Faruq Mahfuz Anam James, popularly called as the 'Nagar Baul James' and 'Guru' by the audiences of rock music in Bangladesh, turned 56 on Friday - and fans showered the rock icon with immense respect and love throughout the nation and social media platforms.
The National Award winning artist, also the frontman of his iconic rock band 'Nagar Baul' (formerly known as 'Feelings'), has cemented his legacy to his fans since the late 80's and till date fans eagerly await to celebrate the birthday of the rock legend.
As the pandemic is ongoing, James celebrated his birthday eve and the rest of the day with his family members at home - however, his fans around the nation celebrated the day with pouring tribute to their beloved icon.
'Guru James er Dushtu Chheler Dol', the largest fan-group of James in Bangladesh, has arranged a special programme on Friday at the Nirob Hotel in Old Dhaka's Nazimuddin Road, where they cut the birthday cake and arranged prayers for the well-being of the rock-star.
Similar programmes arranged all over the country by James fans, who shared photographs and emotional posts in the social media platforms regarding their celebrations and memories of attending his concerts. Also, other music artists and celebrities have posted their tribute to James on their social media accounts.
"When I wrote my novel 'Asman' in which I narrated the journey of a young man who becomes a rock-star in the 90's, I did not have you in my imagination - yet when I completed, I was mesmerized to explore the similarities. I am immensely proud of you, and I have grown up as a lyricist with you. Love you, James bhai", eminent lyricist Latiful Islam Shibli, the wordsmith behind many iconic and popular songs of James such as 'Jail Theke Bolchhi', wrote on his Facebook.
Born in 1964 in Naogaon at Rajshahi, James was brought up in Chittagong due to his father Mojammel Haque's work who later became the Chairman of the Dhaka Education Board. His family did not approve his wish to become a music artist, thus he left home in 1976 and started living in Aziz Boarding in Pahartali, Chittagong.
Without the approval of his family, James started his profound journey in music in his youth during the late 70's. He formed his band 'Feelings' in 1977 as the vocal and lead guitarist, and released the band's first album 'Station Road' in 1987. The band was later renamed as 'Nagar Baul', a moniker that James has also adopted as the music artist.
Besides the other two companions, LRB and ARK in the 'Big Three of Bangladeshi Rock' in the 90's era in Bangladeshi music industry, James garnered immense popularity among fans all over the world with his versatile style in psychedelic rock. He has also established his legacy as a solo artist and a successful playback singer in both Dhallywood and Bollywood. In 2006, he debuted in Bollywood as a playback singer in Anurag Basu's film 'Gangstar', and his journey in Bollywood was continued with three other films - 'Woh Lamhe' (2006), 'Life... in a Metro' (2007) and 'Warning' (2013).
In his motherland, James received Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer twice for the films 'Desha: The Leader' (2014) and 'Swatta' (2017). As a solo artist, he has released a total of 8 albums and many mixed album with renowned artists of Bangladesh.
'Taray Taray Rotiye Debo' (penned by legendary poet Shamsur Rahman), 'Maa', 'Bangladesh', 'Pagla Hawaa', 'Dushtu Chheler Dol', 'Guru Ghor Banaila Ki Diya', 'Mirabai' etc. are some of James's iconic Bengali rock numbers that cemented his legacy as 'Guru' to his fans in all over the world.
James has also proved his versatility in other mediums as a photographer and media entrepreneur. He is the Founder and Chairman of the board of renowned Bangladeshi production house Red Dot Entertainment.