Happy Birthday ‘Nagar Baul’ James
Published: 11:37 AM, 2 October 2021 Updated: 12:09 PM, 2 October 2021
‘Nagar Baul’ James; Photo: Collected
Faruq Mahfuz Anam James, popularly known as the ‘Nagar Baul James’ or ‘Guru’ by the listeners of rock music in Bangladesh, has turned 57 today.
The National Award-winning artist, also the frontman of his iconic rock band ‘Nagar Baul’ (formerly known as ‘Feelings’), has cemented his legacy to his fans since the late 80s’ and to date fans eagerly await to celebrate the birthday of the rock legend.
Meanwhile, James celebrated his birthday eve and the rest of the day with his family members at home due to the COVID pandemic outbreak. However, his fans around the nation is celebrating the day by pouring tribute to their beloved icon.
Born in 1964 in Naogaon at Rajshahi, James shifted to Chattogram with his family due to his father Mojammel Haque’s transfer who later became the Chairman of the Dhaka Education Board. His family did not approve of his wish to become a music artist, as a result, he left home in 1976 and started living in Aziz Boarding in Pahartali, Chattogram.
Since then, James started his profound journey in music during the late 70s’. He formed his band ‘Feelings’ in 1977 as the vocal and lead guitarist, and released the band’s first album ‘Station Road’ in 1987. The band was later renamed as ‘Nagar Baul’, a moniker that James has also adopted as the music artist.
Besides the other two companions, LRB and ARK in the “Big Three of Bangladeshi Rock” in the 90s’ era in the Bangladeshi music industry, James garnered immense popularity among fans across the country including worldwide with his versatile style in psychedelic rock.
James has also established his legacy as a solo artist and a successful playback singer in both Dhallywood and Bollywood. In 2006, James debuted in Bollywood as a playback singer in Anurag Basu’s film ‘Gangstar’, and his journey in Bollywood has continued with three other films – ‘Woh Lamhe’ (2006), ‘Life... in a Metro’ (2007) and ‘Warning’ (2013).
James received Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer twice for the films ‘Desha: The Leader’ (2014) and ‘Swatta’ (2017). As a solo artist, he has released a total of 8 albums and many mixed albums with renowned artists of Bangladesh.
‘Taray Taray Rotiye Debo’ (penned by legendary poet Shamsur Rahman), ‘Maa’, ‘Baba Kotodin Dekhi Na Tomay’ ‘Bangladesh’, ‘Pagla Hawaa’, ‘Dushtu Chheler Dol’, ‘Guru Ghor Banaila Ki Diya’, ‘Mirabai’ etc. are some of James’ iconic Bengali rock numbers that cemented his legacy as ‘Guru’ to his fans in all over the world.
James has also proved his versatility in other mediums as a photographer and media entrepreneur. He is the Founder and Chairman of the board of renowned Bangladeshi production house Red Dot Entertainment.