Shayan Chowdhury Arnob
Singer & Music Composer

Photo: Arif Hafiz

Shayan Chowdhury, better known as Arnob, is arguably the most talented indie musician of his generation. Arnob completed his schooling at Patha Bhavan and MFA at Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati, Shantiniketan.

He emerged into the scene through his musical score “Shey Je Boshe Achhe” for the TV play “Off Beat”. The song was later released as part of his debut solo album “Chaina Bhabish”. He was one of the key members of the folk-fusion band Bangla.

He has released four solo albums and also worked with another band Prayer Hall for its only album “Khoj”. “Chaina Bhabish”, by Arnob, was followed by “Hok Kolorob”. “Doob” is his third album and the fourth, “Rod Bolechhe Hobe”, features more sophisticated melodies than the previous three.

“Hok Kolorob” is a compilation of songs Arnob and his friends had written during their years in Shantiniketan. He also arranged and directed music for Sahana Bajpaie's Rabindra Sangeet album “Notun Kore Pabo Boley” and for Krishnokoli's album of original songs, “Shurje Bandhi Basha”.

Over the years he has developed a distinct style of music composition. He claims that all of his songs can be labeled as “fusion”. He fuses folk with blues and classical, using eastern instruments such as esraj as well as western instruments like guitar, keyboard etc in his compositions.

According to Arnob, his sense of fusion music developed at Shantiniketan. At Shantiniketan, Arnob had the opportunity to share views with the Bauls. There, along with friends, he formed the band Bangla. Later, he invited Anusheh Anadil to join the band. The band released two albums with significant numbers of Lalon songs in each.

Songs rendered by him for the band Bangla -- “Tui Gaan Ga” and “Shona Diya Bandhaiyachhi Ghar” -- gave him nationwide recognition. Simultaneously his compositions of jingles and title songs for TV serials put him under the limelight.

Arnob is also music director of the films “Monpura”, “Aaha!”, “Jaago” and “Dwip Nevar Agey”. The soundtrack of “Monpura” gained widespread popularity in Bangladesh.

Drishtipat, a global human rights organisation focusing on Bangladesh, took a unique effort to arrange a world tour for Arnob and his friends in 2009. The outcome of the tour was later released in an album called “Arnob and Friends”. The grand musical benefit was organised for the aid of Drishtipat's 2009 projects -- targeted towards a mission to ensure basic rights for all Bangladeshis.

Compiled by Star A&E Correspondent


Rinku was born and brought up in Rajshahi, with music being his childhood companion. He also sang regularly at cultural programmes in school and college and nurtured the dream of becoming a popular singer.

When registration for the talent hunt, “Close Up 1”, began across the country, Rinku joined thousands to prove his vocal skills. With high aspirations, Rinku earned his spot in the top ten, and eventually reached the top five of the competition. Rinku was hurt after being voted out from the “Close Up 1” top five, but it could not dent his determination. He turned that disappointment into strength and continued his journey in the arena of music.

Photo: Mumit M.

He struggled hard in the capital, but caught attention of many during his overseas tours with the other “Close Up 1” contenders. Rinku took the music of Lalon wherever he went. He tries to generate interest in Lalon songs through his spirited performances. He also visits the Lalon festival in Kushtia each year.

Rinku says the eternal appeal of Lalon songs are contained in the bard's words, which are calls of love for humanity. This passion fuels Rinku and he wishes to spread Lalon's message among the young as long as he breathes.

Rinku is a dreamer and opines that those who cannot dream are also unable to achieve anything in life. He adds that the young have to dream more often as it is possible for them to achieve all the things they desire.

Rinku believes the universal solidarity found in Lalon songs is found in no other tunes. It was Lalon who taught that there should be no discrimination among people.

Rinku loves to see the interest among the youth in Lalon songs. It also gives him immense joy that the expatriate Bangladeshis appreciate the music of Lalon.

By Shah Alam Shazu

Anukul Chandra Majumdar


Anukul Chandra Majumdar's works delve deep into motherhood, childhood and unadulterated rustic elements. His figures are replete with substance and his paintings remind one of the works of the legendary SM Sultan. Anukul's strokes are rough with lots of curves and twisted lines, and contemplate the deeper purpose of life.

He hails from a very remote area of Barisal. Swimming, fishing, roaming around the village were regular activities during those days. After leaving the village, the city seemed inanimate to him. These experiences are articulated through his paintings significantly and quite dramatically.

Anukul likes to portray human emotions. The artist is keen on the relationship between mother and child. Vibrant colours and figures in motion are the noticeable aspects of his works. He is mainly a figurative painter and his figures usually capture agony and passion. Appearing in motion, his subjects have a realistic attachment with lines -- articulating sorrow and profound romanticism.

From time to time, Anukul marks the paints and the coarse lines with his fingers with the intention that the effect is more poetic. His images usually highlight blue, vermilion and crimson, explaining that these are the colours of dreams and visions.

Anukul lives in a house-atelier at Mohammadpur, Dhaka. The studio is small but has an artistic touch. He does not like to use models, and draws from his imagination. Voluptuous figures and flowing hair are the main features in his paintings (mainly acrylic).

People running towards an unknown destination, embracing human figures, sleeping women, resting, skipping, nature, sky and foliage are other recurring features in his paintings.

By Takir Hossain

Maksuda Iqbal Nipa


Vivid Colours, suggestive brush-strokes and remarkable imagery are noticeable features that make up the paintings of Maksuda Iqbal Nipa, a promising young painter who has been trying to carve a niche in the art scene.

An introspective and imaginative painter, Nipa gets inspired by nature when deciding on colours. Hence the shades are the most significant aspect of her works. She likes to experiment with colours and applies them directly, piling up thick layers on the canvas.

The layers provide a unique texture to her work and that is why her canvas carries a personal hallmark. Over the years, Nipa has developed this technique, which is quite expensive and time consuming, requiring immense effort and devotion.

Her purpose is to capture the beauty of nature in fleeting moments. Her search for beauty has encouraged Nipa to delve into nature and its elements.


The delicacy of the lines (tiny and often scribbles) and colours are derived from these inspirations and has evolved from a more traditional style to abstraction that intensifies panoramic views and imagination.

This abstraction, however, does not obstruct the viewers' perception of the artist's feelings. Most of her canvases are large and it is very noticeable that she has piled colours with use of hard brush, spatula, soft brush and knife -- some of her preferred tools. These exercises project her feelings and moods.

The poetry in nature produces a surge of sensitivity in her, enabling her to hear and interpret the sounds, colours and rhythm around her.

Nipa works with bright colours -- azure, yellow, emerald green, mauve and crimson. Her observation on the colours is a very exciting feature of her works.

Nipa's images abound in her use of deep droplets and various sprinkled forms, marked by the strong backdrop of colourful images that cannot be explained and have to be felt; for every single line, dot, sprinkle and profound colour on Nipa's canvas exude different moods and feelings.

By Takir Hossain