Kaya, one of the most popular Bangla Bands of Kolkata that has created a niche for itself in today’s highly dynamic music industry recently released their album ‘Folkism’ in Eyewithin club Kolkata amidst the presence of noted celebrities like Agnimitra Paul, Soumitro of Bhoomi and Lajwanti who were all praises for the band and their efforts. Right before the ceremonial launch of the album, Sholoana Bangaliana caught up with the band members to know more about their new album, future projects and their views on the future of the Band culture.
What led to the idea of Folkism and why only folk?
Kaya has been into existence for thirteen years now and folk has always been our area of expertise as well as interest. Moreover, with this album we are trying to present Bengal’s folk music to the young generation in a way that they will appreciate and accept (with that fusion and western feel). In fact, not just the Bengali listeners, by way of our universal music treatment we even aim to draw the attention of Non-Bengali listeners towards the rich culture and heritage of music.
In this album, our experiments are only limited to the music treatment and the songs have been kept just intact with their original feel. Here we have experimented with the sounds cape and presented folk to the youth in a way that will compel them to hold on to and enjoy folk music even though their music preference has considerably changed over time.
Overall we have tried to work around the packaging and presentation to make folk more acceptable and popular amongst the masses; especially the young generation that has access to different genres of music and is very well informed about the latest trends.
For this album, lot of experimentation has been done with music and along with the guitar and drums we can also hear traditional folk instruments like the Khamak, Dhol, Ektara and such others, playing alongside. How difficult was it to arrange such a complicated combination?
This album is a result of years of experimentation. We keep on trying to mix and match music and analyze, record and re-record sounds unless they finally sound pleasant to the ears. In fact not just for albums, we keep experimenting even when we perform live. Actually our music keeps evolving with time and the choice and demand of listeners.
What is Kaya’s Pujo special this year?
Well, in terms of album it is Folkism but there is another project that no one yet knows about and we are announcing it for the first time on Sholoana Bangaliana that we are working on reviving S.D. Burman’s music. Today no one would be interested in hearing semi classical songs that had been sung and recorded way back in the 1930s but we are trying to revive those songs by “packaging” them differently, in a way that will be acceptable to today’s generation. S.D Burman’s birthday is on October 1st and we will be releasing this unique album in Agartala on the eve of his birthday and this venture too is being supported by Hindustan Records.
This album with S.D Burman songs has again been packaged in line with our belief of “Gaan Baajna and not Baajna Gaan” due to which here too the experimentation and innovation has only been in the music treatment with the songs kept intact. It took us about six months and a lot of hard work, research and experimentation to finally give shape to this album and we are very hopeful and at the same time nervous about its acceptability.
What is the future of Bengali Music, precisely Bangla Bands?
The future of Bangla band is very bright. Today Bangla band is reaching out to the listeners worldwide and is not just limited to Bengal. Some people may be rejoicing assuming that Bangla band has no future but they do not know the real scene. Bangla Band, which had started with Mohiner Ghoraguli has now been taken to an all new level. Groups like Fossils, Chandrabindu, Bhoomi and others are still there and are rocking as ever. So Bangla Band is definitely here to stay.
Tell us something about your upcoming film projects?
We are working for a Animesh Rai film called Piyasha and Unishe April is also there. There are some more film projects that are still in the preliminary stage and will be announced soon.
As, celebrity designer Agnimitra paul said, though Kaya has the “Band” adage to it, its music is very different, it’s something that can invoke a sense of peace. The songs of Folkism “Kala Re”, “Jhinga Ful”, “Nitai” and others are absolutely in line with Ms. Paul’s description of the band. Folkism has the right beats, great lyrics, the smell of Bangla’s soil and definitely that much needed packaging which is sure to compel listeners to listen to the album’s songs again and again.
“A New Rendition of Vintage Folk Indeed”
New Audio Music Album ‘Folkism’ by Bangla Band Kaya (You Tube)