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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Spring in their step

Prateek Walia, Hindustan Times   February 22, 2013
First Published: 10:35 IST(22/2/2013) | Last Updated: 10:37 IST(22/2/2013)

The country’s hottest live and electronic music acts are ready to converge at the tricity for the much-awaited Spring Music Concert this Saturday. Being held at The Bella Vista Hotel, Sector 5, Panchkula, the artiste lineup features blues-masters Soulmate from Shillong, Sufi-rock quintet Nasha, Blue Frog Delhi’s resident DJ, DJ Leon (facing off with Goa-based DJ Soma), DJ Sasha from Russia and multi-genre acoustic musician Harpreet Singh. HT City chats up some of these artistes about their journey so far and delves deeper into their particular genres.

Soulmates
If you have the ‘blues’, they have the cure. For this blues band, music is equivalent to life. School pass-outs Rudy Wallang (guitar/vocals/songwriter) and Tipriti ‘Tips’ Kharbangar (vocals/guitar) formed Soulmate in Shillong exactly a decade ago (2003).

Though both of them are school pass-outs, they are pursuing their graduation in music, while performing at various concerts.
You’d know them better if we mentioned Bollywood movie Delhi Belly’s spoofy saga, Saigal Blues—a modern take on KL Saigal’s style of singing. Soulmate’s very own Rudy played the guitar for the same. In blues, lies the origin of all forms of music, believes Rudy.

Following the genre, however, was no cakewalk, shares he. “I was told pointblank that blues would never happen in India. But we kept doing what we loved and became the only blues band from India at the 23rd International Blues Challenge in the US,” says he.
The band is now happy to inform that the genre is picking up the country. Their presence at the Mahindra Blues Festival (Mumbai) for three consecutive years and the participation of various bands from Delhi for the same fest proves the same, they share.
Already out with two albums—Shillong and Moving On—the band is recording their third album (untitled) at Yash Raj Studios and plans to release it later this year.

Harpreet Singh
And then we have an acoustic musician who is a firm believer of original music. Hailing originally from Kurukshetra (Haryana), and now based out of Delhi, Harpreet Singh has his soul set in original music.

“I always wanted to be a musician and have been performing since childhood. Just after school, I took it up as a full-time profession and started performing at college fests,” says Harpreet.

Though the musician has already performed twice at Thapar University, Patiala, and once at NIT Kurukshetra, this would be his first ever performance in the tricity.

Laying stress on his belief in original music, he further adds, “These days, people are more open to original music, than to Bollywood songs. That’s one of the reasons why I only perform my original compositions.”

This 26-year-old doesn’t believe in competing with others, as he believes that there should be no competition in any form of art.

Nasha
For Akhil Sachdeva, lead vocalist of Sufi-rock band Nasha, it all started in 2009 with the song Main Tainu Samjhavaan Ki (originally sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan).

“I sang the rock version of Rahat ji’s song and it became a hit!” informs an elated Akhil.

The 27-year-old DU graduate in Economics used to sing at Café 1 Boulevard, Saket, Delhi. Such was his popularity that the place became known only for its live singing, and subsequently lead to a branch in Amritsar as well.

It was during Akhil’s solo stints, a competition to be precise, that he came across now-team members Saurabh Jain, Rohit and Jivi.

The winners of MTV Rockathon 2010 Best Band Award, Nasha is known for soul-stirring music. Giving his take on pop music, Ankhil says the genre was fading away five-six years ago, but places such as Café 1 Boulevard helped it survive in India.

Akhil opened up a show for Mohit Chauhan, while performing at Punjabi University, Patiala. He, however, has his eyes set on Mumbai. “I have been speaking to a few directors about my music, as well as an acting stint, and 2013 should be the year that makes a big difference to my life,” informs he.

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