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News |  22 Mar 2017 18:06 |  By RnMTeam

Papon composes Namami Brahmaputra anthem

MUMBAI: Always one to have worn his love of Assam on his sleeve, singer and multi-instrumentalist Papon was entrusted with the task of creating the anthem for the debut edition of Namami Brahmaputra, billed as the biggest river festival of India.

The five-day festival which will be held from 31 March to 4 April will celebrate Assam’s art, heritage and culture.

The festival anthem, called Namami Brahmaputra, was released by the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in Guwahati on March 21. Documentary filmmaker Parasher Baruah, who is also from Assam and has worked with directors and storytellers like Anurag Kashyap and music series like Coke Studio in the past, has directed the video.

Composed by Papon and written in two different languages, Hindi and Axomia, the Hindi lyrics have been written by Swanand Kirkire and the Axomia version by Manmath Baishya is an adaptation of the same. “Swanand did such a beautiful job of capturing the Brahmaputra and what it means to Assam,” says Papon.

You can watch the anthem here (Hindi version)

(Axomia version)

Papon who is a dedicated ambassador of Assam and its culture, knew exactly how he wanted to go about creating the anthem. “I knew I wanted the song to have a quintessential Assamese flavour. Like the mighty and grand Brahmaputra, I wanted the song to reflect those qualities. Consciously, I also wanted to showcase the Vaishnavite classical music system and used bol using the khol (drum-like instrument made of terracotta, usually played to accompany devotional music),” he adds.

It was Papon’s idea to involve his friends from Bollywood as well. “The government asked me to compose the theme song for the festival that celebrates the mighty Brahmaputra and since the objective of the festival is to showcase Assam, I felt that if the song was sung by singers from all over the country, it would have a wider reach, and I am ever so grateful to all my friends in the industry who took out the time to work on this project for me,” says Papon.

Papon has roped in a plethora of names for the Hindi version. From Bollywood legends like Amitabh Bachchan to popular playback singers like Arijit Singh, Sonu Nigam,Shreya Ghoshal, Kailash Kher, Zubeen Garg, Shankar Mahadevan, Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani, Shubha Mudgal, Harshdeep Kaur, Usha Uthup, Shaan and the Shillong Choir, all have lent their voices to the theme song alongside Papon.

“For the Assamese version, I have worked with a generation of singers starting with my mother Archana Mahanta, who is 70 to Rupam Bhuyan who is the youngest of the lot,” says the singer and composer who won multiple accolades for his rendition of ‘Moh Moh Ke Dhaage’ from Dum Laga Ke Haisha.