Rup Sidhu delivers live-mixed hip hop tunes

Vancouver-based artist brings the audience into the act

Rup Sidhu, creator of RupLoops, an interactive live music performance. Photo courtesy of The Portrait Sessions
Rup Sidhu, creator of RupLoops, an interactive live music performance. Photo courtesy of The Portrait Sessions

Seemingly every profile of Rup Sidhu identifies him with a different genre. The Vancouver-based musician has produced recordings influenced by hip hop, Indian raga, Bollywood and jazz traditions. Perhaps the only constant elements of Sidhu’s music are improvisation and audience involvement.

“I really believe in breaking down that fourth wall and having people be part of an experience as opposed to it just being a passive watching experience,” Sidhu said.

Sidhu is influenced by hip hop groups from his childhood, such as A Tribe Called Quest and Fugees, as well as contemporary artists like Anderson .Paak and Kendrick Lamar.

Sidhu will appear at the North Star Theatre on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 6., where he’ll perform material from his 2018 album “The Human Radio” as part of his RupLoops live music project. RupLoops uses live looping to construct unique sounds on the fly for each performance.

“We’ll be looking at different parts of our bodies and how we utilize them to both create and listen to music,” Sidhu said. “We’ll be getting our blood moving with a whole lot of rhythmic patterns, back and forth. I want to encourage the audience to bring their whole selves.”

Although RupLoops uses audience volunteers, no one will be dragged into participating, Sidhu said.

Rup Sidhu performs at the North Star Theatre. (Nov. 6, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
Rup Sidhu performs at the North Star Theatre. (Nov. 6, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Sidhu’s November slate of shows, which will take him to Valdez, Kodiak, Homer and elsewhere in the region, mark his first visit to Alaska. Sidhu looks forward to hiking the Alaskan wilderness and spending time in nature. At a recent show at a Vancouver planetarium, Sidhu used ambient music to distance the audience from the hustle and bustle of the everyday.

“One of the things I really want us looking at is our relationship as humans to the night sky, and exploring that with auditory and visual means,” Sidhu said. “Since I live in a place with lots of light pollution, I don’t often get to see the grandeur of the night sky… Creating very spacious places in a busy world is something I really want to be able to do to help us return to a place of awe in relation to the universe.”

After returning from Alaska, Sidhu will pursue a residency in the Gulf Islands, followed by a trip to India to work with a theater company. Sidhu additionally hopes to release a new studio record as a follow-up to “The Human Radio.”

“Come with open minds and open hearts and we’ll have a great time together,” Sidhu said.