Dola sets the bar

DailyStar || Shining BD

Published: 5/26/2024 4:13:37 AM

"My father always told me to keep two lifelines in life. With music, being my first lifeline, I moved forward with completing the bar and became a barrister," says Aditi Rahman Dola.

The talked-about singer, praised for her performance in the recent advertisement jingle "Boishakhe Banglami-Hok Ullash", recently dropped by The Daily Star office for an exclusive photoshoot. While sipping a cup of black coffee, fitness enthusiast Dola spoke about her career in music and law, revealed her fitness secrets, and provided exciting updates on her musical journey.

Nearly two decades into your musical journey, what excites you the most about making music?

Semi-classical has been my forte, as I was trained at an early age by Ustad Kajal Deb, who is also my father's best friend. However, I have a soft spot for playback singing and absolutely love it when I get the opportunity for it. Although I have done several playback songs for films, singing an 'item' number feels more challenging to me. Since I have a husky voice, it's also fun to experiment with romantic songs.

You have a unique voice that doesn't complement the 'traditional female playback style'. What are your thoughts on it?

I agree with that observation, but it highlights a dated mentality within the industry. Instead of showcasing unique voices, the industry tends to favour typical ones. Knowing I can sing the way I do, I must own my uniqueness and be proud of this 'X factor'.

I must credit my brother, Adit Rahman, for encouraging me. The voice he made me use for "Jochhona" made me nervous; it was a risky experiment. I thought people wouldn't accept such a heavy voice, but he made me realise that if my voice is good and unique, people will like it. It will take time, but it will change.

The track 'Dola' took you to another level in terms of self-discovery and popularity. Could you talk about the making of the song?

It was a dream come true! I never imagined I would discover myself like this. I used to prefer staying behind the camera, but Adit da (Adit Rahman), Kaushik da (Kaushik Hossain Taposh), and Munny bhabi (Farzana Munny) made me believe I was capable of more than just singing. After watching the music video, I felt we could bring something to Bangladesh on an international level. For me, it was a rebirth as a performer.

Rebirth? Could you elaborate on that?

There is a long story behind this. I am a big-time foodie. I could eat a whole cake and love sweets. My brother Adit and I used to bet on food, but he couldn't eat nearly as much as I could! I used to be chubby. However, I gained a lot of weight when I went to the UK in 2012 for my higher education (Bar exam). In just one year, I gained 10 kilos. 

When I returned and performed at the Meril Prothom Alo Awards, I couldn't believe it was me on television. My brother and friends used to tease me about my weight, which I took positively. I realised my love for food was overshadowing my love for myself. I started going to the gym and eating balanced meals, and over about two years, I lost 25 kgs. "Dola" was my first appearance after my transformation, which is why I consider it a rebirth.

It is an inspiring story; how do you maintain your fitness now?

Despite a hectic schedule, I manage to spend two hours, four days a week, at the gym. My trainer is very strict and extremely inspiring. He told me there were no proper shoots showcasing women's abs, so I made four-pack abs and did a photoshoot. It inspired many!

How do you balance your two professions?

I am a full-time practitioner at the High Court and maintain my chamber as well. However, I love my identity as a singer. My father is a senior advocate, and he wanted to see me as a barrister. Since my brother became a full-time musician, I felt I had to fulfil our father's dream. However, I am fortunate to have full support and guidance from both of them in both professions.

What is your vision for music in the coming years?

I want people to realise that artistes deserve respect. 

Sadly, most musicians in Bangladesh get frustrated due to a lack of appreciation. Full-time musicians struggle financially. Recently, I attended an event where a renowned singer was performing while people were dining. That scenario hurt me a lot; I found it disrespectful.

Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I have an exciting announcement for the fans of Aditarians. We will be returning this year with something great. Also, I have several playback songs for films awaiting release, including tracks from the films "Mukti" and "Kobi". 

Shining BD