Music for the soul

Music for the soul

Music for the soul

Melodious: The members of Soulmate.

Shillong-based blues band Soulmate comprising Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Tips Kharbangar performed in the City recently. The duo, which is known for playing soothing blues and soul numbers, came together in February 2003, and has performed in many music festivals like the International Jazzmandu Festival of Kathmandu. Unlike other musicians, for whom music is a part-time hobby, for Rudy and Tips, music is a full-time profession. Both of them are on guitars and vocals for the band. 
Soulmate has performed in Bangalore a couple of times. “But we haven’t performed as many times as we would have loved to,” says Rudy to Metrolife. “We have built up a fan following for the past two or three years. And these genuine supporters drive us as musicians.”

Speaking of the songs they played in Bangalore, he says, “We wanted to play our own compositions, and songs that people like.” He adds that their performances are also dedicated to people, who have inspired them. Ask him about the band’s inspirations, and he laughs, “It’s a long list of people.”

He adds, “As a singer and songwriter, I like a lot of blues artistes like Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison.” Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix,  B B King, Frank Zappa, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin are some of their other inspirations.

A day before playing in Bangalore, Soulmate played in Hyderabad. Are these performances a part of any tour? He denies, “No they are not. The Hyderabad concert was set up long back.” He adds, “The Bangalore concert is actually a fund-raiser.”

A unique feature of the duo’s Bangalore concert was they had two more members joining them — Sam on drums and Leon on bass guitars. “We hired them as session players and we have played with them in a number of concerts.”

Post Bangalore performance, the two will head to Paris for a performance. “We will be there for a month,” explains Rudy. Soulmate will later head to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge. “We were there in 2007, and this year, we are the only band representing India,” he says. “We plan to come back winning it,” he says confidently as he signs off.