Singer/musician Papon (or Angaraag Mahanta)
If you weren’t a singer/musician, you would’ve been...
An architect or a farmer.
How did Angaraag become famous as Papon?
Papon is my nickname. People just find it easier to pronounce and remember, so they address me as Papon.
If you were to pick a song to represent your life so far, which would it be?
, from my album
The Story So Far
(2012). It signifies how I’ve kept moving on, on my own, in my own way.
The sacrifices you have to make in order to protect your voice.
Avoid cold drinks and air conditioning as much as possible. Also, I try and get adequate sleep.
How much time do you devote to riyaaz?
I used to devote about three hours when I was learning Hindustani classical vocals. Now, I sing and hum all the time. Singing in shows is also a form of riyaaz for me.
Three qualities a singer must have.
An interesting voice texture, a bit of versatility, and good control over the modulation and throw of voice.
A thing you realised about Mumbai when you first moved there.
That the city is very punctual and people hold professionalism in high regard.
In the eternal debate of Delhi vs Mumbai, which city do you prefer?
Both. Delhi to live in, and Mumbai for work.
Singing reality shows are...
Good for exposure but sometimes overexpose a voice or the person.
Does knowing how to play a musical instrument help a singer?
Yes, totally. It is a complete musical experience when one plays an instrument while singing.
Talent or charisma, what is more important for a stage performer?
A lot of one and a bit of the other.
The best live concert audience is in...
College and music festivals.
A song that will successfully woo any girl.
The time you felt most like a celebrity.
Every time I go out to shop in Guwahati.
Do you ever get used to being famous?
My parents are legends in Assam, so I got used to that feeling right from childhood.
The most ridiculous demand a Bollywood composer has made of you.
I was once asked to sing in my baritone for a very high-pitched song.
Where can you get the best Northeastern food in Mumbai?
Comfort food for you is...
Fish tenga (sour fish curry) and rice.
One thing you miss most about home.
Hanging out with my kids while I’m travelling for gigs.
When you are not singing or making music, you are...
Dreaming of my next trip to the mountains.
The band/musician you grew up listening to
From HT Brunch, May 17
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