Music outfit Soulmate chats after their live gig at The Moonshine Project, Hyderabad

One of the foremost Blues Guitar players, and songwriters in India, Rudy Wallang, a part of the Shillong-based blues/rock band Soulmate, that performed last evening, gets candid

Summer is on the verge of its end, but the performance, Summer of Love by Soulmate at The Moonshine Project, Jubilee Hills, made it even more memorable. Hyderabad is special to guitarist Rudy Wallang of the Shillong-based band, as his mother is from this city. Every time he performs here, he feels he’s ‘getting back to his roots.’ “We have such lovely fans here who are always so excited to see us,” says Wallang, who is performing in the city for the first time since the pandemic broke. Their previous tour was called Give Love, which led to a natural progression to Summer of Love, says Wallang.

Though the band has dedicated sets, there are a few variations they’ll adapt to, from city to city. Predominantly a blues band, Soulmates are credited with reviving Blues Rock in India. Asked whether blues is still a niche, Wallang says, “I believe everything originated from blues when we started playing 20 years ago. It was not easy to accomplish for a Blues band. blues was an unknown, unexplored genre in India. Many people thought that it wouldn’t work. So looking back on them and looking at the landscape now, it is safe to say that the music ecosystem is evolving and the genre is receiving so much more love and adulation. I look at it as a Tumbleweed effect, it started with us and now we keep going and growing with more young talent within the genre cropping up, more Blues festivals happening” 

Though steeped in blues, Soulmates love to dabble in other genres and experiment with their music. Wallang adds, “I have performed Reggae at a time when it was not very popular, there is of course jazz and rock n’ roll, there is nothing quite like the latter, I also love soul, it is a genre close to my heart. Soulmate’s very essence, however, is blues-rock and we do believe that is where we flourish and shine most.”

Tracing back the journey of Soulmate, Wallang says, “Initially it was just Tipriti Kharbangar aka Tips and I, who would perform, I would plug my guitar to a machine, and she would plug her microphone, and we would perform gigs together. But soon, we realised how much we loved performing with other musicians and that is how we started introducing session musicians to our sets. It was unconventional, but it worked and helped us add more layers to our performances.”

Soulmate’s soul thrives in its live performance and when the pandemic struck, the band, like all musicians, had to stop all its performances. “It was hard on everybody and as a band, Soulmate’s very essence is its live shows. Human interaction is so important to us and we love engaging with our fans and audiences. Watching them sing and groove with us is what gets us going and it feels exhilarating to take to the stage again after such a long break,” Wallang signs off.

Related Stories

No stories found.