Recently, on World Music Day, Coke Studio Bangla released a graceful rendition of a classic Lalon song 'Shob Loke Koy'. One of the vocals for this soulful song was young musician Kaniz Khandaker Mitu. The song has successfully garnered positive buzz on social media. The listeners enthusiastically embraced Mitu's talent because of her novelty and variety in her presentation.
Mitu is a Masters student in the Department of Folk Music at the Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, she also has an honours degree in music.
The Business Standard chatted with her on Wednesday. We felt her excitement over the call which she attended from Trishal, Mymensingh. She said, "Everyone is enjoying the song and it feels great. I was extremely nervous to sing this song, as I had to perform a Lalon song, that too on such a big platform like Coke Studio. While practising the song, we experimented with both conventional and unconventional tunes. The song was later released in the traditional tune."
The production of this song was not easy. About six months ago, 'Nasek Nasek' singer Animesh Roy, who's also a university senior to Mitu, texted her at dawn.
"He shared a song and asked me to record it. I recorded and sent it within 30 minutes. The next day he told me that the song was heard by Shayan Chowdhury Arnob and he asked me to visit Dhaka. So I left for Dhaka the next day."
She then met Arnob and sang another song for him. At that time, she was not aware that it was for Coke Studio Bangla. She was sent back but just when she reached Uttara, she was called again to sing another song.
After singing a couple of songs, it was finally announced that she was selected to perform at Coke Studio. Then the shooting started. After a rigorous effort given by the Coke Studio Bangla team, Mitu's song is finally here to bless the melophiles.
Mitu has performed on various television channels before. But Coke Studio Bangla is her biggest project. The fear of performing on a big stage bothered her from the beginning. She shared that now she has finally conquered her fear. A few solo songs will be released soon and she is currently prepping for them.
Even though singing is Mitu's passion, it was not easy for her to come to this place. Mitu said, "I was born in Gobindashi village in Bhuapur, Tangail. Our house was situated on the banks of the river Jamuna. The nature was mesmerising there, but it was not the best setup to develop as a singer as I faced many obstacles.
Recalling that memory, Mitu said, "My family is a little conservative. They didn't want me to sing and the villagers did not take singing positively as well. Everyone in the village planned to isolate my family while I was just in class five. I still remember that incident."
However, her teacher and guru Golam Rabbani Ratan has always given her the right advice, support and inspiration regarding singing. When everyone was against Mitu's passion, he stood by Mitu's side.
In this context, Mitu said, "He came that day and said, Mitu is my daughter. I'll ensure she prospers. Since then I have known him as Guru Baba. Guru Baba still gives me advice and supports me in any matter."
Mitu also shared the story of buying the first harmonium of her life. She said, "When I was a child, one of my expatriate grandparents gave me a gift of 100 dollars. I bought the first harmonium of my life with that hundred dollars which I still have."
Of course, now the circumstances have changed and the villagers are proud of Mitu. In 2011, Mitu took part in a reality show called 'Brac Bank Meghe Dhaka Tara' organised by ATN Bangla. Moreover, she became the winner. The villager's attitude towards her changed from that day.
The girl whose dreams were once threatened by her own community, has now become their favourite daughter. In regard to her plans for the future Mitu said "As I study folk music, I want to work with it in the future. Furthermore, I want to stay alive in people's memory through my work."