Shapla Salique

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Shapla Salique
Native name শাপলা সালিক
Birth name Farzana Salique
Born (1975-12-08) 8 December 1975 (age 38)
Tajpur, Balaganj, Sylhet, Bangladesh
Origin London, England
Genres Bengali folk, jazz, pop, funk, soul
Occupations Singer-songwriter, harmonium player
Instruments Vocals, harmonium
Years active 1985–present
Labels Journeys by DJ, MIY Publishing
Associated acts Dishari Shilpi Ghosthi

Farzana Salique (Bengali: ফরজানা সালিক), best known as Shapla Salique, (Bengali: শাপলা সালিক); born 8 December 1975) is a Bangladeshi-born British singer-songwriter and harmonium player.

Early life[edit]

Salique was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Tajpur, Balaganj, Sylhet, where she would often go to watch her father, uncle and grandparents perform in functions. They were renowned folk singers in the region of Sylhet.[1] Her grandfather Azfar Ali was immensely into music and passed his interest onto the family. Her brother Uchchall plays the tabla.[2]

In February 1970, Salique's father Abdus Salique (born 1952) came to the United Kingdom.[3] At the age of five, Salique came to the United Kingdom to join her father. She came with her mother Hasna Salique, and two brothers Uchchall (born 1973) and Shochall (born 1978). They settled in London's East End,[1] where Salique was bought up.[2] Her father first worked as a waiter, then opened up a tailoring workshop before running a restaurant.[3]

Salique attended Raine's Foundation School and has three A-levels in Music and Arts. She enrolled at the University of Leeds to pursue a degree in music, however, she decided to concentrate on her singing career.[4]


Early career[edit]

Since the age of three, Salique has been singing and performing.[2] In 1985, she became the lead singer of the first UK Bangladeshi musical group Dishari Shilpi Ghosthi,[5] a group originally founded by her Salique's father in 1979 and was based in Shadwell, London.[6][7]

The group specialised in Sylheti folk songs and the work of Kazi Nazrul Islam. Salique fronted Dishari on numerous albums and television appearances, as well as performances in the UK and abroad, including performing in front of royalty at the Royal Albert Hall, in aid of Save the Children.[1]

In 1996, Salique's first mainstream Bengali song "Ziola" was released in the UK, under the music label Journeys by DJ. "Ziola" was remixed by Judge Jules for his album Dance Wars.[8] It was followed by two solo albums; Siyono na Siyona in 1997, a traditional folk oriented Bengali album, and in 2002, the Hindi pop album Lai Lai, produced and composed by Bappi Lahiri.[1][8]

Salique has appeared on television programmes including Eastern Eye, Breaking Through and Flame in My Heart.[2]


In January 2013, Salique performed at the Hackney Empire.[9] In February 2013, she was interviewed by Jumoke Fashola on BBC London 94.9.[10] In the same month, she performed at London's South Bank and at the Houses of Parliament, organised by Oitij-jo.[11][12]

Salique is the singer, songwriter and harmonium player for her band, the other members include Alok Verma (tabla and percussion), Dion Palumbo (acoustic guitar), Mak Murtic (saxophone),[13] Suroj Sureshbabu (electric and acoustic guitar)[14] and Sam Bailey (double bass)[15]

In March 2013, Salique performed at the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation in London[16] alongside her band as part of BanglaFest.[14] In June 2013, she performed at Wilton's Music Hall alongside her band[13][15] In the same month, she performed at TEDx Houses of Parliament.[17][18] In November 2013, she performed at The British Curry Awards.[19]

Salique has also performed at venues including Royal Albert Hall, Hammersmith Apollo, Royal Ascot and Barbican Centre.[1] She is also writing and recording for her new album which she aims to release in 2014.[5]

Salique has been influenced by music from both East and West, she incorporates Western mainstream music and poetic melodies and stories from her traditional heritage of her Bangladesh.[1] She is known for her unique soulful voice and powerful vocals. Her musical arrangement is a fusion of Bengali folk, combined with jazz, pop, funk and soul.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Shapla Salique". Oitij-jo. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Galleli, Alexandrina (17 October 2003). "Singing Sensation". Bangla Mirror. p. 24. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Meet Salique...". London: Evening Standard. June 1991. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sapla's success story". Surma. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Shapla Salique". TEDxHousesOfParliament. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Royal Performers". London: East London Advertiser. 8 December 1985. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Group face chop". London: East London Advertiser. 6 December 1985. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Ahmed, Ajanta (16 April 1996). ""Dance Wars"?". The Asian Post. p. 5. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "NTV Mega Concert Promo Shapla & Mamzy". NTV Europe. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Inspirit with Jumoke Fashola". BBC London 94.9. 17 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "London's South Bank entertains a creative influx from Bangladesh". Oitij-jo!. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "Banglafest 2013". 4 March 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Shapla Salique at Wilton's Music Hall". Asian Image. 11 May 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "BanglaFest 2013 – Shapla Salique". Tower Hamlets. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Shapla Salique". Wilton's Music Hall. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Shapla Salique". 22 March 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Shapla Salique". TEDxHousesOfParliament. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Shomoy Gele: Shapla Salique at TEDxHousesofParliament". TEDxHousesOfParliament. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Live News From The British Curry Awards Event". British Curry Awards. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Shapla Salique". Rich Mix. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 

External links[edit]