Papon – Angarag Mahanta

INFORMATION

Born In : Assam, India
Occupation(s) : Singer, Songwriter, Music Director
Genres : Electro fusion, Indian classical, pop, Assamese, classical
Web Site : http://www.papon.in/

Angarag Mahanta, known by his stagename Papon, is an Indian playback singer from Assam. Papon also worked as singer-songwriter and music director in Assamese films. He is the lead singer and founder of the folk-fusion band Papon and The East India Company.

Personal life

Papon was born to the Assamese folk singers Khagen Mahanta and Archana Mahanta. He has spent most of his childhood in Assam. He was introduced to music early on in his childhood. His father, Khagen, died on 12 June 2014. 

He now lives in Mumbai with his wife Shweta Mishra Mahanta. They have two children.

Career

Papon’s initial training was in Indian Classical, devotional (Borgeet) and folk music. He learnt vocals primarily but also plays the khol, tabla, guitar, and harmonium. His music covers genres such as ambient electronic, acoustic folk and new-age Indian classical music and it has been identified as having traces of pentatonic Mongoloid notes, local river song influences and ghazals. Although his first language is Assamese he has also sung in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Marathi, Mishing and Bengali.

Papon’s 2018 song “Baba Bolta Hain Bas Ho Gaya”, from the movie Sanju, comments on differences between the real Sanju and the “reel” Sanju. A noted 2016 Bollywood song is “Labon ka karobar”, from the film Befikre. In 2016, he sang “Bulleya” for the film Sultan. In 2015, he sang “Moh moh ke dhage” for the film Dum Laga Ke Haisha and “Humnava” in Hamari Adhuri Kahani (2015). In 2014, he sang “Lakeerein”, which is a poem by Gulzar, for the film Kya Dilli Kya Lahore and “Sun ri Bavli” for Nagesh Kukunoor’s film Lakshmi. In 2014 only he also had sung two songs “Sun le re” and “Khudse” from the movie Madras Cafe (2013). He recorded a hit song “Kyon” for the movie Barfi!. He has also sung the title song from Inkaar (2013). His first big song in Bollywood was “Jiyein kyun” from the movie Dum Maro Dum. Papon released his first album, Junaki Raati in Assamese at the end of 2004, marking a new kind of regional sound. The second album he produced was Sinaaki Osinaaki, which was released in November, 2009. Papon has also sung on a few other albums produced by various artists in Assam. His first folk music album was Rangphul a Bihu album, after which he produced Gomseng and subsequently, Phagunor Gaan an album representing the typical holi songs of Barpeta in West Assam. He sang on a devotional Borgeet album called Chandamukhi and is working on a traditional folk album of Tokari songs. On the first edition of Coke Studio @ MTV, he performed on the popular bihu song Pak Pak.

Papon returned to Coke Studio @ MTV in 2013, and this time around, he produced his very own episode for the popular show. This makes Papon the only musician to have grown with Coke Studio @ MTV, having now been involved in all three seasons of the show. For his episode on this season of the show, Papon produced 6 songs – 3 brand new compositions and 3 cross-border folk songs. In the first season of Coke Studio @ MTV, Papon sang the upbeat song “Pak Pak (Bihu Naam)”, produced by Lesle Lewis, and in its second season, he produced his own track, the high-spirited Assamese folk song “Tokari” and also featured as a vocalist on celebrated musician composer Nitin Sawhney’s episode singing the beautiful, almost melancholic folk song “Sahil Tak”.

Papon’s work on this season of Coke Studio @ MTV has been critically lauded and videos of his tracks have received thousands of views on YouTube within a week. Of the 3 new compositions, “Tauba”, with Benny Dayal, has received more than 1.5 million views, while the Papon solo “Khumaar” has received over 500,000 views. “Benaam Khwahishein” has also received close to 1.5 million views. Papon also reinvented 3 folk songs for his episode of Coke Studio @ MTV. “Baisara Beera”, is a Rajasthani folk song Papon learned from his father; “Dinae Dinae”, with Harshdeep Kaur, is a beautiful Bhatiali river song from Goalpara in Assam, in the Sufi tradition, and has received over 450,000 views; and “Jhumor ( ঝুমুৰ )”, a rousing song of the tea tribes in Assam.

Angaraag once stated in his interview with NDTV Good Times that he wishes to travel worldwide and perform in various music festivals. At the same time, he also wants to meet different musicians, be exposed to different forms of music and collaborate with various talented musicians to create amazing and beautiful music. Some of his initial stuff was widely considered a novelty in the Assamese musical scenario. It was a blend of East-Indian folk music and Western electronic musical arrangement, enhanced by atmospheric sounds effects. In most of these endeavors, he collaborated with the East India Company, of which he is a founding member.

In August 2016, Red Bull released “Hometown Heroes,” a seven-part documentary web series that revisits the story of Papon’s youth and rising career.

In 2013, Papon was also responsible for the theme song for MTV Roadies X: Battle for Glory – “Jajabor” (Jajabor being an Assemese word for yayavar – “traveler”).

ARTIST PHOTO

Papon - Lyrics On Web

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