Papon promises a night of foot-tapping music in Dubai

 

Papon promises a night of foot-tapping music in Dubai

Published: Mon 21 Jan 2019, 12:50 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 11:46 AM

Ask Bollywood singer Papon, aka Angarag Mahanta, about the mediocrity that has crept into today's music and he opines, "The pressure of repeating the 'hit' format is what has taken the soul away from modern songs."
The singer, who has deep roots in the classical and folk traditions of Assam, has carved a niche for himself as one of the most versatile artistes in the Indian music industry, and is known for delivering songs that are soulful and melodic. Papon, who has visited our shores a few times earlier,  now promises a night of foot-tapping music when he brings his show to the Hard Rock Café, Dubai Festival City on Saturday, January 26.
It was early last year that Papon went on a nearly six-month hiatus, but that has not affected his popularity as he recorded tracks for movies such as Sui Dhaaga, Sanju and Raid while also being involved with NGO work.
The singer is thrilled to be back in the city. 
"I am really excited to be performing in Dubai. It is a great platform for me as an artiste to interact with fans of Bollywood music abroad and celebrate the rich musical culture of India. The fans can expect a great evening filled with the best of Bollywood and some of my personal favourites," the bartitone-voiced singer said. Ahead of Papon's concert in Dubai, we chat with the singer to know more:

What do you like about Dubai?
I think it's one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. You can sample the whole world here. The people, the food, the art and culture of the entire world. On a personal note I also love Dubai's bold modern-day architecture.

What can fans expect at your concert in Dubai?
They can expect an experience - of love, laughter, tears and a journey of story-telling weaved with good music. At times, they will find it difficult to stop tapping their feet (to the music).

Nowadays songs fade out of memory as soon as a movie stops screening at cinema halls. Why do today's songs not have the staying power of earlier ones?
Things are being done in a hurry these days. I feel that the lack of stories in the songs or the pressure of following or repeating the 'hit' format has taken the soul away from songs and in the process we have started adjusting to and sometimes celebrating mediocrity.

Your musical roots are steeped in Assamese folk; what can modern music learn from the folk genre and vice versa?
It can learn the art of storytelling through melodies, but having said that, I must say that modern music has great production values and delivery.

Is going digital the way forward for the music industry?
As of now going digital is the only option due to its reach, mode and the possibility of sampling music via streaming on your mobile phone while you are sitting in the comfort of your home. No other form of distribution can be as effective as this.

What is the most important thing to be a successful artiste today - talent, voice, presentation or connecting with the audience?
All of the above. One is born with talent but how you develop it to suit the present and how you present it is key to success. Vocal quality is another thing which personally attracts me the most, but people are born with that quality to a great extent. And connecting with the audience gives life to the words weaved in a melody.  

Besides having a great voice, marketing oneself is also important. Do you agree?
Yes, it's very important! In a world where more and more professional musicians are making their way into the business of music, you need to cut through the collage to shine and be noticed. But if your sole focus is on the numbers then you may sometimes make it to the charts but not end up staying alive in the hearts (of music lovers) for long.

Your song Yeh Tishnagi came after a long break. Why did you go on a break? We heard during that time, you were involved in some NGO activities. Can you elaborate?              
I have not been on a break. The year (2018) has seen the most releases starting with Jhuk Na Paunga from the movie Raid which was released in March. After that, I did many more songs, including a track from the Ranbir Kapoor starrer Sanju as well as Sui Dhaaga before Yeh Tishnagi which I think released in September. Yes, I am doing some stuff with not one but many NGOs helping children, environment and various other issues, but I would like the work that I'm doing to speak for itself in due time.

When you are composing for Bollywood films, do you attempt to infuse folk music elements from North East India?                                   
It would all depend on the story and the song. Having said that, I have composed for a few films. In a couple of movies, the situation did not require or have any scope for indigenous sounds, but if you listen to my song Yeh Tishnagi, it does have an element of 'Ghoxaa' in the melody, which is a devotional form of Neo Vaishnavite music in Assam.

If you had to choose a classic track to sing, which one would you choose?
Quite a few actually. It's very difficult to pick one particular song, but off the hat, I would say Chand Phir Nikla
Show details
. Date: Saturday, January 26
. Venue: Hard Rock Café, Dubai Festival City
. Tickets: Dhs175, available on meraticket.com or 800tickets.com
michael@khaleejtimes.com

By Michael Gomes

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Ask Bollywood singer Papon, aka Angarag Mahanta, about the mediocrity that has crept into today's music and he opines, "The pressure of repeating the 'hit' format is what has taken the soul away from modern songs."
The singer, who has deep roots in the classical and folk traditions of Assam, has carved a niche for himself as one of the most versatile artistes in the Indian music industry, and is known for delivering songs that are soulful and melodic. Papon, who has visited our shores a few times earlier,  now promises a night of foot-tapping music when he brings his show to the Hard Rock Café, Dubai Festival City on Saturday, January 26.
It was early last year that Papon went on a nearly six-month hiatus, but that has not affected his popularity as he recorded tracks for movies such as Sui Dhaaga, Sanju and Raid while also being involved with NGO work.
The singer is thrilled to be back in the city. 
"I am really excited to be performing in Dubai. It is a great platform for me as an artiste to interact with fans of Bollywood music abroad and celebrate the rich musical culture of India. The fans can expect a great evening filled with the best of Bollywood and some of my personal favourites," the bartitone-voiced singer said. Ahead of Papon's concert in Dubai, we chat with the singer to know more:

What do you like about Dubai?
I think it's one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. You can sample the whole world here. The people, the food, the art and culture of the entire world. On a personal note I also love Dubai's bold modern-day architecture.

What can fans expect at your concert in Dubai?
They can expect an experience - of love, laughter, tears and a journey of story-telling weaved with good music. At times, they will find it difficult to stop tapping their feet (to the music).

Nowadays songs fade out of memory as soon as a movie stops screening at cinema halls. Why do today's songs not have the staying power of earlier ones?
Things are being done in a hurry these days. I feel that the lack of stories in the songs or the pressure of following or repeating the 'hit' format has taken the soul away from songs and in the process we have started adjusting to and sometimes celebrating mediocrity.

Your musical roots are steeped in Assamese folk; what can modern music learn from the folk genre and vice versa?
It can learn the art of storytelling through melodies, but having said that, I must say that modern music has great production values and delivery.

Is going digital the way forward for the music industry?
As of now going digital is the only option due to its reach, mode and the possibility of sampling music via streaming on your mobile phone while you are sitting in the comfort of your home. No other form of distribution can be as effective as this.

What is the most important thing to be a successful artiste today - talent, voice, presentation or connecting with the audience?
All of the above. One is born with talent but how you develop it to suit the present and how you present it is key to success. Vocal quality is another thing which personally attracts me the most, but people are born with that quality to a great extent. And connecting with the audience gives life to the words weaved in a melody.  

Besides having a great voice, marketing oneself is also important. Do you agree?
Yes, it's very important! In a world where more and more professional musicians are making their way into the business of music, you need to cut through the collage to shine and be noticed. But if your sole focus is on the numbers then you may sometimes make it to the charts but not end up staying alive in the hearts (of music lovers) for long.

Your song Yeh Tishnagi came after a long break. Why did you go on a break? We heard during that time, you were involved in some NGO activities. Can you elaborate?              
I have not been on a break. The year (2018) has seen the most releases starting with Jhuk Na Paunga from the movie Raid which was released in March. After that, I did many more songs, including a track from the Ranbir Kapoor starrer Sanju as well as Sui Dhaaga before Yeh Tishnagi which I think released in September. Yes, I am doing some stuff with not one but many NGOs helping children, environment and various other issues, but I would like the work that I'm doing to speak for itself in due time.

When you are composing for Bollywood films, do you attempt to infuse folk music elements from North East India?                                   
It would all depend on the story and the song. Having said that, I have composed for a few films. In a couple of movies, the situation did not require or have any scope for indigenous sounds, but if you listen to my song Yeh Tishnagi, it does have an element of 'Ghoxaa' in the melody, which is a devotional form of Neo Vaishnavite music in Assam.

If you had to choose a classic track to sing, which one would you choose?
Quite a few actually. It's very difficult to pick one particular song, but off the hat, I would say Chand Phir Nikla
Show details
. Date: Saturday, January 26
. Venue: Hard Rock Café, Dubai Festival City
. Tickets: Dhs175, available on meraticket.com or 800tickets.com
michael@khaleejtimes.com



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