Australia-based Bangladeshi singer Mala has stirred emotions in the hearts of people with her mesmerising voice. In her first album, she worked with renowned Bangladeshi musician and producer Fuad Almuqtadir. Let’s get acquainted with the winner of Citycell channel I’s Best Female Singer and MTV Chart Attack Award.
When did you realise you wanted to become a singer?
My mother is a Nazrul Sangeet artiste; hence I was in touch with music since childhood. Some of my maternal uncles either played the tabla or were singers. ln fact, as a child I had the habit of doing rewaaz every morning. I even practiced with a Guru, however, that didn’t quite bode well since I’d make excuses to skip my lessons. My mother would get back at me by making me sing in front of visiting guests. But as I got older, I learnt that I do have a knack for singing; and soon my passion for music grew so strong that today I find it difficult to imagine myself without music.
What is your favourite classical instrument?
The tanpura is my most favourite; I sit with the tanpura almost every morning for rewaaz.
The first song that comes to your mind when you’re feeling…
Happy: Kon Rong’e
Sad: Jaiba Jodi Jao
Angry: Don’t think I’ve ever been angry while listening to a song.
Describe your style of singing in a sentence
I try to sing every song in my own way, particularly soft folk songs
What is the best thing to wake up to in the morning?
The thought of having a sip of coffee to begin my day makes me feel good.
The nicest compliment you ever received was?
Few years ago, I performed with Arnob at a show in Australia; that was the first time I got to know him as a person. We were singing together in the green room. We sang the song Jaat Gelo on stage. Then he said, “Mala let’s make an album; I really admire your voice timbre.” That for me was really big; and then we ended up releasing the album ‘eki Aajob Karkhana’.
Your most favourite line from Jaiba Jodi Jao?
‘Mon anchan, anchan kore, noya prem jowaare. Bhulona amare kotha dao. Ashba kobe amaye, bole jao.’
Which item in your closet do you wear the most?
I love collecting sarees; I have around 300-400 sarees in my wardrobe. No matter where you are on the map, a saree reflects the identity of a Bengali woman. Cotton sarees are my favourite; I look for every occasion to wear them.
Which song did you first cover on an instrument?
Laal jhuti kakatuwa was the first song that I picked up on my harmonium.
Three words that describe your personality