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Interview Bengali

Who doesn't want recognition, asks popular singer Raj Barman

In his teenage years, Raj Barman was focused more on cricket. That was until his teachers entered him in a musical competition and he won.

Roushni Sarkar

Bengali playback singer Raj Barman is one of the most popular choices for mainstream Bengali films today. He is also known for his YouTube channel that has close to two million followers.

Raj Barman has sung for films like Inspector Notty K (2018), Noor Jahaan (2018), Villain (2018), Rosogolla (2018), Mon Jaane Na (2019) and Googly (2019) and risen to popularity in a very short span of time. He has also scored background music for films like Haripada Haribol (2017) and Meher Aali (2017).

Barman feels lucky to have worked with good music directors and for getting good songs in his career so far. “Who doesn’t want to be recognized?” said the young vocalist frankly.

In his childhood, however, Barman was more interested in playing cricket. His teachers recognized his good voice when he was 14 or 15 years old and enrolled him in a music competition. “I won that competition and my interest in music began to grow," Barman recalled. "I then started spending more time on music and eventually gave up cricket.”

Barman then began taking training in semi-classical music from various teachers, including Balu Datta and Dilip Das. “Things just happened one after the other and I began to have better focus,” says the singer, who still continues his training with his teachers.

Barman got his first break in the film industry with Eka Ebong Eka (2015). “It was not a big-budget film, but I got the offer and composed music for it as well. I gradually began to get better offers then,” he said. Working on Raj Chakraborty’s Noor Jahaan with Savvy Gupta was the turning point in his career, he believes.

The singer maintains a busy schedule, working on both films and his YouTube channel. “I have my own content for which I need to work regularly," he explained. "Currently, I am also working on a few Hindi films that might be released in a few months. I am not sure of the dates. There are also a couple of Bengali projects. So I am busy like a normal person but not too exhausted.”

Among Bengali music directors, Barman likes to work with Savvy Gupta, Amlaan and Dabbu. “I just want good songs and so far I have enjoyed the experience of working with all the directors,” he said.

The young artist also enjoys doing live shows. “Live shows are good because they pay a lot of money," he said. "Also, you can see people enjoying your songs, which is a great feeling.”

Barman said he keeps a very professional attitude towards his work and does not care much about the banner producing the film when it comes to recording his songs. Asked whether there is a need for improvement in the financial state of the Bengali music industry, he stressed the need for overall improvement of the quality of work and equations among artistes.