James (musician)

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Faruq Mahfuz Anam
Faruq Mahfuz Anam in Trination Mega Festival - Bangladesh India Pakistan (8375647058).jpg
James performing in Trination Mega Festival in 2012
Native name
ফারুক মাহফুজ আনাম
Faruq Mahfuz Anam

(1964-10-02) 2 October 1964 (age 54)
Naogaon, East Pakistan (Now in Naogaon, Bangladesh)
ResidenceDhaka, Bangladesh
Other names
  • James
  • Guru
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • actor
Years active1977-present
  • Rothi
    (m. 1997; div. 2002)
  • Benazir Sazzad (m. 2002)
Children3, including, Jannat, Jahaan and Daanish
  • Mojammel Haque (father)
  • Jahanara Khatun (mother)
Musical career
OriginChittagong, Bangladesh
Associated acts
  • Feelings
  • Nagar Baul

Faruq Mahfuz Anam (born 02 October, 1964), best known by his stage name James, is a Bangladeshi singer-songwriter, guitarist, and composer. He is the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the rock band "Feelings" (now known as Nagar Baul), which he founded in 1977.[1] James was born and raised in Naogaon. But, he grew up in Chittagong City.[2]

James has also led a successful solo career, with hit albums like "অনন্যা (Ananya)" (1989), "পালাবি কোথায়? (Where Will You Run to?)" (1995), "দুঃখিনি দুঃখ করোনা (Don't Regret)" (1997), "ঠিক আছে বন্ধু (Okay, My Friend)" (1999). He has composed and produced songs for four Bollywood films, including Gangster (2006), Woh Lamhe (2006), Life in a... Metro (2007), Warning (2013).[3]

James rose to mainstream fame in the 1990s as the frontman of Feelings, which is one of the "Big Three of Rock", who were responsible for developing and popularizing hard rock music in Bangladesh, along with LRB and Ark. Feelings is considered to be the pioneer of psychedelic rock in Bangladesh.[4] He is often referred by the name "Guru".[5][6]

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.[7] Following a 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 where his musical career began and flourished after he met the musicians from the band Feelings. He joined Feelings as the vocal and lead guitarist.[8][9]


After some members left Feelings in 1980, James, Funty, Pablo and Swapan re-formed the band and started to perform in local gigs. This was the line-up at that time:[10]

  • James – lead guitar, vocals
  • Funty – drums
  • Pablo – keyboards, vocals
  • Swapan – bass guitar

He became popular among musicians as "The one who can play Mark Knopfler with the right feels".[clarification needed] After several years of stage shows, they came to Dhaka to record their first album, Station Road. James composed all the tracks, and wrote the lyrics for five of them. Though the album was not a hit, the tracks "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.[11]


James performing in San Francisco Bay Area, US (September 2013)

James sings psychedelic rock and blues music. He has cited Jim Morrison, Mark Knopfler, 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 Nagar 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 Nagar Baul. The first and only album under the new name 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, since the 1990s. He met Pritam Chakraborty, an Indian Bengali music director and composer working in Bollywood, in 2004. In 2005, James did the playback for the movie Gangster. The song was "Bheegi Bheegi" and it was a blockbuster hit, remaining at the top of the Bollywood Hit List for more than a month.[12] He 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. It was released in YouTube ahead of the movie for promotional purposes.


James first appeared in a television commercial for Pepsi in the early 2000s. This commercial was broadcast both in West Bengal and Bangladesh. In 2011, he starred in a Bangladeshi TVC for Black Horse, a brand of energy drinks. James appeared in the Bollywood movie Life in A... Metro, in which he played the role of a member of a street band, 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,[13] whom he reportedly met during a concert in New York around 1999. James has three children: daughters Jannat and Jahaan, and son Daanish.

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. 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), and Ke Hote Chay Kotipoti (2011). Red Dot produces TVCs, music videos, TV reality shows, and corporate audio visuals. They are planning to produce a full-length film.


James is an 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

Nagar Baul[edit]

  • Feelings (1987), later renamed Station Road
  • Jail Theke Bolchi (1993)
  • Nagar Baul (1996)
  • Lais Fita Lais (1998)
  • Dustu Cheler Dol (2001)

Solo albums[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)

Film scores[edit]

Album descriptions[edit]

Station Road (1988)[edit]

Released by Doel Products

All music composed by James.


  • James – lead guitar, vocals
  • Funty – drums, percussion
  • Pablo – keyboards, clarinet, flute, vocals
  • Swapan – bass

Jail Theke Bolchhi (1993)[edit]

All music composed by James.


  • James – lead guitar, vocals, cover concept
  • Funty – drums, percussion, bass
  • Tanvir Ibrahim– keyboards
  • Babu- Bass

Nagar Baul (1996)[edit]

All music composed by James.


  • James – lead guitar, vocals, cover concept
  • Funty – drums, percussion
  • Babu – bass
  • Asad – keyboards

Lais Fita Lais (1998)[edit]

All music composed by James.


  • James – lead guitar, vocals, cover concept
  • Funty – drums, percussion
  • Babu – bass
  • Asad – keyboards

Dustu Chheler Dol (2001)[edit]

All music composed by James.


  • James – lead guitar, vocals
  • Asad – keyboards
  • Tajul – bass
  • Romel – drums, percussion


  1. ^ https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2013/james-nagar-baul/auckland/avondale
  2. ^ James to attend Ctg Winterfest concert. samakal.net. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  3. ^ "James & Nagar Baul' live in concert". Indian Week Ender. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Even people in villages relate to my music: James". The Times of India. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Even people in villages relate to my music: James". Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  6. ^ Nogor Baul James. last.fm. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ Nagar Baul set for world tour following Eid. clickittefaq.com. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  9. ^ James and Sanam to perform in Dhaka today. thedailystar.net. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  10. ^ James & Nogor Baul Live in New Zealand. eventfinda.co.nz. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  11. ^ Songs sung by James (Nagar Baul). lyricsmotion.com. Retrieved on 14-02-2017.
  12. ^ http://archive.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=177439
  13. ^ "Bangladeshi pop singer arrested". BBC News. 25 October 2002. Retrieved 30 September 2013.

External links[edit]