‘Kacha Badam’ Singer Bhuban Badyakar Becomes Songwriter
Bhuban Badyakar became a global sensation with his melodious shoutout to sell ‘Kacha Badam’ and garnered attention nationwide. So much so that even a dance move was spawned by the melody. However, he is quite philosophical about his song which went viral.
Badyakar, a peanut seller, who has been invited to Bangladesh and Dubai, says his dreams were never big. Videos of him traveling through villages on a motorbike while singing “Kacha Badam” were posted on YouTube and it resulted in instant stardom. But Badyakar remains anchored even after three months of the video going viral.
“I’m just a peanut salesman. The money I got so suddenly, I tried to use it to buy a dream used car…but it wasn’t really me,” Badyakar, who has yet to obtain a passport, told PTI.
He bought the car at the height of its glory but sold it after an accident a few weeks ago. “I don’t really need a car,” he added with a wry smile.
The Bengali-language song, calling on people to buy his peanuts and promising they were of the best quality, caused a stir with celebrities such as Rajkumar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar, as well as Instagram influencers and Tiktokkers joining the stage. and posting their dance videos. on several social media platforms.
It wasn’t just Indians dancing to the tunes of Badyakar. Tanzanian brother-sister duo Tiktok of Kili and Neema Paul have also released their video.
It was a remarkable journey from obscurity to glory, with Badyakar recording songs, hosting stage shows and appealing to the media.
Standing outside his house, which shows no signs of his showbiz contacts, the ‘kacha badam’ seller said he was still in disbelief at how social platforms like YouTube and Facebook could turn him into such a big name.
He also admits that the sudden fame and money offers had “turned his head” a bit. At one point, he considered giving up selling peanuts as offers for stage performances poured in.
However, Badyakar remains rooted in the red soil of his village in the tribal heartland of Birbhum, about 190 km from West Bengal’s capital, Kolkata. “I’m just a peanut seller…I’ll sing but I’ll still sell peanuts too.” he added.
On the outside, not much has changed for Badyakar, who is in his 50s and lives with his two sons and his wife in a mud house. The roof has been patched here and there with plastic and palm fronds. Besides “Kacha Badam”, Badyankar composed two other songs.
“I wrote two other songs, one song is ‘Saregama’ and another is about my experiences of buying a used car, having an accident and then swearing off driving a car again. The song is called ‘Amar Notun Gari’,” he said.
He also took a trip to Mumbai recently to record the second song. He was accompanied by Gopal Ghosh, managing director of music label Godhuli Bela Music, who signed a one-year deal with Badyakar.
Ghosh said he advised the singer to build himself a house first. The company paid Rs 3 lakh to the singer for the contract.
The “pucca” house being built with part of this advance and grants from a rural housing program is now coming.
“We’re also trying to make sure he receives a royalty for his song from those who use it,” Ghosh said.
According to villagers, Badyakar struggled all his life to make ends meet by farming a small plot of land and supplementing his income by selling peanuts. Her sons work as daily bets while the daughter is married.
His financial situation has improved but he is still a poor man, said a villager. Fame brought with it hanger and selfie lovers and occasional invitations to perform at local parties and shows. Enterprising young people attached themselves to Badyakar to manage his shows and his invitations as commissionaires.
Among them are Dilfaraz and Sharif Khan, who say they are unemployed and manage to earn some money by helping him.
Badyakar said there were invitations to perform in places like Kerala as well as Bangladesh and even Dubai, but he does not have a passport and his wife was initially against him to travel abroad .
“She is a simple villager but has a keen sense of what is good and what may not work and made me swear not to leave the country. Lately she gave in,” he said.
Badyakar said he inherited his love for music and manner with words from his ancestors. He said his cousins played drums and his sons also took up music.
A simple man, he compels everyone who shows up at his house to seek selfies with a smile – an acknowledgment perhaps of the roller coaster that life can sometimes be, full of bittersweet twists and turns.
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