For those who love their dose of Rock, Blues and Soul, the name of Shillong-based band, Soulmate will ring a bell. Formed in 2002 by Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar, the band has been flying the flag of the Indian Blues scene. Though a popular name, the band makes an occasional appearance on the performance circuit in the city, one of which will be this Friday.
Vincent Wallang, Rudy Wallang, Tipriti Kharbangar and Leon Wallang of Soulmate
"We hardly ever get to play in Mumbai; we've heard that taxes are very high, and logistically, it is expensive to bring the band from Shillong to Mumbai," Wallang admits. The band also features his sons, Leon and Vincent Wallang on bass and drums respectively. When we ask him to pick India's Blues capital, he instantly plumbs for Bangalore.
"For any music scene to flourish, there have to be enough bands to perform and venues to host regular performances. The scene is fantastic there. Recently, our gig in Bangalore had a full house. It is alive in Mumbai during the Mahindra Blues Festival and thanks to places like blueFROG that host artistes," he shares.
However, Wallang is positive about the Independent music scene in India. "Earlier, musicians could think of surviving only by doing covers or doing Bollywood. Today, there are more avenues to present your music. Good musicians are doing collaborations; it's possible to create your own sound and play original music," he observes.
As for their gig in the city, Soulmate will make music along with two surprise guests, the names of whom Wallang refuses to divulge but is very excited about. "As musicians, we are constantly making new music; there were be some new material. Of course, we cannot leave behind the masters of the genre. We will play a few classics, and educate people on musicians who have influenced the genre (Blues) and tip our hats to them. There are always names you might not have heard of, and good music from icons that will make you ask, 'I might want to check this artiste out'," Wallang signs off.
On May 20, 9 pm
At blueFROG, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel.