Life | Bring On The Blues

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Bring On The Blues
Text by Sohini Datta
Published: Volume 18, Issue 12, December, 2010

Soulmate’s Rudy Wallang and Tipriti ‘Tips’ Kharbangar are all set to perform at the Mahindra Blues Festival in the city. Verve catches up with the true ‘blue’ pair

They hail from Shillong and their music is riveting, with notes and emotions that easily stir listeners’ hearts. In a Q and A with Verve, Rudy Wallang and Tipriti ‘Tips’ Kharbangar of the popular band Soulmate, speak about their music and their close connect with audiences in India.

After over 500 concerts, is there any one memory that has remained with you?
Rudy: I still remember the first time we played in Memphis, TN, USA. What a great feeling it was – stemming from just the fact that we were in the home of the Blues.

How popular is the Blues in India?
Rudy: I feel that things are looking up where the Blues in India is concerned. With the Mahindra Blues Festival happening in February next year and people like Buddy Guy, Shemekia Copeland, Jonny Lang coming to perform here, that’s a great sign.

Who and what do you play for?
Rudy: I play for myself first because it is only when I feel good that the people I play to will be able to feel my emotions and my music.
Tips: I also sing and play primarily for my satisfaction.

How has your band evolved?
As an eight-year-old band, we have matured quite a bit and all the touring has really helped! Our music and sound will always have the ‘Soulmate’ stamp! We are trying out different genres, but the basis of our sound and feel is still the Blues.

Does your music give you a sense of power?
Yes. Every time we start a show, the moment my voice comes in, I feel that people pay attention to it.

Is there a particular style in which you dress for shows?
I almost live in jeans, onstage too. I like to wear a leather waistcoat on stage because that’s what I’ve been wearing forever.
Tips: I like free-flowing clothes; it’s easier to jump and dance around in and be comfortable at the same time. I prefer earthy colours with floral designs.

The Internet has changed music: from napster to mediafire to youtube stars....what next?
The Internet has been really positive in certain ways and very destructive in others. What next? I don’t know, maybe musicians going from house to house singing songs just for you?


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