Angarag Mahanta a.k.a Papon was born on November 24, 1975 in Guwahati, Assam. He was in Assam most of his childhood and was introduced to music at a very early age.
His father Khagen Mahanta was a singer and composer of folk and traditional music of Assam. Khagen Mahanta was a notable person in Assamese folk music and known as the “King of Bihu“. His Bihu songs, Borgeet and other folk songs remain popular in Assam.
Papon’s Mother Archana Mahanta was a renowned folk singer from Assam. Archana Mahanta and her late husband Khagen Mahanta had an enormous contribution in popularizing and preserving Assamese folk music.
Papon got married to Shweta Mahanta.
Papon was initially trained for Indian Classical music since his childhood and also in the devotional music and folk music in Assamese. He has learnt all his music and singing from Khol, Tabla, Guitar and Harmonium.
When he makes or produces any music it covers mostly Ambient Electronic, Acoustic Folk and new age Indian Classical music. 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 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” by Anu Malik for the film ‘’Dum Laga Ke Haisha’’ and “Humnava” in Humari 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”
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.
Hindi Songs of Papon
Na Ishq Kariyo Jhalle
Rowd Hoi Aha Tumi
Kola Kola Endhare
Papon has been collaborated with many music composers and other singers as well. Before falling in the hands of controversies which bought a halt to his career but later all the allegations proved wrong and it was good.
Papon has performed with the Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale at various festivals around the world including the Paleo Music Festival in Switzerland, Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Mosaic Music Festival in Singapore and Oslo World Music Festival in Norway.
Aside from performing with them, Papon has co-written a couple of songs with the MIDIval Punditz that featured on their third album. Hello which ranked among the top three songs on Amazon. worldwide.
He collaborated with the Welling Jazz Band, in Wellington, New Zealand, for a project playing some of his music during Crossings festival held in Wellington, New Zealand in 2007. Also in the project was Rhian Sheehan, a popular electronic artist and producer from Wellington.
He also wrote a song with Karsh Kale for his new album Cinema. He is working on two international collaborations which were to be released in 2012
Papon was successful enough in his career to judge someone on the basis of his experience and knowledge about his music and sense of judgement. He has been a judge on the reality television show called Voice of India Kids.
Pritam – Dum Maaro Dum (Jiyein Kyu), Kyon (Barfi), Sun Zara (Bhopal), Chaav Laga (Sui Dhaaga), Jeans Pant Aur Choli (Ishqeria), Yaadein (Ishqeria)
Anu Malik – Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Dum Laga Ke Haisha), Prem’s Theme (Dum Laga Ke Haisha), Daana Paani (Qareeb Qareeb Single)
Amit Trivedi – Darbaan (Bombay Velvet), Jhuk Na Paunga (Raid), Vande Mataram (India’s Most Wanted).
Prag Cine Awards 2012 Best Playback Singer Male – Ramdhenu 2012. GIMA Awards 2012 – The Story So far. GIMA Awards 2015 – Best Pop Album Coke Studio at MTV Season 3 22nd Screen Awards – Moh Moh Ke Dhaage 8th Mirchi Award – Male Vocalist of the Year Times OF India Film Awards 2016 – Best Playback Singer (Male) GIMA Awards 2016 – Best Playback Singer (Male) 17th IIFA Awards – Best Playback Singer (Male)