Click Play to Listen to Interview with popular Bengali Singer Timir Biswas
Timir Biswas, a young talented singer who has been belting out hits ever since his melodious voice was first heard in Bangla Movie 033 spoke to Sholoana Bangaliana correspondent about his very interesting journey into the world of music, his dreams, passion, hobbies, future projects and a lot more:
Sholoana Bangaliana: Hi Timir, Welcome to Sholoana Bangaliana. You have made a place for yourself in the Tollywood music circle, so when did you actually hear this calling for music and how did it all start?
Timir Biswas: My musical journey began in a very strange way. It all started with my college ragging. During one of the ragging sessions I was asked to sing which I promptly agreed to and one of my seniors who really liked my singing asked me to come to him every night with a pack of cigarettes and sing to him. So with this routine started my love affair with music as in the morning hours I used to listen to and memorize various songs so that I could re-produce them with perfection at night in the presence of my seniors. This daily gig eventually became a habit and after a while even I could not sleep without singing and finally this fever caught on so badly that I gave up studies and went on to follow my new found passion.
Sholoana Bangaliana: So singing for seniors helped you discover the hidden musician in you but how and when were you as a singer discovered by the Bangla Film Industry; was it with College fests that you got your breakthrough?
Timir Biswas: No I was never recognized in that manner as I had never performed in any college fest. After this very realization dawned upon me that I want to be a singer and can become one, right before my final year exams I left studies went back home to Asansol and first and foremost informed my family about this decision, which as expected sparked off huge commotion at home. But then again, with all my determination and rosy dreams, I started meeting musicians with the hope of getting a break. This stretch of my struggle was a little discouraging but things started looking up after I got a chance to perform solo on stage in a program where one of Bengal’s most cherished singers Nachiketa was also to perform. The best part of this performance was that Nachi Da, along with encouraging me to perform, also said a lot of good words about me in public marking the episode as a breakthrough in my musical career.
Post this, bands in Asansol started contacting me and I eventually joined a band as the keyboard player (Talking about Muzik Street). The band that I was a part of then participated in a competition which was called Vande Matarm where Chandrabindoo band member Upal Da noticed me and liked my singing a lot and even promised that if ever in future he works for a feature film he will definitely want me to sing for him. So this is how things were shaping till 2006 till Upal Da finally called me to sing for the movie 033 which marked my debut in the Bangla Film industry.
Sholoana Bangaliana: The band competition, as you said was in 2006 and your debut song in a mainstream Bangla movie was in the later part of 2009, so what value addition did you do in the meantime?
Timir Biswas: These two-three years were the time of a new struggle when as a band we were trying to establish ourselves in Asansol as we had realized that if unable to make a mark with our own people in our hometown, we will never stand a chance anywhere else. Band culture in Asansol is now very happening and bright but it was not so at that time due to which, with all out new presentation ideas and sound we had to fight our way through to be heard, accepted and appreciated.
Sholoana Bangaliana: You have your own band Fakira. What is different about this band?
Timir Biswas: Fakira is all about singing your heart out as here we sing just what we want to, enjoy and understand. Singing for films is definitely a great opportunity but there you do not really have the liberty as you are given a set tune and lyrics and are expected to dish out someone else thoughts to perfection which definitely is not the case with Fakira.
Sholoana Bangaliana: Why do you call your band Fakira?
Timir Biswas: Well, while we enjoy folk and even Baul it is the Fakiri philosophy that we find most fascinating. Their ideologies and philosophy of life is what we band members were very much in sync with, as such the name Fakira. If you ask me, I would love to die a Fakir but cannot do so due to all my familial ties and duties so my band is a medium of expressing my innermost desires.
Sholoana Bangaliana: Fakira recently went on a U.S. tour.. Please tell us more about your trip and your experience of performing on foreign soil?
Timir Biswas: The way this U.S. tour happened is also quite different and interesting as it all happened through Facebook. An organizer, having seen our You Tube videos contacted me via Facebook and put forth this proposition. The offer coming from someone who had just interacted with me via Facebook chat was initially not taken seriously but then things started falling into place and within a month the entire tour was planned and arranged. The experience of performing on foreign soil was just fantastic, more so because people there had called us to sing our own songs and not some popular dance numbers or other movie songs. This confidence that people there showed in us was a great confidence booster for us too as we never really get such treatment in our own country.
Sholoana Bangaliana: What is your opinion about the scene of Bangla band and what efforts are you putting in to help Bangla bands come up in a big way?
Timir Biswas: Bangla Bands have been doing an awesome job all this while but I feel that they are not getting the right exposure and platform as producers, financers and other investors are not taking much interest in them which if changed can improve the entire scene. As far as my efforts are concerned, I had organized a program called ‘Timir unplugged’ in which I had invited all big and small bands to come and play with us and I plan to do such shows more often giving a platform to all new bands and musicians.
Sholoana Bangaliana: You have already done the playback for many successful Bangla movies, any Bollywood offers yet?
Timir Biswas: No not really and I am not even consciously trying as I feel that I first need to conquer my home grounds. I am working with no such expectations but then if such offers have to come, they will and I will accept them with open arms.
Sholoana Bangaliana: Any plans of a Solo album something where we will hear Only Timir?
Timir Biswas: No not a solo as such, next in pipeline is one of Fakira’s albums which will be out soon. Post this there will be one where I plan to rope in all big and small musicians and then probably a joint album. I feel that I don’t even exist as “Only Timir” so at least for now there is no question of a solo album.
Sholoana Bangaliana: Apart from Music what else do you do or enjoy doing in your free time?
Timir Biswas: I love travelling, eating, hanging out with friends, sleeping and also painting.
Sholoana Bangaliana: You enjoy painting and have also learnt this art, so any plans of organizing an exhibition or some sort of commercial project for your paintings?
Timir Biswas: No not really. Haven’t yet thought about it in those lines, more so because with my music projects in hand I cannot really devote much time to painting but let’s see what time has in store for me.
Sholoana Bangaliana: Apart from music, given a choice and an offer, would you like to try your hands at acting too?
Timir Biswas: No, not acting in movies but yes in theater. My father Swapan Biswas is a renowned theater person and he wants me to play Lalon Phokir in one of his plays, so whenever I plan to try my hands at acting I will work on this project first. I will not say no to cinema but will start with theater.
Sholoana Bangaliana: Your Favorites – Bangla Movie Song (sung by you), Composer and Lyricist
Timir Biswas: My first song Onnyo Kothao Chol is still my favorite, more so because it was my first stint as a playback singer.
I love Jeet Ganguly’s work and enjoy working with him. Having said that, I also need to mention that Joy Sarkar is also one of my favorites and I enjoy working with him too.
As far as lyrics are concerned, I appreciate both Srijato and Prosen’s writings. I also write and my compositions are mostly used in my band.
Timir’s melodious voice was recently heard in the title track of Anik Dutta’s Aschorjyo Prodip and we will get to hear more of Timir in New Bangla Movie Aagun, Window Connection for which Anupam Roy is composing the music and many others.
Here’s wishing Timir the very best for his future projects.