In a recent Instagram Reel, Zoutenn strummed his guitar and sang the song
Last Updated: 10.54 AM, Feb 07, 2023
When musician-filmmaker and National Award-winning lyricist Anindya Chattopadhyay penned Bhindeshi Tara in 1999, he was not sure if he wanted to record the song for their album. His friends, and fellow band members from Chandrabindoo, Upal Sengupta, and Chandril Bhattacharya insisted he record it and finally, the song was released in their album, Chaw. The song went through a number of changes and was used in Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Antaheen, after its first release. Almost 24 years later, now the song was picked by an African-Canadian musician Steve Pathe Zoutenn.
In a recent Instagram Reel, Zoutenn strummed his guitar and sang the iconic song. His rendition impressed Upal, Anindya, and other band members. “Initially, this song was very personal to me and I did not want to record it. Upal and Chandril insisted and we recorded it for Chaw. I recorded the song with the bare minimum instrument – I think with a guitar or so. Our friend, Sona, who recorded Adorer Nouka in the same album, said the song has an Afro-feel to it. Unlike Upal, who is a keen follower of Afro-music, I understood little. After so many years, watching Zoutenn singing this song from another side of the world is really prestigious for me,” Anindya told OTTplay in an exclusive chat.
We contacted Zoutenn, who hails from the Central African Republic and currently lives in Montreal, Canada. He said that this song was suggested to him by YouTube. “I listen to a lot of Bengali songs and this came up. There are two more songs of the same band – Mon and Ami Je Rishkawala – on my playlist,” he said,
Not just Chandrabindoo songs, Zoutenn’s timeline is full of Reels of Hindi, Marathi, Bengali Rabindrasangeet, and other Indian language songs. “My association with Indian music started when I was 5 years old. My brother took me to watch a Bollywood film, Disco Dancer. I immediately fell in love with the songs. In Africa, you cannot escape music. French was my natural language. Later, I moved to Canada to study and work. I am a software developer. During the lockdown, I started working from home. It became very boring and miserable. I started learning a new language. I picked Hindi for my love of music. My teacher and I decided to sing Hindi songs to learn the language better. And then gradually, I started my Instagram page and people loved my effort. I started getting a lot of requests. I sang Marathi and other Indian language songs,” the musician elaborated.
Zoutenn was introduced to Bengali through his Bangladeshi family friend in Montreal. Later, while watching Stories by Rabindranath Tagore on Netflix, he heard his first Rabindrasangeet, Amaro Porano Jaha Chaye. “I stopped the show and heard the song again on YouTube. That’s how I started loving Bengali songs. The Hindi songs I sing are mostly requested by people. However, the Bengali songs are my own choice. I heard Bhindeshi Tara on a loop for a week before recording it,” he said.