Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Love music? Love the blues? You will love Shillong's Soulmate

Thank you, Shubha Mudgal, for introducing me to music and musicians that I did not know existed.

Mudgal, the noted singer of Hindustani classical music, writes a regular column called "Music Matters" (a clever title that) in Mint Lounge. It is from reading Mudgal's most recent piece that I learnt of Soulmate, the Shillong-based band, and Tipriti Kharbangar, Soulmate's lead vocalist.

That's Tipriti above, performing Voodoo Woman with Soulmate in the US last year. After you watch this video you will have no trouble understanding what Mudgal meant when she described Tipriti's voice as "gut-wrenching and intensely tuneful".

Tipriti also sings in Khasi, her mother tongue. Here's Mudgal's observation after listening to Soulmate perform Shillong (Sier Lapalang):

I had no idea what the words meant but there was this give-it-all-you-have abandon and sense of conviction in her voice that was both stunning and riveting at the same time. In fact, there was this lament-like quality about the song, but not a resigned lie-down-and-cry-your-heart-out kind of lament. It was a wild, uninhibited howl-like lament that brought down an attentive hush on the listeners.

Coming from an accomplished vocalist herself, that's high praise indeed.

TIPRITI KHARBANGAR. Photo courtesy: Baia Marbaniang/Ivory Cottage Creatives

Read Shubha Mudgal's column in its entirety here: "Talk to the Blues".
  • UPDATE: Five minutes after I posted the link to this post on the Facebook wall of Commitscion Baniaikymaw Lydia Shanpru, who hails from Shillong, she returned the favour by sending me links to some Soulmate tracks on Thanks so much, Baniaikymaw. 
  • UPDATE (June 22, 2012): Commitscion Nishal Lama not only commented on my Facebook link, but he also provided a link to Soulmate's music on MySpace: "Thanks for sharing this one. They are simply amazing. In fact, one of the best blues bands from India. I am lucky to have seen and shot a couple of their gigs in Bangalore. Tips and Rudy make an amazing couple. I remember Shubha Mudgal mentioning one more artist from Assam, Angarag Mahanta, in of her pieces in Mint. You should check him out too. Cheers!" And here's the MySpace link: "Soulmate".
  • UPDATE (February 9, 2013): Mint yesterday featured Tipriti and Rudy in "Love Issue 2013". Read the article to know more about the couple: "Shillong sung blue".

1 comment:

  1. Nothing like watching her live. 'Tips' as she likes to be called has one of India's best female blues voices. And as a performer, oh she creates in the listener an insatiable desire, one that makes you want to listen to her forever =)


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