Shahtaj Monira Hashem, a multitalented youngster of the Bangladeshi entertainment industry, has recently released her single and music video 'Chile Tumi Bhul'.
She first made her appearance on television when she was 17 years old and since then has come a long way.
During a recent chitchat with The Business Standard, Shahtaj spoke about her life, work and what inspired 'Chile Tumi Bhul'.
The Business Standard (TBS): You have appeared in 'Chini Gura', 'Musti Unlimited' and numerous television commercials. What do you think propelled your popularity?
Shahtaj Monira Hashem (SMH): I started to gain popularity through TV series but the trajectory was slow. After starring in 'Close up: Kache Ashar Golpo' with Tahsan Rahman Khan, I started to gain exposure. The more I worked, the more people got to know me. I believe that one piece of work doesn't take a person to their destination. It's the baby steps that can eventually take you somewhere.
TBS: Your latest song 'Chile Tumi Bhul' has gained quite the spotlight. Does it signify anything?
SMH: I believe every girl can relate to this song as every girl has been dominated either by their parents, boyfriends or a loved one. At a certain point in their life, their every step in life has been directed and controlled, whether it's about how they dress up and how they act. Men are never controlled this way. I've been through this as well and it has impacted me in many ways. This is why I wanted to make this song to empower girls.
Although we started working on this song before Covid-19, it took us about two years to complete it.
TBS: You have recently become very active and have been doing more work. How does it feel to take more responsibility?
SMH: I feel more powerful and confident. I believe everyone should experience this. And since I have a few pets, I like being responsible. As a child, my mother never let me have pets but I love animals. I have two rabbits and one bird. I also have fish and plants. I feel like a mother of many kids.
TBS: In many other interviews, you have talked about your mother in great detail. How involved is she in your career, life and the decisions you make?
SMH: My mother is like my guardian angel. People might take this the wrong way but I believe that it was because of her I didn't take hasty and silly decisions. She stopped me from taking the wrong steps which I might have regretted now. When it comes to my career, I like to always consult with her. She even helped me decide my attire for my music video. I also like to run my scripts by her.
TBS: You have modeled, acted and made a couple of songs. If you had to choose one, which would you want to pursue as your career in the future?
SMH: For some reason, TV series doesn't excite me as much as making music does. I feel that when I'm making music, I can do a lot of things. I want to do the things that allow me to serve my purpose properly. Whatever work I do, I want to have a great time. But right now, I'm more interested in making music.
TBS: Do the constant arrival of newcomers in the industry pressurize you into thinking that you need to constantly put something new on the table to remain in the spotlight?
SMH: Not really. I believe we have a lot to learn from newcomers. The younger generation has new ideas for our industry and I want to get inspired by them as well. When I was a newcomer, I received a lot of love from my co-stars and I try to do the same. The girls featured on 'Chile Tumi Bhul' are extremely talented artists and dancers. I made sure all of them are highlighted in the video. Whether you are new or working in the background, everyone deserves the same respect. This isn't a competition. Everyone's contribution will lift up the Bangladeshi entertainment industry.