Transcending conventional boundaries and genres
Angaraag Papon Mahanta’s second album, Sinaki-Osinaki, was recently released on the singer’s birthday in the city. The album seems to have taken the entire State by storm, something which was on expected lines after the huge success of his debut album, Jonaki Raati. His debut effort has attained both popularity and critical appreciation in Assam.
Sinaki-Osinaki, is a mixture of genres and styles, transcending boundaries set by cultures and States, like Papon himself. Like his varied musical experience of being exposed to a wide range of music, playing with well known musicians and performing on stages across the world and yet preserving his Assamese root through all of this, Sinaki-Osinaki blends folk, traditional, modern, experimental and new age. In Nanda Geet, Papon brings in Brajawali, the ancient Assamese language, a first of its kind experimentation in recent times. The song records this beautiful language in which Shankardev wrote Borgeet and Bhaona and is an attempt at keeping the language alive. Niyor Xona Xondhiya, on the other hand, has a hip-hop beat that is a revolutionary street counter-culture genre of music.
In terms of mood as well, the songs in Sinaki-Osinaki is a mixture of a range of emotions. From romantic, nostalgic, foot tapping to spiritual, the songs in Sinaki-Osinaki captures life’s moments in various hues. Ahiba Tumi Pua is a romantic song (one of Papon’s popular styles) based on cutting age ambient electronica. Whereas, Loka-Motive is a folk-funk that has traces of folk music from lower parts of Assam. Keeping in line with one of his favourite styles, Jowa Raati Akau has a blues feel, reliving the melancholia of our urban existences.
In production also the album is a definite upgrade using latest technology and techniques. This gives sharper, clearer, more emotive sounds that emit every minute nuances of folk drum beats and Dutora along with the machine made sounds of electronica.
This new offering from Angaraag Papon Mahanta, will appeal both to the young and aged. It will please the souls of many Assamese who live outside Assam and whose lives are a similar experience of cultures and exchanges. It will also appeal to a wider international audience, showcasing some of Assam’s very traditional in a completely new way to the world.
Papon is a name which hardly needs any introduction. An already well known name in Assam and all over the world, Papon has cut a niche for himself in the world of music with his original and evolved style of music. His vocals capabilities are that of an uncommon genius and his sense of music is in-born through his much respected and popular singer parents Archana and Khagen Mahanta.
Trained from early childhood in classical music, Papon has been playing and making music all his life. His first album Jonaki Raati was well received in Assam and is undoubtedly one of the most popular Assamese albums ever. Over years, Papon has sung with many world class musicians and made music for well known directors and producers. Africa, Australia and Europe, he has also performed across continents over the years
To quote some of his achievements, he has co-produced music for Road to Ladakh (2002), The Last Monk (2005), produced and sung a song with Sunidhi Chauhan for Mumbai Cuttings (2008), sung a duet with Ali Azmat of Pakistani band Junoon for Mumbai Cuttings, co-written and sung two songs for ‘Hello Hello’, the latest album of Midival Punditz, one of which is rated amongst the best 10 songs of 2009 internationally, performed nationally and internationally in a number of prestigious music festivals like SAARC International 2007, Sutashi Festival Singapore 2008 and East Wind 2008 with East India Company, the band he formed in 2006. He has also been playing live with composer performer new age electronica pioneer Karsh Kale from San Francisco, USA and Midival Punditz nationally and internationally for the last 5 years. Papon also has the distinction of being arguably the only Assamese musician to have performed at one of Europe’s oldest and biggest music festival Paleo, in Switzerland earlier this year. Having produced music for numerous documentaries and short films for the last seven years, he is soon going to launch his self-titled Hindi album with Mumbai-based music label Phat Phish records. The album is due anytime soon.