Habib Wahid's emergence as a producer and solo artist in the 2000s defines an era of Bangla music. With releases like "Din gelo" and "Raat Nirghum," Habib became a leading producer and artist, dominating the aughts.
Perhaps not as omnipresent now as before, the singer and composer's most recent projects like the "Beni Khule" and "Ovimani Roddure" for the film "Operation Sundarban" still continue to enthral audiences, garnering tens of millions of views online.
"I have always been passionate about music and have a knack for it. Obviously, I grew up in a musical environment, which inspired me to indulge in singing at an early age," said Habib, who is also the son of legendary singer Ferdous Wahid.
"I studied audio engineering in the United Kingdom in 1999 to know the science behind recording machines, and learn how to use all the recording software, so that I can record my album in my own studio and not rely on other recording labels," shared Habib.
"Now people can learn how to use recording tools through watching tutorials on YouTube but back in 1999, there was no YouTube, so I had to take a degree from the UK to learn how to utilise all the available modern amenities," he continued.
From the CD days to YouTube
The song "Bhalo bashbo bashbo re bondhu," both composed and sung by Habib Wahid, buzzed across all the CD shops and houses in the country when it dropped in 2008.
Habib talked about the transition from encapsulating a song in a CD to releasing it on YouTube or other streaming platforms.
"I have always felt the same passion while making music. The only difference is earlier I used to publish my songs in the format of a CD and now I release them on Youtube or musical streaming platforms like Spotify," quipped Habib.
"The biggest perks of YouTube is that now audiences have access to hear every genre of music available around the world. It left no room for plagiarism, but only survival of the fittest.
However, there is a difference in terms of revenue. Earlier, musicians used to earn a profit from every single CD purchase by the audience; hence, the profit margin was huge.
But on Youtube, singers or musicians earn only through advertisements, so the profit margin remains relatively low. Musicians cannot put a single ad in the middle of a song as it will destroy the flow," he continued.
"So, we can only include ads before the start and after the end of the song, unlike short films where people can include multiple ads in the middle of the video and earn maximum revenue."
Habib shared that the problem regarding revenue collection is not visible on music streaming platforms.
"Music streaming platforms allow advertisements to pop up in the middle of the track as a background without interrupting the flow of the song. So, the concerns regarding revenue are quite solved in streaming platforms. However, the audiences in our country are still accustomed to listening to music on YouTube. But, I believe the popularity of music streaming sites will increase in the near future.
Every song represents a certain emotion and mood
When asked about his favourite song, Habib replied, "Every single song composed or sung by me is special to me because each song represents a unique emotion."
"I pour my feelings out in my songs. I believe a song can touch the heart of the audience if it carries the emotions of the singer."
One of Habib's latest releases, "Deprohor," both composed and sung by him, echoes the poignant melody in Habib's voice. While conversing about resonating deep emotions in his voice in "Deprohor," Habib shared, "I started on working on it when our country faced the first lockdown due to Covid in 2020. People's lives suddenly came to a standstill and everyone got the time to rethink the motto of their lives. Probably the deep emotions running through my subconscious mind during that time reflected in my voice while singing Deprohor."
"A singer is like a painter. Painters paint their imagination through brush strokes and singers do so with their vocal notes," added Habib.
Habib as a composer, as a singer and his collaboration with Muza in "Beni Khuley"
Habib has always experimented with his music. Habib arranged the music of the hit song "Panjabiwala," voiced by Shireen.
"When I compose songs for others, I design the song keeping in mind the vocal of that singer. And when I compose my own song, I keep in mind how my own voice will blend in with the composition," shared Habib Wahid.
"As a composer, I have to think which voice will work best for the song. Because the success of a song mainly depends on the singer."
Habib Wahid's collaboration with Muza "Beni Khuley" which was released in July, became an instant hit on Twitter and made celebrities including Bidya Sinha Mim and Nusraat Faria groove to it.
"I rarely sing songs composed by someone else and 'Beni Khuley' is one of them. When Muza approached me to voice a part of the song, I warmly accepted it as I wanted to have fun as a singer of the song and not worry about other technical things," shared Habib.
"The project was quite different from my singing style, but I had a lot of fun while singing it," he enthusiastically added.
Habib's future plan
"I make 10-12 audio songs every year and will continue to do so," said Habib.
"As a creative artist, I start thinking about my next song as soon as I finish the previous one. I don't make music videos lately because then I would like to produce only 3 to 4 songs per year and the rest of my ideas will just go on the back burner," said Habib.
"I might make music videos in future, but I will drop more audio songs for my fans who love to listen to me," he added.