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Soulmate | Official Website

The Story
Inspired by the roots and groove sounds of the Blues, Blues-Rock, Soul, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Funk and R&B, SOULMATE was formed in Shillong, in October 2003 when Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar decided to form a band dedicated to playing the Blues and spreading awareness about this important genre of music.
Since their inception, Soulmate have gone through many personnel changes and at present, when playing live, they are joined by Leon Wallang on Bass Guitar & Vincent Tariang on Drums.

Influences
Soulmate’s influences range from Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Roy Buchanan, Jimmie Vaughn, Muddy Waters, Steve Gaines, George Harrison, Albert King, BB King, Freddie King, Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Etta James, Susan Tedeschi, Jimmy Hall, Rory Gallagher, Janis Joplin to Hank Marvin, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan …to name but a few.

Quote
When often asked by people, why they chose the Blues…their answer has been…”we didn’t choose the Blues…..the Blues chose us”!

Albums
Soulmate have recorded 3 albums thus far, ”Shillong”, “Moving On” and ‘Ten Stories Up’ in 2014.
Awards At the Jack Daniels Rock Music Awards in 2009, Tipriti Kharbangar won the Best Female Vocalist award while Rudy Wallang bagged the trophy for Best Guitar Player.

 

Rudy Wallang
Anyone with an interest in the western music scene in India will recognize Guitar player/ Singer/Songwriter/ Rudy Wallang, who leads this tight knit musical unit. Born into music, he grew up listening to his father Toto Wallang making music and he started singing and playing the ukulele at a very tender age eventually graduating to the guitar. Today, Rudy is one of the foremost Blues guitar players/ singer / songwriters in the country with a long musical history having been part of the country’s most well known blues rock acts, Great Society & Mojo

Tipriti Kharbangar
The beautiful and talented Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist of Soulmate is Tipriti ‘Tips’ Kharbangar who has earned a name as one of the finest female singers to have emerged out of Shillong and India as a whole! If there is one thing Tip’s is happy doing, it is singing and reflecting this, she vocalizes with a joy and exuberance that is unmatched and original. She has also begun to write songs for the band as well. She started out singing gospel songs at the local church choir and is now drawn to the Blues, Soul and Jazz.

Endorsements
* Soulmate Endorses: AKG Microphones, IEM’s, Guitar Wireless Systems and
Istanbul Cymbals.
* Rudy Wallang endorses: Fender Guitars (USA), D’Addario Strings
and Xotic Pedals (USA).
* Tipriti Kharbangar endorses: Gibson Guitars (USA)

Tour / Concert Highlights

2016: Soulmate were the only Indian band to play at the Mahindra Blues Festival, Mumbai which also featured the likes of Keb Mo, Joss Stone etc


2014: Performed at the Mahindra Blues Festival, Mumbai which also featured The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jimmie Vaughn, Doyle Bramhall II, Zac Harmon and Lil’ Ed and The Imperials. Performed at the Ode To The Blues Festival, Bangalore which also featured Guitar Shorty.
Travelled to Miri Sarawak in Malaysia for the Asia Music Festival 2014 and to Macau for the International Jazz and Blues Festival 2014.


2013: Performed at the Mahindra Blues Festival, Mumbai which also featured Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Dana Fuchs Band, Jimmy Thackeray, Poppa Chubby and Walter Trout.


2012: Performed at the Mahindra Blues Festival, Mumbai which also featured Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal and John Lee Hooker Jr, Robert Randolph Jr. In October 2012, they opened for rock legend Carlos Santana at the Formula One Rocks concert, in Noida India where Mr. Santana came onstage and jammed with the band on a Soulmate song. Soulmate toured Europe playing at the Baltic Blues Festival 2012 in Germany and the Monsteras Roots and Blues Festival in Sweden. Performed at the Du World Music Festival in Dubai. which also featured Natalie Cole & Frank Gambale.


2011: Performed at the Mahindra Blues Festival, Mumbai which also featured Matt Schofield, Johnny Lang and Shemekia Copeland. Soulmate toured the USA selling out two shows at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC during the Maximum India Festival, Did a successful 4 city tour of Norway performing at the famed Crossroads club in Oslo besides concerts at Stavanger, Jessheim and Sandness. Performed at the Jakarta Blues Festival in Indonesia. Performed at the Du World Music Festival in Dubai.


2010: Performed at the Jakarta Blues Festival 2010 which featured John Mayall. Soulmate toured the USA playing in Memphis, Brown University Rhode Island & Colorado. They were semi finalists at the 26th International Blues Challenge and performed at The Rum Boogie Café and Ground Zero in Memphis alongside 150 other bands from all over the world. Performed at the Du World Music Festival in Dubai.


2009: Performed at the Mosaic Music Festival in Singapore. Performed at the Jakarta Blues Festival 2009, which also featured Gary Clark Jr.


2003 - 2008: Soulmate was the only blues band to represent India at 23rd International Blues Challenge organized by The Blues Foundation of America, in Memphis, Tennessee.
Performed at Disneyland, Paris France on their way to the USA. Performed at Jazzmandu in Kathmandu Nepal 2004 / 2005 & 2008. Performed in Bhutan in 2006.