Comments (0)
News |  30 Oct 2015 12:25 |  By RnMTeam

Ahead of Goa Rhythm and Blues, Soulmate duo talks social causes, technology and æThe StageÆ

MUMBAI: Soulmate has reached a point in its journey where the Shillong-based Blues outfit can not only woo audiences with its music, but also set an inspirational precedent through its actions. The band, formed by Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar, who have shared guitar and vocals responsibilities since its formation in 2001, is more than just another group that tours the country and abroad.

In yet another of its contributions towards social causes, Soulmate will perform at the Goa Rhythm and Blues Festival for Genesis Foundation's 'Give Life A Chance' with several other Blues bands from around the country, for a cause that concerns critically ill and underprivileged children. Wallong believes involvement from independent musicians for such beneficiaries is important, and extends to everyone.

Wallang’s bandmate- Tipriti Kharbangar, or Tips as she is also known, is a passionate musician, but an even more compassionate human. Those who have listened to her have grown fonder of her with every selfless act she has managed to perform. Kharbangar reflects optimism and hope through her ideas, and she most recently, also accompanied her bandmate Rudy, and members of Parikrama for another gig focusing on a social cause in Mumbai. "What the world needs right now is love and compassion. Too much greed and selfishness happens all around!! If each one of us can give a little of our time to help another human in need, imagine what could happen? We have to do it ourselves; we cannot depend on the 'power full people'.”

Apart from the gigs for social causes, the duo will soon be seen playing at NH7 Weekender Delhi and Pune, after a “fantastic” maiden NH7 experience in Shillong. Wallong believes Blues is about expressing through the heart, and delivering honesty and genuine expression while you do so. When asked if they enjoy the consistent 'quality over quantity' fan-base that Soulmate has enjoyed so far, Wallong adds, "I'm really happy that in this point of time, we are privileged to play for a handful of people as well as for thousands of them. It shows that we have succeeded in what we set out to do in the beginning. That was to educate people about this genre of music as well as to play our songs and music for them."

The “old school” guitarist, who continues to keep things simple, addresses the pros and cons of technology. "I prefer to record live in a studio and play through amps with the whole band. Playing the Blues is a human experience where all members express themselves spontaneously. Software has made it easier to record and edit and 'cheat' where one can copy and paste stuff. Blues is not copy and paste."

Rudy's talent for right groove gets complimented with a chain reaction that usually starts with the voice of the band. Kharbangar, who grew up singing in church, recollects her share of struggles in the early days as a musician. "To cut a long story short, I was a tomboy and I also used to sing in church. My only struggle as a musician that comes to mind would be all the times we have had to travel straight after a gig; sleepless, tired and weary.", says Kharbangar.

Currently, she spends her days listening to Jamiroquai, Derek Trucks, Ericah Badu, and several other artists, and while she is also catching up on reality shows, she is critical of the nature of judgement she sees. "I have heard of ‘The Stage’ and watched one episode. I feel that the female judge is quite partial; ones who deserve to go through do not. That does not help the confidence of the young aspiring artists. Overall, the idea is good, but better judgement is required", claims Kharbangar.

Soulmate remains one of the great representatives of Blues music in India, but a greater representative of humanity and love- attributes that make them an ideal face for such causes.