James (musician)

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This article is about the Bangladeshi musician. For the English band, see James (band). For other uses, see James.
Faruq Mahfuz Anam in Trination Mega Festival - Bangladesh India Pakistan (8375647058).jpg
James performing in Tri-Nation Mega Festival, 2012
Background information
Native name ফারুক মাহফুজ আনাম
Birth name Faruq Mahfuz Anam
Also known as Nagar Baul, Guru, James [1] [2] [3]
Born (1964-10-02) October 2, 1964 (age 52)
Naogaon, Bangladesh
Genres Psychedelic rock, rock, hard rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actor, composer
Instruments Guitar, bass, vocals, khamok, keyboards, drums, saxophone, flute, percussion
Years active 1980–present
Labels Sargam, Soundteck, Shangeeta, Sony BMG
Associated acts Feelings, Nagar Baul, Metro Band

Faruq Mahfuz Anam[4] (Bengali: ফারুক মাহফুজ আনাম), (known by his stage name James) is a Bangladeshi singer, guitarist, and composer. He is often referred to as "Guru".[5] [6] [7] [8] James is currently the lead guitarist and vocalist of the band Nagar Baul (the Urban Medincant). He has also played back in few songs in Bollywood movies.[9] James rose to mainstream fame in 1990s as the frontman of "Feelings" now renamed "Nagar Baul" which is one of the "Big Three of Rock", who were responsible for developing and popularising rock music in Bangladesh, the other two being LRB and Ark. James is considered to be the pioneer of psychedelic rock in Bangladesh.[5]

Early life[edit]

James was born in Naogaon and raised in Rajshahi and Chittagong. His father was a government employee who was later appointed as the Chairman of the Chittagong Education Board. From his teens, James developed an avid interest in music, an interest which his family did not accept or support. He first played guitar with his friends when he was in class seven in 1973.[10] Following a huge dispute with his family, James left his house when he was in class eight. He started living in a dormitory called Aziz Boarding in Chittagong. This is the place his musical career kickstarted and flourished after he met the musicians from the band "Feelings". He joined "Feelings" as the vocal and lead guitarist.

Musical career[edit]

After some members left "Feelings" in 1980, James, along with Funty, Pablo and Swapan reformed the band and started to perform in local gigs. This was the line-up at that time:

  • James – Lead Guitar, Vocal
  • Funty – Drums
  • Pablo – Keyboards, Vocal
  • Swapan – Bass Guitar

He became popular among musicians as 'The one who can play Mark Knoepffler with the right feels'. After several years of stage shows, they came to Dhaka to record their first album, 'Station Road'. All the tracks were composed by James, with five of its lyrics being written by him as well. Though the album was not a hit, some tracks like 'Ager Jonome', 'Amai Jete Dao' and 'Rupshagor' enjoyed moderate success.

In 1993, they released their second album 'Jail Theke Bolchhi' (Speaking from the Jail). This album was a major hit and Feelings became a mainstream band.


James performing in San Francisco Bay Area, USA (Sep 2013)

James sings psychedelic rock and blues music. He has cited Jim Morrison, Mark Knofler and Eric Clapton as his influences. Many lyricists have written songs for James including Poet Shamsur Rahman, Prince Mahmud, Marjuk Rasel, Shibli and Deholovi. Musicians like Lucky Akhand and Manam Ahmed have also composed songs for him. The albums he released with Feelings after "Station Road" and "Jail Theke Bolchhi" are "Nogor Baul" in 1996, "Leis Fita Leis" in 1998, "Collection of Feelings" in 1999. His first Solo Album was "Anonna", released in 1989, followed by "Palabe Kothai" in 1995, "Dukkhini Dukkho Korona" in 1997, "Thik Achhe Bondhu" in 1999, "Ami Tomader E Lok" in 2003, "Jonota Express" in 2005, "Toofan" in 2006 and "Kal Jomuna" in 2009. James later renamed "Feelings" as "Nogor Baul". The first & only album as "Nogor Baul" was "Dushtu Cheler Dol", released in 2001.


James has been one of the most popular artists, both as a solo musician and with his band in Bangladesh and in West Bengal in India since the 1990s. James met Pritam a Bengali music Composer and Singer working in Bollywood in 2004. in 2005, James did the playback for the movie "Gangster". The title of the song was "Bheegi Bheegi" and it was a blockbuster hit. The song remained at the top of the Bollywood Hit List for more than a month.[11] He later teamed up with Pritam again for the movie "Woh Lamhe" in 2006 for the song "Chal Chalein" and again for "Rishtey" and "Alvida (Reprise)" in the movie "Life in a Metro".

James' last song in Bollywood titled "Bebasi" was released in 2013, for the movie "Warning 3D". It was released in YouTube ahead of the movie for promotional purposes.

Modeling and television appearances[edit]

James first appeared in a television commercial for Pepsi in the early 2000s. This commercial was broadcast both in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Later in 2011, James starred in a Bangladeshi TVC for "Black Horse", a brand of energy drinks. James appeared in the Bollywood movie Life in A... Metro where he played the role of a member of a street band (Metro) along with Pritam and Suhail Kaul.

Personal life[edit]

James was first married to Rothi. In 2002, he ended his first marriage, and married Benazir Sazzad [12] whom he reportedly met during a concert in New York around the year 1999. James has three children: daughters Jannat and Jahaan, and son Danesh.

Red Dot Entertainment[edit]

James, along with Gazi Shubhro and Jewel Paiker, co-owns the production house RED dot Multimedia Ltd. The company was established in December 2005 and James is the Chairman of its board of directors. The production house was behind the video commercial titled "Beautiful Bangladesh" for the "ICC World Cup Cricket 2011". Red Dot Entertainment produced numerous reality TV shows including D Rock Star (2007), Lux Channel I SuperStar (2010 & 2014), Ke Hote Chay Kotipoti (2011). Red Dot produces TVCs, Music Videos, TV Reality Shows, Corporate Audio Visuals and they are planning to produce a full-length film.


James is also a very enthusiastic amateur photographer. His photos have been used for album covers. He plans to exhibit his works in the future.


James at reunion concert in SUST campus, 2012

Solo albums and tracks[edit]

  • Anonna (1989)
  • Palabe Kothai (1995)
  • Dukkhini Dukkho Korona (1997)
  • Thik Achhe Bondhu (1999)
  • Ami Tomader E Lok (2003)
  • Jonota Express (2005)
  • Toofan (2007)
  • Kal Jomuna (2008)
  • Bheegi Bheegi (2005, 'Gangster')
  • Chal Chalein (2006, 'Woh Lamhe')
  • Rishtey, Alvida (Reprise) (2007, 'Life in a... Metro')
  • "Bebasi" (2013, 'Warning 3D')

Most famous song[edit]

  • Pagla hawa (Considerd as the most famous song of james)
  • Ore dekhe jare tui
  • Ma
  • Baba
  • Dukhini dukho koro na
  • Bangladesh (His most famous patrotic song)
  • Ek nodi jamuna
  • Mannan miar titas molom
  • Lais fita Lais

Album Description[edit]

Station Road (1988)[edit]

Released by Doel Products

All music composed by James.


  • James – Lead Guitar, Vocal
  • Funty – Drums, Percussions
  • Pablo – Keyboards, Clarinet, Fluite, Vocal
  • Swapan – Bass

Jail Theke Bolchhi(1993)[edit]

All music composed by James.


  • James – Lead Guitar, Vocal, Cover Concept
  • Funty – Drums, Percuss – Bass
  • Tanvir – Keyboards

Nagar Baul(1996)[edit]

All music composed by James.


  • James – Lead Guitar, Vocal, Cover Concept
  • Funty – Drums, Percussions
  • Babu – Bass
  • Asad – Keyboards

Lais Fita Lais (1998)[edit]

All music composed by James.


  • James – Lead Guitar, Vocal, Cover Concept
  • Funty – Drums, Percussions
  • Babu – Bass
  • Asad – Keyboards

Dustu Chheler Dol (2001)[edit]

All music composed by James.


  • James – Lead Guitar, Vocal
  • Asad – Keyboards
  • Tajul – Bass
  • Romel – Drums, Percussions


  1. ^ Nagar Baul set for world tour following Eid. clickittefaq.com. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  2. ^ Songs sung by James (Nagar Baul). lyricsmotion.com. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  3. ^ James and Sanam to perform in Dhaka today. thedailystar.net. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  4. ^ IMDb Mini Biography. imdb.com. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  5. ^ a b "Even people in villages relate to my music: James". The Times of India. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  6. ^ James to attend Ctg Winterfest concert. samakal.net. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  7. ^ Nogor Baul James. last.fm. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  8. ^ James & Nogor Baul Live in New Zealand. eventfinda.co.nz. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  9. ^ "James & Nagar Baul' live in concert". Indian Week Ender. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  10. ^ http://www.mastradio.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4179:ill-be-more-regular-in-releasing-albums-in-bangladesh-james&catid=9&Itemid=435
  11. ^ http://archive.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=177439
  12. ^ "Bangladeshi pop singer arrested". BBC News. 25 October 2002. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 

External links[edit]