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Papon Explains Why K-pop Is 'Ruling the World Today,' Says 'India Can Definitely Do It Too' | Exclusive

By: Titas Chowdhury

Edited By: Shrishti Negi

News18.com

Last Updated: January 14, 2023, 13:58 IST

Mumbai, India

Papon is a Bollywood playback singer and composer from Assam.

Papon is a Bollywood playback singer and composer from Assam.

Singer Papon believes that this is an example that should inspire India to promote and showcase their talents and music on the world map too.

It is no secret that Hallyu, the Korean wave, has taken over the world today. K-pop, short for Korean pop, has made its presence felt across various nooks and crannies of the globe and achieved an enviously massive fan base. While some South Korean artistes have hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart, others have sent crowds into a tizzy with their performance at the Coachella. But behind all the glitz and glam accompanied with the euphoria lies grueling training sessions at academies, classes and studios.

Playback singer and live performer Papon believes that this is an example that should inspire India to promote and showcase their talents and music on the world map too. In an exclusive conversation with News18, he says, “I know for a fact that Korea had a plan for 20 years and they invested in it, and are ruling the world today. We also need to believe in our music and art and have a plan to conquer the world in a bigger way now.”

He believes that Indian music’s strength lies in its rootedness and cultural appeal, and hence, it has the potential to go places and stand out from the crowd. He explains, “When you’ve a big plan of conquering the world, you need to be very focused on your roots and identity, so that you can spread your love and music across the globe and take over it. That’s very much in our culture and art. So, India can definitely do that [what South Korea did] too.”

As for his own music, 2022 has been a relatively quiet year. As far as Bollywood goes, the only release he had was the romantic peppy number Sun Zara from the Ranveer Singh starrer Cirkus. While Papon maintains that he has always been very selective about the work he does, he also feels that following the Covid-19 pandemic, the music industry – much like other sectors – was gradually trying to find its groove back. “I choose things which I think I can do justice to and so, I’m a bit picky in that way. But I’ve been blessed with some great musicians and filmmakers, who believe in me. In 2022, we were all coming back to life after what we went through in the last two years when the entire world was under a lockdown. Not much work was happening anyway,” he remarks.

But what kept him busy was his India tour and taking two of his production ventures – The Land Of The Sacred Beats and The Mystical Brahmaputra - A Musical Story - to the Cannes Film Festival. Quiz him if he has any plans of producing films in Bollywood and the 47-year-old says, “There’s no plan as such. These two films documented the culture and music of Assam. I still need to complete them first. Fiction is something that I haven’t thought of [foraying into yet]. But if something interesting comes up, then maybe yes.”

Recently, Papon also lent his vocals to a ghazal titled Dard Pattharon Ko for filmmaker and music composer Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s debut music album, Sukoon. Talking about the experience, he fondly shares, “It was great. That was the first time we met. He didn’t know about me. I hadn’t worked with him in the past. The first meeting was amazing and we met a total of about three times while we were making the song. I think he was very happy to meet me and the same goes for me, obviously, because he is Sanjay Leela Bhansali! I love his sensibility and the way he approaches music. I’m very honoured and happy to be a part of his debut music album.”

So, what are his expectations from 2023? “Last night, I had my first live concert of the year in Mumbai at Phoenix Marketcity. And what better than starting it at home! It was nice to have the crowd so close to me. I’m glad to be back to performing in the city. This year, my style of making and consuming music is going to take flight in a big way. Hopefully, the market will be back in place this year and I’ll be able to pick some nice songs,” the Moh Moh Ke Dhaage hitmaker signs off.

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first published:January 14, 2023, 13:58 IST
last updated:January 14, 2023, 13:58 IST
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