Mirchi Award for Bangla Song: A Cup of Coffee with Zulfiqer Russell
12:00 AM, March 31, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:23 PM, March 31, 2018

A Cup of Coffee with Zulfiqer Russell

He has been writing lyrics for more than 25 years, and is one of the more prominent songwriters in the country right now. Having bagged several accolades throughout his illustrious career, Zulfiqer Russell did Bangladesh proud once more when he recently won the Mirchi Music Award for the Best Modern Bangla Song for “Shabuj Chilo”, in the process becoming the first Bangladeshi to do so. Star Showbiz interviews the awardee, who talks about his career, future plans and much more!

Congratulations on the tremendous achievement. Take us through how you felt when you first heard that you won the award.

To be honest, I had zero expectations because a Bangladeshi is not eligible to win the award in the first place! This is why even though the song itself was nominated in 6 categories, I did not attend the award-giving ceremony. My song with Nachiketa won the award for “Best Modern Bangla Song”, which is given to the singer, songwriter and the composer. I had done his entire album Benche Thakar Mane the previous year, and it is indeed a great honor for me to win this alongside the talented crew for this song.

You have won many awards and accolades during your career. Will this be a special achievement?

It will definitely be one of the very memorable ones as I did not see this coming. One of the most special achievements for me was when I had the privilege to write the ICC World Cup Song O Prithibi Ebar Eshe Bangladesh Nao Chiney. I will always be grateful for the amount of adoration that I had received for that one.

Tell us about how you became a songwriter.

I used to write poems back in the day. My poems were regularly published in top newspapers of the country, and it was an amazing feeling when I saw my own name on print. One fine day, I had come across the song Eto Shukh Shoibo Kemon Kore  from the movie Shuvoda written by Mohammad Rafiquzzaman and I somehow felt very sad that I hadn't come up with those lyrics. This was a life-changing experience and I started writing lyrics for songs. The transition from poet to songwriter was not an easy one, but it was helped by the fact that I could naturally write in rhythm.

Among all the artists that you have collaborated with, who are your favorites?

I particularly loved working with Fahmida Nabi and Samina Chowdhury. They are amazing artistes and it is always an honor for me to have them voice my songs. I have to mention Bappa Mazumder, with whom I started my career as a lyricist. I have penned over 250 songs with him and he is very close to my heart.

What plans do you have for the future? Would you like to try out anything new besides your present status as a journalist and songwriter?

I really would not have the time to do so. Journalism keeps me busy throughout the entire day and I dedicate whatever time I have left to lyrics. I would certainly like to continue what I'm doing as this is my passion.


Interviewed by Sadi Mohammad Shahnewaz

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