Article Bengali

The mesmerizing Bengali tracks of Arijit Singh – Birthday special

As the singer turns 31 today (25 April), a look at five of his songs that are considered among the more memorable compositions of contemporary Bengali cinema.

Roushni Sarkar

One of the most versatile and successful vocalists of the current era, Arijit Singh first came to the spotlight with his participation in the reality show Fame Gurukul in 2005, when he was just 18.

With his raw, grainy and soothing voice, with a lot of depth in it, Arijit Singh became a nationwide sensation with 'Phir Le Aya Dil' from Barfi! (2012). His position as one of the finest vocalists of the country was further cemented by his renditions of 'Tum Hi Ho' and 'Chahu Main Ya Naa' from Aashiqui 2 (2013).

From then on, Arijit Singh has been ruling the film industries of the country by singing in multiple languages. His natural singing ease has made him a favourite of most music directors in different regions. His unique voice texture, according to him, is a bit nasal and suitable for most actors.

On his 31st birthday today (25 April), we look at five of the vocalist's best Bengali songs which are considered some of the more memorable compositions of contemporary Bengali cinema.

'Bojhena Se Bojhena' – Bojhena Se Bojhena (2012)

This was one of the songs that brought the attention of listeners back to Bengali film numbers. The song, about lost love, is a soulful rendition by Arijit Singh. The rise and fall in the melody touches every cord of the emotional upheaval that the characters go through in the film. Composed by Indradip Dasgupta, the song is a fusion of Western and Indian classical modes with a laidback tempo, through which Arijit Singh expresses the idle musings of a lover, longing for his beloved.

'Ei Bhalo Ei Kharap' – Golpo Holeo Shotti (2014)

Arijit Singh does justice to this fast and catchy number, composed by Indradip Dasgupta, with ease. His voice glides with the joyful tempo and the soft melody of the song which speaks about the unpredictability of the couple’s (Soham Chakraborty and Mimi Chakraborty's) future. 'Ei Bhalo Ei Kharap' is a Westernized number to which Arijit Singh’s unique voice texture is best suited. It also manifests his versatility as a gifted vocalist.

'Kichhu Kichhu Kotha' – Lorai: Play To Live (2015)

Arijit Singh stands out in this duet, sung with classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty. The romantic track on the subtle expressions of unspoken love, composed, again, by Indradip Dasgupta, is much like a Bengali raga pradhan or semi-classical song. Singh’s effortless execution in bringing out the variations in the notation is proof of his basic training in Hindustani classical music. The lack of repetition in each part of the song is retained well by Singh’s appropriate voice modulation.

'Mon Majhi Re' – Boss: Born To Rule (2013)

The song carries the signature style of Jeet Ganguly's compositions. Arijit Singh’s full-throated and passionate singing brings out the intense emotions of the song. 'Mon Majhi Re' is an entirely Westernized song with a very urbane tune, quite in contrast with its relatively simple lyrics. The accompaniment of the electronic guitar and the high-pitched melody, following the style of rock music, reminds us more of the songs created by contemporary Bangla bands. Singh’s powerful rendition of this song not only exhibits his prowess as a strong vocalist, but also makes the listener wonder how the voice that sang 'Kichhu Kichhu Kotha' could be transformed to such an extent.

'Apur Payer Chhap' – Apur Panchali (2014)

A sweet number, quite different from the other Bengali songs by Arijit Singh. The song, composed by Indradip Dasgupta, borrows tunes from both puratani Bangla gaan or traditional Bengali music and folk songs from the region. Arijit Singh’s soft singing brings out the nostalgia evoked by the lyrics and reminds the listener of Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (1955). In the song, Arijit Singh allows his voice to flow spontaneously to reveal the inherent sadness in the tune. There is a feeling of loss or an inevitable ending which comes out through his voice much like the moment of dusk at the end of the day.