Renowned exponent of traditional folk song Kiran Chandra Roy said that most of the new generation singers might begin to consider switching their career after witnessing the sufferings of senior artistes and musicians during the COVID-19 outbreak.
‘We have witnessed the nine-month war of independence in 1971 and the birth of Bangladesh but the new generation singers have not seen any crises before COVID-19. They are witnessing how senior artistes are being neglected and are suffering financially amid the outbreak. Many of them might look for alternatives to singing in the coming days,’ Kiran Chandra Roy told New Age.
When asked about the role of singers amid the crisis he replied, ‘Artistes always play an important role during all crises. They help raise mass awareness. Singers had raised their voices to protest against anomalies in society before and after the war of independence. Though singers have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, they are releasing awareness-enhancing songs on social media and performing on live programmes.’
He urged the government to stand by singers.
‘Singers don’t have much in the form of savings and they usually earn a living by performing at live shows or on TV programmes, which have been cancelled due to the coronavirus epidemic. Destitute singers across the country are literally struggling to put food on the table due to a shortage of money. Many organisations and individuals are providing financial assistance, but that is not enough. The government should take an initiative to help the artistes, otherwise the music arena will suffer in the future due to shortage of singers,’ mentioned Kiran Chandra Roy.
He also said that one cannot learn singing watching online videos.
‘If music could be learnt watching online videos then anyone could become a singer by watching YouTube songs of Lata Mangeshkar. Online videos can only entertainment audience. If one wants to learn singing then he/she must seek a teacher,’ he pointed out.
When asked whether he had performed in any online shows amid the outbreak, he replied, ‘I performed in one show which was organised by the state-run Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. I will always perform in programmes that address national issues.’
Kiran Chandra Roy has been staying at home since the end of March.
‘I have been staying at home since the government announced the general holidays in March. I have been spending my time with my family members and practicing music at home. I am not going outside unless it is an emergency.’
‘I urge the music lovers to have patience and practice hygiene and social distancing. We must not lose hope because better days are not far away. People should stop focusing on the negative energy caused by all kinds of crisis and listen to music at home. Everyone can reflect on the past and also learn from the experiences of this epidemic,’ he ended.
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