Angaraag Mahanta, popularly known as Papon, is a multi-instrumentalist composer, producer and singer. He is one of the most well recognized and loved playback voices of India today. His popularity has surged as producer and performer in the recent Coke Studio editions, playback in Bollywood movies such as Barfi, Special 26 and Madras Café. Papon’s composition ‘Tauba’ with another famous singer Benny Dayal had 5 lakh plus views on YouTube and was one of the most popular songs from Coke Studio Season 3.
While rooted in traditional folk, Papon is influenced by various musical genres. He was born to Archana Mahanta and Khagen Mahanta, musical legends of Assam, who set the foundations of his musical prowess. Papon has innovated with electronica, acoustic folk, electro ghazals, new-age and ind-classical sounds while being faithful to his roots.
While singing for Bollywood has won his fame, Papon revels in live performances and fusion. His track record for performances spans across continents. Papon has played live with composer-performer and new-age electronica pioneer Karsh Kale from the USA and the Midival Punditz from India. His band, the East India Company, has performed live at numerous music festivals in India, namely the SAARC Bands Festival in New Delhi, the NH7 Weekender in Pune, Bangalore, the Sulafest – Nashik, the MAD Fest Ooty and the Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Festival. They have also performed at the du World Music Festival in Dubai.
Papon has won many industry recognitions. Amongst the notable ones are the Best Singer Male at the Star Screen Awards 2016, nomination for Best Singer Male Film Fare Awards 2016, the Best PoP Album for Coke Studio Season 3, the GIMA in the Best PoP Album 2012 and Best Male Vocalist at Prag Cine Awards 2012 and 2015.
Barmer Boys are the next generation of performers that carry forward the centuries-old musical traditions of the Manganiyars and are the global ambassadors of contemporary Rajasthani folk and Sufi music. The trio meld traditional Sufi and celebratory songs with the acid twang of the morchang (Jewsharp), the staccato rhythm of the dholak (two headed Indian drum) and beatboxing, creating a sound unique to the band! The band's versatility of styles and bubbling energy infuses each performance - from soulful Sufi kalaams to uplifting wedding and celebratory songs, songs of love and remembrance, to boisterous jams with beat-boxing and live DJ sets.
The group made their international debut in 2014 with shows at Roskilde Festival ’14, Borneo World Music Expo ’14, a US debut with a coast-to-coast tour in April ’14, and have been wooing audiences on television screens, cinema halls and festivals in India including MTV CokeStudio Season 3, NH7 Weekender ‘14, IIT Mood Indigo ’14 and Jaipur Literature Festival ’15. Barmer Boys have since toured Canada, Europe and Hong Kong, and featured on BBC Radio's Global Beats program.