Rashmi Rekha Das

One of the greatest playback singers, music directors and lyricists of Odia film industry, Akshay Mohanty’s contributions to the regional music industry can never be forgotten. The musical maestro rendered many romantic, peppy and soft tracks that left a lasting impact on the film industry and audience across the state. As today marks the 86th birth anniversary of the singing legend who was popularly called Khoka Bhai, OTV paid tribute to him.

Akshay had composed music for 75 movies in which he also rendered his voice. Be it a tea seller, rickshaw puller or college goer, he made everyone fall in love with his magical voice. What distinguished the playback singer and composer from his competitors was his home-grown style of embodying Cuttack’s playfulness.

Born to Bichitrananda Mohanty and Subarna Manjari Mohanty October 12, 1934 in Cuttack district, he showcased his talent in the field of music from childhood. Most importantly, despite not having formal training in music, he attained zenith of success and fame at a young age by composing and singing songs. 

He had carved a special place in the heart of music lovers for introducing laghu sangeeta (soft romantic tracks) and Gazal in the Odia film industry. Some of his tracks like Ja Re Bhasi Bhai Ja, Punya ra Nadi Tire, Smruti Tume, Bayasara Krushnachuda, Udi udi udi ja re udi, Raja jhia sange, Ba ba Re Capital and  Nadira nama Alasakanya among many hits have swayed generations of music lovers to the present day.

Apart from Odia, Akshay made a Bengali album ‘Sonar Bahute Kankan Hoiche Dhanya’ back in the 60s’.  It won’t be wrong to say that he is a matchless figure who revamped the Odia music industry altogether.