Earlier this year, I had the chance to listen to and review Manika Kaur’s devotional album, “Satnam Waheguru” (see here). It was a wonderful album, and was dedicated to a cause close to Kaur’s heart – the construction of a Sikh temple. The journey into the world of music began with this dream and mission for Kaur, and placed her on the path to making devotional music.
As 2014 draws to a close, she is gearing up for the release of her second album, “I Bow to you Waheguru” that is slated to release January 20, 2015 under United Sound. The album’s striking, gentle arrangements incorporate a broad range of global sounds to support Kaur’s lilting, pure voice. The album features contributions from Talvin Singh, a pioneer in integrating tabla with club-friendly sounds, as well as several notable Western and Indian classical performers (Rakhesh Chaurasia’s bansuri/flute, Jyostna Srikanth’s sinuous violin).
Kaur was an unlikely recording artist, though a talented, life-long singer. With no formal training but decades of connection to the complex and beautiful traditions of kirtan, Sikh praise music, Kaur never thought of herself as a vocalist or songwriter. Yet as she sat in prayer in her home’s prayer room as an adult, she often found melodies and musical ideas coming to her unbidden. Eventually, Kaur found herself urged and encouraged to record. The dream materialized into a debut album, and a temple in her home city of Dubai.
Kaur tells us,
“When I discovered kirtan as a girl, it was a different feeling from any other music I had known. Kirtan brings a sense of peace. You’re singing the most beautiful love letters to God. It’s so deep and beautiful.”
Kaur’s depth of devotion is reflected in her ongoing commitment to use all proceeds from her music to further charitable causes. This album will support S.O.S., a Sikh children’s education initiative. Keep it locked to Urban Asian as we bring you more details on the album!