists in the future just as the listeners of our generation still remember us. But that's right, may be not heartwarming songs. But this generation is also trying to do better.
The stability of the song depends on the melody. The way we recall songs from the 70's, 80's or 90's may be a shortcoming in the future. It is very important to reduce machine dependence and bring back the human touch.
What is your message to the new generation?
Listening to songs of old famous local and foreign artists. By researching their words, tunes, looking at how tunes can be captured in the soul. Music is a transferable process - it can only transfer my philosophy, thoughts, words from one soul to another. It is natural that there will be many different streams. But creating a new stream will also require a connection to the old stream.
What are your future plans?
My dream is to make short and full length films. I have seen my life's hardships, hard work, poverty, success, wealth all in one life. There is a desire to make a film about how much wood and straw to burn to reach the goal. This generation will know how much struggle it takes to be successful in life.
Who are your favourite artist-composer?
Satya Saha, Alauddin Ali, Alam Khan, Ahmed Yusuf Saber, Bappi Khan, Asif Iqbal and many others. But I remember a very young lyricist named Apu. He wrote songs for me while studying in class seven. I sang a song written by him called 'Swapnarani'. It was a very fun memory.
Who inspired you most?
My father, my pain is also my father. I was 8 or 9 when I lost my father. I used to stick with my father as much time as I got. I followed him closely. I was the youngest among three brothers and sisters. So he had an extra love for me. So I still don't forget the pain of losing my father at such a young age, I still look for the man. Even though it was short-lived, it was my father's motivation to get into music, his implicit desire that helped me come this far. The existence that I will never forget is my father, my inspiration, the master craftsman of enthusiasm. Even when I am in an NGO, I am in trouble, the first thing I remember is my father's face. I lost the biggest support in my life through the death of my father.