Sina Hasan’s songs of independent spirit

Sina Hasan’s album Last Bench (2017) proved that it is not always political processions and rallies, with your songs too you can talk back to power, writes Akramul Momen.
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Sina Hasan’s first album ‘Last Bench’ was released earlier in March this year. It was released by the artist’s own initiative. He chose to release it himself without involving any audio company or any banner. What is even more interesting is that the artist himself is distributing the album, carrying it in his backpack and selling it wherever he goes. The initial cost of releasing the album was also raised by him. However, Sina was not alone, his close friends and fan-following helped him raise fund for the album. In the time, when music industry is in the hands of neoliberal market, his journey to bring it out through crowd-funding was itself a success story. It was a voice of singer’s own win.

As an artist’s responsibility, he didn’t stop after releasing the album; he also helped it reach distances like Barisal city. Even after having released his own album released, Sina still stays at Shahbag or Aziz Market.

Sina is a newcomer, independent artist of our young generation. Although facing different types of obstacles, he has completed all of his works from recording to printing was his own labour of love. Here, artist is not slave to any audio company or advertising agencies. It won’t be mistaken to call the album songs as songs of an independent spirit.

Sina Hasan said, ‘There is no proper music business person in Bangladesh. There is also not any institution for music business. I think it’s not necessarily a bad thing to do business with music. A creative and welcoming music industry could be the lifeline for music, artists and audience. But in our country, various companies have made a contract with music. They just sell their products in the name of song. In earlier time, artist used to get a little part of profits. I didn’t want to hear my audience any fake products in the name of songs. I think a company cannot give an artist as much space that an artist can give to himself.’

Incidentally, because of these reasons, many of our young poets are independently publishing their books and staying away from publishing houses. Sina said thanks to all the publishers of literatures of all poetry and others. He said, ‘Like a deck bridge, they help reach poet’s poetry to beloved readers.’

Sina got an inspiration also from those independent publishers to release album through his own initiative. He thinks, since the film has published independently, it’s also possible to publish music freely. Here, Sina remembered the name of late filmmaker Tareq Masud along with Tanvir Mokammel and Manjare Hasan Murad. As an inspiration, he names a few contemporary filmmakers Mostafa Sarwar Farooqi, Bijan Ahmed, Abu Shahed Emon and Sameer Ahmed among others. They have proven that, if industry doesn’t proceed, a maker can prove his own eligibility to work of his own accord. Sina said that, ‘A person cannot be an artist himself, he needs his audience. Cause an artist can create his own music, but he requires someone to hear.’

‘Last Bench’ has a total of eight songs – ‘Nengto pagol’, ‘LastBench’, ‘Koi Jao’, ‘Ami Chute Jai’, ‘Jhim Jhim’, ‘Kobi Ami’, ‘Left-Right’, ‘Bhugol.’ Respectively the songs wrote by Sina Hasan, Rajib Ashraf, Monirul Islam Munna and Tuhin Das. Among all songs, Singer Sina wrote almost five and half of a track. Rajib Asraf wrote next half of this track named ‘Left-Right’ with Sina. The lines of this particular song reflect on the theory of Michel Foucault. In the face of modern state, Foucault talked about disciplinary power and this ballad song is like talking back to the power.

Sina does not want to label his songs into any genre – rock, pop or melody. In the first few songs, listeners will find a rock metal color, but when you reach the 5th track of the album ‘Jhim Jhim’, it is a different story. It seems to be child’s caprice to a mother, but the tune is like an unknown mystery. It may be an air of Sahajiya. Speaking of his music, he said, ‘We should do music of our new era. It doesn’t matter to judge the variation of metal or heavy metal. Even I don’t know what kind of music I sang. I only know I sing. But what kind of music it is, will take time to decide.’

He explains his music, ‘In fact, the songs are nothing except words of my heart. Each track has a different mood – pain and confusion, joys and sorrows. It’s like the different aspects of my life as I live it. Life is my music world. It’s like a binary opposition.’

In the seventh track, ‘kobi ami kobita tui’, written by Monirul Islam Munna, we get surprising similes. The song is like an ancient talk of poetry. He walked into the folding sleep thinking of imagery lane. Out of any distinct things, the literal and independent voice of the poet threw new thoughts for all conscious listeners. So as a singer from the land of poet Jibanananda Das, Sina doesn’t fail to recognise this analogy.

Sina’s songs proved that it is not always political processions and rallies; with your songs too you can talk back to power.



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