Versatility is his strongest point; he renders radically different songs at equal ease. In an era when the younger generation is headed towards rock and hip hop, he has managed to play an important part in revitalising 'adhunik' Bangla songs and become one of the most celebrated singers of our time. Yes, we're talking about the multi-talented Asif Akbar.
Asif has made numerous concert tours and bagged various prestigious awards and recognitions that include the National Award in 2006 for the best male playback singer and the Meril Prothom Alo Award for five consecutive times (from 2002 to 2006).
Asif was pretty mischievous as a child and as he grew up he aspired to become a cricketer. But fate had something else in store for him. "We had to take breaks while playing cricket during the rainy season, so we sang using milk cans as our 'tabla.' This led us to create a band called 'The Fickle Boys' and we gave our first performance in 1996." Born, brought up and educated in Comilla, Asif decided that it was time to move to the city of dreams, Dhaka, in 1997.
Asif says, "The famous music director, Shawkat Ali Emon gave me the first break and I started doing playback for films from '98 onwards. My first album was released in 2001. From then on I started to venture in all fields of music -- audio recording, stage performances, playback singing, you name it, I did it!"
A strong supporter of charity, Asif believes in honesty, integrity, punctuality, hard work and having fun. A dedicated social activist, he is at the moment working with the Prothom Alo Aid Fund for acid victims and is also a special correspondent of the daily Manab Zamin.
"I attend workshops and meet acid victims, our objective is to help them and train them to become self-reliant," says Asif. Music, charity, social work, and journalism keep Asif occupied. Smiling he continues, "I receive a call every 20 seconds and have to deal with various people. Sometimes it gets tough but I always try to keep my cool and be helpful." This much sought after 'adhunik' singer is committed to the music industry and has managed to keep his audiences enthralled with his songs.
The writer is a freelance contributor