Multi-instrumentalist and singer Papon, the voice of ‘Jiyein kyun’ (Dum Maaro Dum; 2011) and ‘Moh moh ke dhaage’ (Dum Laga Ke Haisha; 2015), is known for his effortless vocals in various genres. The artiste can perform in any style from Assamese folk to reggae, and has sung songs in a wide range of Indian and world music styles.
Watch: Moh Moh Ke Dhaage from Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Papon is a firm believer in adapting himself according to situations. In line with the changing trends in the music industry, he has released his latest album through a music streaming app. “When the whole world changes, you have to be a part of it. There’s nothing wrong with that,” he says.
However, the singer says he misses the “romance” of the days of tapes and CDs. He says, “You don’t hold on to a CD or vinyl physically, you don’t have a corner of the room dedicated to your stack, you don’t have a collection of CDs to flaunt. The thrill of collecting them, feeling them, smelling them; all that romance has gone (laughs). But you never know; maybe it will come back. I have a feeling that the physical form [of music CDs or vinyls] will come back just for the romance of it.”
Several musicians feel that cutting an album through music labels is growing extremely difficult and that this is “the age of singles”. But Papon feels that there should be an effort to create non-filmi music, especially as the popularity of Internet platforms has opened up several avenues for composers. “Films are great, but why not make music otherwise too? I hope this step [releasing an album through an app] puts out the message to all the great artistes in the country to go out and make music. Let’s not depend entirely on films to get our music out,” says the singer.
Watch: Jiyein Kyun from Dum Maaro Dum
He admits that the Internet also has commercial barriers, but insists that it provides a stepping stone to newcomers who have little financial backing. “These days, even on online platforms, there is so much commerce that it takes an effort to get the product to the end user. It is tough, but you can fund yourself to an extent and put it [your work] up [on the Internet]. You don’t have to plan a big budget. It’s easier to produce an album now. Things have become more accessible,” says Papon.
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The author tweets @iamsusanjose