The Musical Journey of Papon: A Vibrant Fusion of Genres

The journey of Papon from the grounds of Assam to Overseas

Explore the musical journey of Papon, from his nostalgic dreams to cultural representation around the globe, filled with joyful yet untold tales.

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Angarag Papon Mahanta, popularly known as Papon, is a well-known name in the music industry, both nationally and internationally. The proud son of Assam has successfully globalized Assamese music and inspired a bunch of musicians. Not only his music, but people admire him for his bright and old-school personality. The journey of his music from Assamese folk to concerts overseas has been interesting so far.

Papon Mahanta while performing in MTV Coke Studio

A dreamer, a wanderer, and a musical alchemist, Papon has been able to make a lasting impression on the world of melodies. Be it Ghazals, folk, or rock, he has mastered the art of craftsmanship and won the hearts of many.

Born and brought up in Nogaon, Assam, He is the son of the renowned Assamese singer duo, father Khagen Mahanta and mother Archana Mahanta. He was introduced to music at a very early age.

Where it all started

Although exposed to the intricacies of music at a very young age, Papon professionally started his musical career at the age of 30. Growing up in a household filled with the rhythm of his parents’ famous melodies, he struggled to find his own voice at times. The expectations were high, and the free-spirited Papon wanted to listen to his heart.

He was blessed with a soulful voice, but the young artist was passionate about other spheres of life. He was a brilliant artist and had a keen interest in painting, which later moved him towards pursuing his architecture degree in New Delhi.

This marks the journey of a young artist finding his own essence and taking a step towards his destiny.

Papon and the East India Company

Papon started his musical career with EIC as a lead vocalist. East India Company is an electric folk-fusion band formed in 2007. Like the name suggests, the band was named after the original East India company, and the idea was to rule the nation with their music.

Meanwhile, in Assam, Papon started gaining popularity for his debut Assamese album, “Jonaki Raati.” He started singing live and doing shows, which ultimately inspired him to take his music to a global scale.

EIC gave Papon the confidence and push to take his musical career ahead without any comparisons he used to experience in his hometown.

The band has performed at major music festivals in India as well as overseas, including in Singapore and Dubai. Today, the group is becoming a highly regarded live act across the nation’s gig circuit.

Delhi streets and folk fusion

There’s an unseen side to this singer that is less known to the world. He is a gypsy, a free-spirited wanderer.

During his college years at Delhi University, Papon used to travel a lot. From the food streets to the mountains to all the insignificant alleys, only to come up with an excellent blend of cultural voices and folk treasures. He holds deep regards to his father for introducing him to the true essence of folk, which inspired him to extract diverse tunes from remote corners of the town.

But Papon wanted something more; he loved when his guitar strings synced perfectly with the folk tunes. The seed for folk fusion was planted back then, and he never looked back.

Bollywood affairs

Papon was never looking forward specifically to his big Bollywood debut, but life had other offers for him. He was initially working with the popular band Midival Punditz and also with Indian-American musician Karsh Kale.

He was offered a song by Pritam, and his Bollywood journey began with the soulful contemporary track Jiyein Kyun, which is uniquely original and loved all around the country.

Papon initially felt his voice wasn’t really fit for mainstream songs, but he was successful in leaving a profound impact with his unique fusions and ghazals that could only be well executed by him. He was able to rule Bollywood within a few years with his offbeat and soulful tracks.

He received several awards, like the IIFA, GiMA, and Mirchi Music Awards, for best male playback singer for his most loved song, “Moh Moh Ke Dhaage.

Owning the ground

Papon’s music came into full swing with the beginning of MTV Coke Studio Season 2, where he performed in many jam sessions with several artists from different corners of the nation. The Indian audience witnessed the melodies of Assamese folk bihu for the first time on such a grand platform and loved it a lot. He created several fusions and introduced different gems of Assam to the other artists.

In recent times, Papon and his band performed with Niniola and released Ibaasi, an Afro-Bihu fusion. It was displayed in New York Times Square, and people seem to embrace its groovy tunes globally.

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