Milon Mahmood: Versatility Personified

By Nazmus Saquib

With his unique tonal expressions and lyrics, singer cum composer Milon Mahmood brought a breath of fresh air into Bangladeshi music. Through his music, Milon displays his sensitivity and soul. A few years ago, his song ‘Jiboner Ahobane’ became the cult hit song which grabbed the attention of the young and the old alike. Rather than seeking attention from the media, this down to earth musician prefers to do all the talking with his music. The Bangladesh Chronicle recently caught up with Milon for an exclusive interview. Excerpts follow:

Q: The year 2011 was a very productive year for you. You released your solo album, featured a new singer and also did some mixed album projects. How was the reaction from the listeners?

I release a solo album each year. So my solo album ‘Shopnodana’ was inevitable for me. I had to release it because my fans wait for my solo album every year. Besides, my mixed album projects and a featured album with a new singer Shima were some of my prior commitments. All the four albums got released within a very short span of time and hence I would call it nothing but a coincidence. But do not get me wrong my thinking that I compromised with the quality due to the number of my releases last year. With the blessings of almighty and my fans, the albums were received well by the listeners.

Milon Mahmood

Q: You used to compose songs only for your own albums but last year you composed songs for a new singer. The album ‘Milon Mahmood featuring Shima’ was a great challenge for you considering it was Shima’s first album. What’s your take on that?

Yes I admit it took me a lot of time to consider featuring other artists. I was preoccupied with my own stuffs. But nowadays I am open for all the promising singers provided their taste in music matches with me. Regarding Shima’s album, I would like to make it very clear that I will never consider the name and fame of a singer before taking up a project. Shima is a very good singer and she has the eagerness to deliver quality music to the listeners. I also wrote all the lyrics for her album. The songs are romantic melodious numbers and I am sure listeners will love listening to them.

Q: You are very choosy when it comes to music. Rather than delivering commercially successful music, you seem to be more inclined towards delivering soulful sound to your listeners. Do you agree?

Yes I prefer to go the depth of my compositions, the compositions which will have souls. I want my contributions in Bangla music leave a footprint for a generation of listeners. If my music can lasts at least thirty years or if listeners say that Milon Mahmood contributed something for the betterment of the Bangla music — I would consider my effort worthwhile.

Q: In your seven year long musical career so far, you have tried various genres. Which is your most favourite genre?

I am a man with many hats. I have tried folk, semi classical, sufi, melodious rock and various other genres in order to enrich my music. Unless I satisfy myself, I never release a song. I hope listeners have loved all the genres that I have tried so far. I can’t distinguish among them.

Q: You always sing original compositions. But in Hanif Sanket’s popular magazine show ‘Ittady’ you did a cover number of late Abbas Uddin’s famous song ‘Majhi Baiya Jao Re.’ How did that happen?

Hanif Sanket is a much respected media personality. He thought the song ‘Majhi Baiya Jao Re’ would suit best in my voice among all the singers of the present generation. He bestowed me with the responsibly to compose the song in my own style, keeping the original flavour intact. It was a great honour for me to pay tribute to great Abbas Uddin with this timeless song. When the song was aired on BTV, appreciations poured in from various corners of the country.

Q: Piracy is pillaging our audio industry. Do you have anything to say on this?

Our government was successful to uproot militancy from the country. So why can’t they be successful to uproot piracy from the nation? It’s regretting that our society has increasingly become corrupt. We prefer to earn money through dishonest means which saddens me a lot. I am fed up with this erosion of values. Unless good sense prevails among us and we become honest with ourselves, we can’t expect a turnaround from the present situation.

Q: What’s your future ambition?

I can write lyric and compose music. So I will have to earn my bread and butter with these. But in order to earn my bread and butter, I will never compromise with the quality of my songs. I want to deliver unadulterated Bangla music as long I can.

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