When I was growing up, I don’t remember ever hearing a song I didn’t like. If there was music on, I was listening. I kept listening until the desire to play struck me and I started pestering my parents for an electric guitar. I’ve continuously played music since then and I sincerely hope that my last breath is a song. Music is what I love to do and I’ve enjoyed playing many different styles. I started a funk band in high school and I never went very long without a band after that point. In fact, at one time I was playing live and recording with four different bands. That often made for a hectic schedule, but I got to play reggae, hip-hop, jazz, rock, country, and blues music with some fantastic musicians. In addition to some training in bass and guitar, I taught myself to play banjo, mandolin, and ukulele. When I finally decided to take a break from being in a band and go at it on my own, I began to use Garage Band and then Logic, learning as I went. That allowed me to self-produce and release over one dozen CDs, each one very different from the next.
I’ve been enormously influenced by artists like Tom Waits and Ween because you could never anticipate what they were going to do from one album to the next and they never seemed to worry about having a “style”. This has been my approach to creating and recording music. Each song I create is like a time capsule of where I was, what I was doing and thinking at a particular moment in my life. My latest creations have come forth from my Yoga practice and have taken the form of musical versions of my favorite mantras. I was blessed to study chanting under the guidance of Dev Suroop Kaur and I continue my studies still. I was trepidatious about venturing into the world of blending mantra and music, but then I attended a kirtan with Gurunam Singh. With a steel guitar and a banjo, he showed me that we can be infinitely creative while still respecting the sacred nature of the words we chant. I’m now holding my own kirtans and it feels good to bring the energy up with some hip-hop inspired music before transcending that vibration back into a state of bliss with more soothing mantras and softer music.
Recognizing the Universal beat behind all music allows me to offer up each new creation as an act of devotion to the One; that singular, infinite, creative consciousness that we all share. My first mantra CD was titled ‘Akaljas’, which means “undying one who is ever singing the praises of the Divine”. It’s my intention in this life to move gradually closer to manifesting the meaning of this word and to help out anyone along the way that wants to move in that direction too. I’ve got plans to release a new album of originals in July 2013 and I’m currently working on music for a CD of guided Sun Salutations with the traditional Sanskrit mantras for each pose. Beyond that I just want to play music and chant with people as often as possible for as long as possible.