Kolkata: Joining other world cities like New York and Paris, the 'City of Joy' now gets its first 'Anthem' reflecting its contrasting sides - contemporary and traditional.
"The anthem 'Tomake Chai Bole Banchi' (I live as I yearn for you) being recorded in Bengali, Hindi and English, has been composed by young, popular lyricist-poet Srijato and percussionist Bickram Ghosh respectively. Says eminent vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan, "Proud to be part of such an anthem. This city, its air, the music sessions encompassing all genres, the landmarks and the roads and people on street are part of me and my musical renditions. I have a vocal piece which seams beautifully with other tracks."
"And the most intriguing part is both the Bengali and Hindi anthems do have that eclectic mosaic of cosmopolitan Kolkata culture, where people from different linguistic communities make equal contributions for ages," he said.
Sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee, having conceptualised the whole thing, said, "The tracks are peppy and show to the world that the city is young at heart." "To assemble all these representatives from various genres of music - from classical doyens like Pt Rashid Khan, Pt Subhankar Banerjee and Pt Anindo Chatterjee, Pt Ajay Chakraborty to Usha Uthup, from contemporary music icon Rupam Islam, Rupankar, Lopamudra Mitra and lyricist Srijato to Raghab Chatterjee all chipped in for an anthem about their own city," Purbayan said.
"It has had been a magic journey in the alleys of 'sur and loy' merged with content-rich lyrics so typical about Kolkata," Purbayan, the 'Stringstruck' composer, said.
Rockstar Rupam Islam, who have also lent voice to the album, said working with so many leading musicians was a cathartic experience. I am sure as a track themed on a city for the first time it will connect with the generation Y. Lyricist Srijato, one of the prominent verse-writers behind most new-age film compositions, said "I penned the Bengali lines for the audience who can connect with the familiar images while I transcreated the lines in Hindi which is more tailored for a pan-Indian audience but the essence remains the same."
"The English part, penned by Bickram Ghosh, will reflect the increasingly global profile of the city, which is known for its rich colonial heritage buildings," Ustad Rashid Khan said. The track will also be posted on Facebook and YouTube as "social media will get the Kolkata anthem to the global audience," Purbayan said.