There can’t be a greater setlist of soulful singers at Paytm Insider’s Jim Beam Originals to conclude this musical series of reinventions. Much loved blues band Soulmate will be reimagining reggae legend Bob Marley’s discography later this month and they’ll be followed by powerhouse vocalist and singing behemoth Usha Uthup who will give a lesson in musical history to a generation of millennials.
India’s most loved blues outfit Soulmate will reinfuse soul and energy into the works of reggae legend Bob Marley on October 23. Shillong’s beloved duo Tipriti Kharbangar and Rudy Wallang—better known as Soulmate—is known for its powerhouse vocals and deft guitar-playing. Traversing the sonicscape of Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, all the way down to Etta James and Nina Simone, Soulmate have been unapologetic advocates for the blues genre in India. Their unique interpretation of the reggae way of life in Paytm Insider’s Jim Beam Originals, is set to be truly exciting.
Says Rudy Wallang, Soulmate, “Bob Marley has always inspired us all with his words of insight and wisdom. Coming from Shillong, we find many similarities in his life and ours, especially relating to our circumstances growing up. We are all huge fans of Marley and his music, and always will be.”
Marley, a pioneer of the genre who infused reggae, rocksteady and ska elements, has given us a steady stream of hits that have stood the test of time: No Woman No Cry, Buffalo Soldier, I Shot the Sheriff, Get Up Stand Up, Redemption Song, among others. Looking forward to the band’s first gig outside their hometown in six months, Wallang says, “We have selected Marley songs we love and re-arranged them specially for this show and are certain the audience wouldn’t have heard Bob’s music done this way. It is going to be a treat for sure and we can’t wait to perform them for everyone out there, including his family!”
From soulful tunes and vocals, the show will move to its ultimate performance and who better than the greatest belter of our times—Usha Uthup—to bring it to a fitting conclusion. Incredibly versatile with a rich contralto range, Usha’s has been a voice so unique that it seamlessly spans pop, rock, jazz genres across a multitude of languages, for over 50 years! This Padma Shri is as comfortable belting out an Aretha Franklin number as she is while matching pitch with Freddie Mercury’s; she can bring depth to an Asha Bhosle song and breathe in soul to every song she sings.
“I’m so delighted to be a part of Paytm Insider Jim Beam Originals and grateful to be able to showcase the nightclub scene. This is where it all started in India. This is where I started over 51 years ago. And I am fortunate to be able to tell the tale of how it all began and the journey it has taken to reach where we are today. Most people know that I started as a nightclub singer, not a playback singer. I’m probably the only one who has been doing these classics over all these years, right up till today,” says Uthup.
Usha may have moved on to playback singing from her nightclub days, but she can still mesmerise a crowd with songs that were club hits five decades ago. When she started out singing, Usha effortlessly sang the popular hits of the time like Besame Mucho, Quizas Quizas, and O Malaika. “I still sing some of them in my setlist. Even Jambalaya, which is the first song I recorded on a single. Retro is where it’s at. It doesn’t matter how much time has gone by. Some of these songs last a lifetime and more. Kids today are still doing Santana. Youngsters still love listening to Pink Floyd. They love everything that’s old and retro. And my setlist will be a heady mix of old and new, with something for everyone,” she adds.
Tickets for the concerts are priced at INR 99 and can be booked on Paytm Insider: https://go.insider.in/3aRoE0s