Interview with Shuvro Dev
Born in Sylhet, singer-composer Shuvro Dev completed his MSC in Biochemistry from Dhaka University. He took formal music lessons from Ustad Ram Kanai Das. He received the President’s Award in music on BTV’s “Nutun Kuri” contest in 1978.
Suvro Dev is undeniably a popular name in the Bangladeshi music industry. Ever since his first audio album titled “Hamelin-er Shei Banshiwala” was released in 1984, he has captured the hearts of many Bengali music fans. To date he has produced and recorded over 30 albums, he informs.
Among Dev’s well known albums are “Jey Banshi Bhengey Gechhey”, “Shesh Chithi”, “Shada Kagoj”, “Buk-er Jomin”, “Mon-e Porey”, “Mon-er Thikana”, “Lolita”, “Bhabtey Parina”, “Amar Bhalobasha”, “Priyojon”, “Swapnolokey Tumi”, “Kono Ek Shondhaye”, “Sharthopor”, “Chhowa” and “Tumi Aar Ami”.
“The album ‘Lolita’ features Sylheti folk songs which date back hundreds of years. “I collected these songs from Bidit Lal Das — a revered singer from Sylhet — and rearranged them, combining Latin American, Indian and Arabic elements,” asserts Dev.
Among Dev’s chart-topping songs are “Ami Hamelin-er Shei Banshiwala”, “E Mon Amar Pathor Tho Noy”, “Moron Jadi Hoy”, “E Amar Shesh Chithi”, “Neel Chandoa”, “Ei Shei Buk-er Jomin”, “Tumi Takalei E Chokhey”, “Chondidas Rojokini”, “Krishnochurar Chhaya-e”, “Behula”, “Bangladesh Jegey Othey” and more.
In 1991, Dev made the first music video of his hit number “Shesh Chithi”, which was shot in Sweden. His popularity reached greater heights when in 1997 ATN Hindi (India) aired the “Suvro Dev’s Show”, where a number of his music videos were aired.
Asked about his favourite songs of all times, Dev mentions, “Tumi Ki Keboli Chhobi (a Tagore composition), “Ami Nei Bhabtei Byathaye” (Kishore Kumar), “K’phonta Chokher Jol” (Manna Dey), “Careless Whisper” (George Michael), “Black or White” (Michael Jackson), “Child” (Freddie Aguilar) and “Ami Manush Chinechhi, Je Chhobitakey Oshomapto Korey, Shada Kagojer Pataye Pataye, Shanjher Rongey Rongin Akash (all recorded by me).”
“In my opinion, RD Burman (India) and Jean Michel Jarre (France) are the two greatest composers,” he adds.
Dev has a penchant for both cricket and football. He composed and performed the theme song “Cricket Cricket” of the Mini World Cup tournament, which was held in Dhaka in 1998. The socially aware artiste composed the song “Shoth Manush Kokhono Acid Chhorena” for acid victims. The song was aired on BBC on July 22, 2000.
Dev has also done playback for both Dhallywood (Dhaka) and Tollywood (Kolkata) films. The film “Bhagya Debota” (produced in Mumbai) featured a song “Shonao Abar Amakey Rokto Dao, Ami Debo Swadhinota” recorded by the singer. He has also written and composed title songs for several TV plays and serials. Directed by Arun Chowdhury, the TV serial “Chhoto Chhoto Dheu” featured two of Dev’s songs — “Jiboner Chhoto Chhoto Dheu” and “Bhulitey Parina” (sung by Shakila Zafar that became hugely popular.
Dev along with Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan were selected as the brand ambassador of PEPSI International through a popular star selection round held in South-East Asia in 1994. Dev was invited to the Bollywood Music Award held at Nassau Coliseum, New York, USA in 2000, where he performed alongside AR Rahman, Lucky Ali, Kavita Krishnamurty and Jose Feliciano. He has also performed in many other countries.
In recently held 5th Citycell-Channel i Music Awards-2009, Suvro Dev along with Ferdous Ara performed a fusion titled “Rakto Diyechhilo Bangali Ekdin Bhashar Jonno”, mingling both classical and folk tunes. Dev composed the song.
Apart from his extraordinary 25-year career in the music world, Dev, currently the director of ATN Music, has over 20 years experience in the media world and media management.
“My only dream is to popularise Bengali music globally,” says a confident Dev.
by Zahangir Alom