Angaraag Mahanta [Papon] is a singer, composer , producer. Born to the very popular music duo and legends of Assamese music, Archana Mahanta and Khagen Mahanta, he was introduced to music early on in his childhood. His first language is Assamese and he has so far sung in hindi and bengali apart from his mother tongue.
Papon’s initial training was in Indian Classical and devotional and folk music from Assam. He learnt vocals primarily but can also play He can also play the khol, tabla , guitar, and harmonium. His music covers genres like ambient electronic, acoustic folk and new age Indian Classical music and has been identified as having traces of pentatonic Mongoloid notes, local river song influences, Indian Classical music and ghazals and even new-age electronica.. He is also very instrumental in bringin back folk music to the young generation of today and making it it popular again.
Papon has performed with the Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale at various festivals around the world including the Paleo Music Festival in Switzerland, Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta Mosaic in Singapore and Oslo World Music Festival in Norway. Besides from performing with them Papon has co-written couple of song with the Midival Punditz that featured on their third album “Hello Hello” which ranked among the top three songs on Amazon, worldwide. He had then collaborated with the Welling Jazz Band, in Wellington, New Zealand , for a project with them playing some of his music live with him for the festival ‘Crossings’ in wellington in 2007. Also in the project was Rihan Sheehan, one of the most popular electronic artist/producer from wellington. He also wrote a song with Karsh Kale for KK’s new album ‘Cinema’. He is presently working on two international collaborations which should be ready by early 2012.
Papon’s first album ‘Jonaaki Raati’ in assamese which was released at the end of 2004 was his fame to name. It was the beginning of a new sound in Assamese music! It sold over 100,000 copies and is still selling! … The second album he produced was ‘Sinaaki Osinaaki’, which was released in november 2009. The album shows the next level of production by the artist and is really global in terms of the sound! Papon also has sung in few other albums produced by various people in Assamese apart from few indeginious , authentic folk music albums he himself produced in Assamese. His first folk music album was ‘Rong Phool’ a Bihu album very pure in its nature and sound, then came ‘ Gomseng’ another bihu album and then came ‘Phagunor Gaan’ an album representing the typical ‘ holi songs of Borpeta in west Assam.
Papon has been featured on albums by labels like MDR Records, in a tie up with Times Music and has also featured on the soundtrack of Bollywood films like ‘Dum Maaro Dum,’ ‘I Am Kalam’ and most recently, ‘Soundtrack.’ He has been featured on the Indian leg of the show Coke Studio @ MTV and the TV series for Star World called Dewarist for a collaboration with Rabbi Shergill . He was nominated twice under the same category, the best folk album category for his two Assamese folk albums at the GIMA awards 2011. He also opened the show with Midival Punditz, Kailash Kher and Shubha Mudgal. He is releasing an eponymous Hindi album at the end of 2011.
PAPON AND THE EAST INDIA COMPANY
In 2007, Papon formed an electric folk-fusion band called Papon and The East India Company. The band which has now been working from Bombay started in New Delhi and comprised of Papon as the frontman, Brin Desai onlive electronics, Krishna on guitars, Kirti on percussion and Dipu on bass. The five members came from backgrounds varying from Assamese folk to metal and blues to trip-hop. The latest edition to the band is Tonmoy who joins the band with a combination of an elctro-acoustic drumkit.
The band has a diverse range of influences like Trilok Gurtu, Dreamtheatre, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Massive Attack and Bjork. Papon and The East India Company’s live shows have been described as innovative and free-flowing, giving off a ‘jam’ like feel. The band has performed twice at the SAARC Music Band Festival in New Delhi, the Eastwind Festival and the ‘Kovalam Literary Festival’ and has performed overseas with Sutasi in Singapore. The band took a two year break in the wait for papon’s solo album which is releasing internationally at the end of this 2011. The band is back in action in November with 4 big festivals in the same month! They are playing at the October ‘beer’ Fest in bangalore, NH7 Weekender fest in pune and the Rock for Rights concert in New Delhi.
Earlier their track ‘OMO’ was taken on by Saregama HMV for release on the compilation album, ‘The Underground’ along with a song called ‘Jiya Baittho Jai’ in an album called ‘Sahibol.’ In 2008, their track called ‘Khuda Hota’ was released by ‘Dada Music’ – an extension of Music Today.
Papon on Wikipedia