Chitral “Chity” Somapala (born 4 November 1966) is a Sri Lankan hard rock and heavy metal vocalist and former lead singer of Firewind and the British power metal band Power Quest. He is better known for his work with European power metal bands Firewind, Avalon, Faro, Red Circuit and Civilization One. Somapala gained popularity in his home country Sri Lanka due to his Sinhala track “Nadee Ganga” which was released in 1998.
Chitral “Chity” Somapala was born into a famous musical family in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 4 November 1966. Chitral was educated at Isipathana College – Colombo / Sri Lanka. Both parents, P.L.A. and Chitra Somapala, were renowned Sri Lankan singers. They both contributed on the soundtrack of the film Asoka. P.L.A. Somapala was working as a film music director.
At the age of 10, Chity started guitar lessons. He switched to electric bass at 14 and began singing soon thereafter. At the young age of 17 he was able to hit the Top 40 nightclub circuit in Colombo, and ended up gigging with the leading bands and artists of the country.
In 1985, he joined the Sri Lankan band Shock, an alternative band founded by Diliup Gabadamudalige, the pioneer of computer-based music production in Sri Lanka and main figure of the modern music scene of the country.
In 1986, Somapala traveled to Europe (Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Finland) as the bassist and singer of a Top 40 band called Rendezvous, later renamed “Friends”. The band managed to back many well known artists in these countries.
After touring for some time from club to club, playing Top 40 Hits, he decided in 1994 to leave this scene to concentrate on performing only as a vocalist to follow his dream of playing original hard rock/heavy metal. In 1996, he joined a popular German underground metal act called Court Jester and recorded the album Forced to Believe, which received favourable reviews throughout the European press.
In 1998, he contributed the song “Nadee Ganga Tharanaye” in which the melody was based on “Many rivers to cross” by Jimmy Cliff for a TV/radio commercial for the Lion beer company in Sri Lanka, which was very much in demand in the country, unique as it was a song with lyrics in Sinhala language sung with a hard rock/metal touch.
Shortly thereafter, he joined Avalon, a German melodic power/progressive band as frontman and lead singer. In cooperation with others, Avalon was produced by Charlie Bauerfeind (who also produced such acts as Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, Saxon, etc.). Avalon’s third album, Vision Eden, received excellent reviews in the international press and the Vision Eden tour saw Avalon as a support act for bands like HammerFall, Uriah Heep, Metallica, Motörhead, Royal Hunt, Pink Cream 69, and many others.
During the summer of 2000, he participated on Avalon’s 4th album Eurasia under the hands of Sascha Paeth, who is known for his work with Rhapsody, Kamelot, Heaven’s Gate, Angra and others. On Eurasia there can be heard some of the Asian musical influences from his home country Sri Lanka (Music of Sri Lanka).
Besides the vocal parts on Eurasia, Somapala can be heard playing the Chapman Stick. The release of Eurasia was followed by a European tour with Metalium. Avalon disbanded shortly thereafter.
In 2002, he contributed the “Greenland’s Theme” for the Isipathana International Rugby Championships in Sri Lanka with Frank Rohles, who happened to be the guitarist of the German Queen tribute band Innuendo. After this session, he formed a melodic rock outfit together with Frank Rohles, called Faro. The band released Dawn of Forever through MTM Music in summer 2003, and that year he also completed the album Echoes of a Nightmare with the Swedish Symphonic Metal band Moonlight Agony. Also in 2002, he contributed powerful and soulful vocals for several songs on the album Metanoia, an independent musical project by WOLFF. Once again, he skills as a Chapman Stick player were also used in the song “Rut System” (Metanoia).
At the end of 2003, he was auditioned by the young Greek guitar virtuso Gus G to join Firewind for a January 2004 headling tour of Japan. After the successful Japanese tour, Gus G asked Somapala to join the band on a permanent basis, and they started sharing ideas for the third Firewind album. The result of their collaboration, Forged by Fire entered the Japanese TOP 100 and received excellent reviews all over the world. After a tour with Hammerfall during their Ice Breaker Festivals Somapala decided to leave the band in 2005.
In 2006, he founded his own band Civilization One, which released the album Revolution Rising in 2007. Civilization One disbanded in 2010.
He is currently recording and performing with the German band Red Circuit and the British classic rock/metal band Rekuiem, one of the founder members of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement back in the 1980s.
In May 2010, Somapala joined the British power metal band Power Quest. After, 17 months and an album release (Blood Alliance) with Power Quest, Somapala left the band on amicable terms.
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