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'Music is life to us'

Shillong-based Blues band, Soulmate, is all set to perform in the city. the guide caught up with its co-founder, Rudy Wallang for a candid chat

It all started in the hill station of Shillong, where Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar started a band called Soulmate in October 2002. Then, just another young band from the North East, little did they know that their music would take them from the “Scotland of East” to all over India, and to places all over the world. Nearly a decade old now, the six-member act, is all set to enthrall Punekars this Thursday.

Rudy Wallang
Rudy Wallang. Pic courtesy/Elvin Lonan

“We look for diverse crowds to perform for in smaller clubs and have shows which will make us connect and feel closer to them,” says Wallang, who takes up the role of a guitarist, vocalist as well as songwriter in the band. Wallang says that he always looks forward to performing in Pune.

In the last 12 years, since the band’s formation, Soulmate has had the experiences of sharing the stage with their heroes such as Buddy Guy at the Mahindra Blues Fest (2012) and most recently, with the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2014.

“Music is life to us,” says Wallang, with a gleam. “We want to keep performing gigs and giving to people through our music.”
The band performed in two sold-out shows at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and have toured the USA playing in Memphis TN, Colorado and were twice semi-finalists at the 23rd and 26th International Blues Challenge. Besides, they have performed at Disneyland in Paris, Baltic Blues Festival in Germany and Gothenburg and Monsteras Roots and Blues Festival in Sweden.

“That’s the best part about being in a band,” asserts Wallang, “You get to travel the world and meet good people and perform for them.” As the city waits for Soulmate to make its next appearance in Pune, the band has a lot more up its sleeve, waiting to enthrall the world.

On: August 21, 9 pm onwards
At: blueFROG , Ishanya Mall, Yerawada.

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