Singer Iman Chakraborty
Singer Iman Chakraborty

World Music Day: National Award winner Iman Chakraborty is fearlessly honest with her emotions in music

Prolific singer Iman, who is a name to reckon with in the Tollywood and Bengali music scene, shares her musical journey so far

For National Award-winning singer Iman Chakraborty, there was no choice for her to be anything else but a singer. Iman’s mother, a retired music teacher at a reputed private school, had decided the moment she was pregnant, that she would name the child Iman (a raga) irrespective of its gender, and make him or her a singer.

“Actually, this dream was pursued by my mom and my upbringing was such that everything led to music. So, what you are seeing me as today, is a result of my mother’s dream. Since birth music has surrounded me, it was not a choice, it was a part of my life like food, water, oxygen, and light. I, too, never thought of any other profession ever. When other children of my age used to say they wanted to become a doctor or a pilot, I said I would be a singer,” says Iman, one of the leading female voices in Bengali film and indie music scenes.

Iman, whose song Amar Dukhhe Tumi from the recently released movie Ajogya is touching every loving heart with its lyrics, bares it all about her love for music.

Singer Iman Chakraborty
Singer Iman Chakraborty
Q

What’s World Music Day to you?

A

Every day is a music day for me since I am a singer, and I don’t understand or do anything else apart from music, and can’t do without music. But like all others, this is a special day for me, and on this special day, I always feel more motivated as a singer to do better work musically.

Q

What’s music to you?

A

Music is my life. I can’t think or do anything other than music. All my emotions are expressed through music, whether I cry, get hurt, laugh or be happy, the emotions find their expressions in music.

Singer Iman Chakraborty
Singer Iman Chakraborty
Q

What kind of music inspires you?

A

Every kind of music inspires me in some way or the other. It’s not necessarily classical, folk or Tagore songs, it can be any genre. I listen to all of them, including the ones I do not like. I feel no music can happen without the blessings of Ma Saraswati.

What draws me especially to a song is its lyrical richness. Words are very important to me because they add colour to compositions and that’s why I loved singing Tumi Jakey Bhalobasho (the song from Praktan that got her the National Award) so much.

Singer Iman Chakraborty
Singer Iman Chakraborty
Q

How has your taste in music evolved?

A

Whenever I have been in any relationship with musicians, I unknowingly and organically imbibed their musical preferences which blended with my own style. I love simple emotional songs that have a timeless appeal, arousing the same emotions every time you listen to them.

After marriage to Nilanjan (composer) I have started listening to English songs more and I love Beyonce Knowles and Adele, and Lady Gaga is my inspiration. I love Cardi B’s presentation and I love Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran too.

Singer Iman Chakraborty
Singer Iman Chakraborty
Q

What are the lessons you picked up in your musical journey so far?

A

As a musician, you have to be very honest with your emotions. If they are covered with layers and you are frightened to show them, the audience will find it gimmicky. A singer has to be fearless and sincere towards emotions.

I am a very fearless and honest person – you can see my anger, sadness, and elation. I have gone through a lot of bad phases in life but I never let them bog me down and I don’t like carrying baggage. I forget the incidents but not the people who did them.

Also, I never misbehave with newcomers since I know what it feels to be humiliated. Through Iman Chakraborty Productions we are supporting a lot of emerging musicians, who are doing a great job. We started it in 2020 during the pandemic, and since then have been supporting many youngsters to release their singles.

Singer Iman Chakraborty
Singer Iman Chakraborty
Q

What motivates you?

A

I learn and get inspired by my failures. Whenever I see someone much taller than me professionally remaining rooted, I feel so inspired. Also, it amazes me seeing newcomers effortlessly recording and shooting music on their own. I want to be a relevant and timeless musician and for that, one has to constantly evolve and be disciplined.

Q

How do you handle professional lows?

A

At times, I too get very distressed, depressed and have anxiety issues but music rescues me during those times. In my dictionary there’s no place for losing. I have come all this way after a lot of struggles, and I can’t give up due to stress.

Q

Anyone you want to sing a duet with?

A

Arijit Singh… I have no duets with him till now, I am manifesting that right now sitting here that maybe some kind-hearted musician reads this interview and plans something with us.

Pictures: Debarshi Sarkar / Styling: Abhisek Roy / Red sari and blouse: Bohurupi Santiniketan, corset and skirt- Rohan Pariyar / Hair and makeup: Tapsee Paul / Location courtesy: Trincas

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