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Biography of Suman Chattopadhaya

Banner of Kabir Suman

Kabir Suman (born 1949), is a Kolkata-based modern Bengali singer-songwriter, guitarist, poet, journalist and TV presenter. He changed his name from Suman Chattopadhaya to Kabir Suman when he became a Muslim. He shot to fame in the 1990s with albums such as Tomake Chai (I Want You) and Boshe Anko (Sit-and-Draw Contest).

His contemporary urban, socially conscious songs draw upon both Bengali adhunik (modern) and Western folk and protest music. His work has been a major influence in the development of the Bengali songs, which has influenced bands like Chandrabindoo, and has grown to become a major movement in contemporary Bengali music. Most of his songs are played solo with just a synthesiser or a guitar. Like many Bengali singers, Suman has also recorded albums of Rabindra Sangeet (Songs of Rabindranath Tagore), starting in the late-1990s.

Suman's primary training was in Indian classical music and Rabindra Sangeet, and he picked up Western folk forms while living abroad. From 1975 to 1989 he worked as a broadcast journalist working overseas, living in Germany, where he worked for German International Radio, and in the United States, where he worked for Voice of America's Bengali language service. He finished his second contract with German International Radio in 1989, and returned to Kolkata. He released his first album, Tomake Chai, in 1992. Since then he has released over ten albums, his most recent one being Nandigram in 2007.

Political views and personal life
Along with his musical contributions, Suman is famous as a journalist and active citizen of country. He was a combat journalist in Nicaragua during Sandinista revolution and wrote a book Mukto Nicaragua on that. In beginning of his musical career, he showed some adherence with the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) and soon got disillusioned by them due to his growing sympathy towards the Maoist Terrorists. He continued to be vocal with his extreme Maoist attitude in various forums. In fact, today he is one of the important mass organizers of the ongoing terroist/anti establish movement against West Bengalgovernment. During the Godhra riots, his songs and activities appealed very successfully to mass consciousness against fundamentalism. He is infamous for his habit of using slang words against West Bengal Government and CPI(M).Suman composed several songs which have been released as an album, Nandigram. Suman announced that the royalty for this disc will be used for support of on going save-lands struggle and as well as maoist Terrorist movements.

Basic Albums

Tomaake Chai (1992) - HMV

Boshe Anko (1993) - HMV

Ichche Holo (1993) - HMV

Gaanwallah / Suman the One Man Band (1994)- HMV /EMI

Ghumou Baundule (1995) - HMV

Chaichhi Tomar Bondhuta (1996) - HMV

Jaatishshor (1997) - HMV

Nishidhdho Istehaar (1998) - HMV

Paagla Shaanaai (1999) - HMV

Jaabo Ochenaaye (2001) - HMV

Aadab (2002) - HMV

Reaching Out (2003) - Kosmic Music

Dekhchhi Toke (2004) - Cozmic Harmony

Nandigram (2007) - Cozmic Harmony

Rizwanur Brityo (2008 )- Unknown

Compilations and live recordings

Sumaner Gaan (1994) - HMV/EMI

Shawmokhkhe/Upfront- Live In New York (1996) - Biswas Records

Baanshuriya (1998) - HMV

Suman Top 10 (1999) - HMV

Beesh Shawtoker Sheshe (2000) - HMV

Nagorik Kobiyaal (2001) - HMV

Basic albums (Collaborative)

Onyo Katha Onyo Gaan Volumes I & II (1986) - Sing To Live [with Nagorik]

Nicaraguar Jonyo (1986) - Sing To Live [with Nagorik]

E Desh Tomaar Aamar (1991) - SFI / HMV

Konthe Nilaam Notun Gaan (1994) - Concord Music [with the Concord Trio]

Shobujer Protishodh (1995) - HMV [with Haimanti Shukla]

Choto Boro Mile (1996) - HMV [with Nachiketa Chakravarty, Anjan Dutt, Indrani Sen, Lopamudra Mitra, Payel Kar, Shalini Chatterjee, Sreetoma Ghosh, Shayari Das, Tanushree Haldar, Paromita Chatterjee, Reema Roy, Shubhanwita Guha and Reetomaa Gupto]

Notun Gaaner Nouka Bawa (1997) - HMV [with Lopamudra Mitra]

Dhonyo Hok (1997) - HMV [with Sandhya Mukherjee]

Bhetorghore Brishti (1998) - HMV [with Lopamudra Mitra]

Shesh Dorjata Perole (1998) - HMV [with Sandhya Mukherjee]

Tomaye Khnujechi (1999) - Soundtech [with Sabina Yasmin]

Ochena Chuti / Gaane Gaane Duti Mon (1999) - Raagaa/Soundtech [with Sabina Yasmin]

Aashche Shotabdite (1999) - HMV [with Sandhya Mukherjee]

Ekshaathe Bnachboi (1999) - HMV [with Sohini, Shinjini, Debdutta, Shidhdhaartho, Anirban, Oindrila, Shreya, Shilpi, Arindam, Chiranjeeb, Rajshekhar, Shongeeta, Gaargi, Arundhati, Indrani, Shoilangi, Gargi, Aakaash and Payel]

Rongdhonu Taanaa Shetu (2000) - HMV [with Sandhya Mukherjee]

Shada Paayra Giyeche Ure (2001) - HMV [with Sandhya Mukherjee]

Tumi Gaan Gaile (2002) - Prime Music [with Indranil Sen]

Awshshomedher Ghora Chhutchche (2003) - HMV [with Sandhya Mukherjee]

Protichhobi (2004) - No Audio Release [with Sabina Yasmin and Bnaadhon]

Onekdin Por (2005) - Cozmic Harmony [with Anjan Dutt]

Taero (2006) - Cozmic Harmony [with Sabina Yasmin]

Compilations and Live Albums (Collaborative)

Onurodher Aashor (1994) - T-Series Ei Shomoye Ei Dujon- Live At GD Birla Sabhaghar (1997) - HMV [with Nachiketa Chakravarty]

Tribeni (1997) - HMV [with Nachiketa Chakravarty and Anjan Dutt]

Notun Shurer Chnoa (1999) - HMV [with Sandhya Mukherjee, Lopamudra Mitra, Haimanti Shukla and Shaagotalokhkhi Dasgupta]

Praan Khola Gaan (2003) - HMV [with Lopamudra Mitra, Nachiketa Chakravarty and Bhoomi]

Onyo Hawaye Onyo Gaan (2004) - HMV [with Lopamudra Mitra]

Pujor Shera Gaan (2004) - HMV [with Sandhya Mukherjee]

Graphiti (2006) - HMV [with Nachiketa Chakravarty, Anjan Dutt, Lopamudra Mitra, Protul Mukherjee and Moushumi Bhowmick]

Film Albums

Obhimaane Onuraage (1992) [Unreleased] - [Playback Singers: Kabir Suman]

Attojaa (1993) - [No Audio Release][Playback Singers: Kabir Suman, Haimanti Shukla]

Mahasangram (1993) - HMV [Playback Singers: Kabir Suman, Indrani Sen]

Bhoye (1995) - [No Audio Release] [Playback Singer: Kabir Suman]

Krishnachura [Bilingual in Assamese (released) and Bengali (unreleased)] (1995) - HMV [Playback Singers: Kabir Suman, Haimanti Shukla]

Jodhdha (1996) - HMV [Playback Singer: Kabir Suman]

Shedin Choitromash (1997) - HMV [Playback Singers: Kabir Suman, Nachiketa Chakravarty, Shaagotalokhkhi Dasgupta and Lopamudra Mitra]

Shurjokanya (1997) - HMV [Playback Singers: Kabir Suman, Sriradha Banerjee, Shaagotalokhkhi Dasgupta and Srikanto Acharya]

Katha (2007) [No Audio Release]


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