Larisa Stow 1st emerged onto the pop-rock music scene in the late nineties, her engaging style of mixing spiritually-inspired lyrics with catchy melodies and pop grooves quickly earned her a lot of attention. She soon found herself with a critically-acclaimed album “Moment by Moment” produced by the legendary David Tickle (U2, The Police, Peter Gabriel)—the first original album for 5.1-Channel Surround Sound), the Los Angeles Music Award’s “Singer/Songwriter of the Year,” performance slots in all the hottest LA venues including The House of Blues and John Ford Amphitheater and many gigs as the opening act for famous acts including Berlin & Joan Jett. As her popularity grew and the promise of the “big record deal” hung in the air, Larisa walked away. So many that knew her back then just didn’t get it—couldn’t conceive of it. All of that climbing the ladder in the tough LA market for “nothing.” And yet Larisa knew that for her to follow her heart and remain true to her soul, she needed to leave the craziness of the mainstream pop music scene to go deeper…to be deeper. Larisa was already teaching yoga at that point and her yearning to create music as a pure expression of love led her to mantra expert Thomas Ashley-Farrand (“Healing Mantras”). After apprenticing with him to learn mantra practice, Larisa began exploring her own authentic voice with kirtan (devotional call-and-response music) and chant music. She found that through singing the names of God, a re-awakening to express herself through music appeared. Not focused on the success of the self or the drive for fame, she felt alive with music again.
Her passion for music re-ignited, Larisa teamed up with Grammy award-winning producer and songwriter, Rick Hahn (Celine Dion). The magic of that union resulted in “Reaching In,” a compilation of engaging kirtans that are a seamless blend of east meets west. “Reaching In” was the highest ranking mantra/kirtan album in 2007, was nominated for “Album of the Year” and “Best Vocal Album” by New Age Reporter and their RJ Lanna states, “This album is a celebration for the spirit no matter what path you travel. The music has rhythm, passion and reverence.” The 1st track off the album, “Amba Amba” received widespread airplay on XM, Sirius Satellite and Dish Network as well as college and internet airplay. “Amma,” also off of “Reaching In,” was selected from 100s of submissions for the Elevate Film Festival and that music video won several awards including “Best Director,” “Best Editing,” and “Best Cinematography.”
During the recording of “Reaching In,” Larisa connected with several talented souls and began performing regularly again. They create and perform a decidedly edgy blend of mantra-infused pop rock music today as “Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe.” Anyone who’s seen Shakti Tribe (Shakti is Sanskrit for “dynamic power”) knows the magical musical odyssey they unfold with their empowering messages of peace. They are ushering in a new era music—mixing the spiritual and sacred with a pop sensibility, sensuality and rock groove like no other. They’ll wrap your soul in warmth, lull you into the dreamiest places your spirit can go and in the next moment make you lose your inhibitions and dance with abandon. Live shows weave together kirtan, mantra and uplifting music in a way that often leaves audiences asking for just one more song before they say “good night and namaste” to everyone.
They perform at a wide variety of venues and locales including numerous festivals, colleges, premier venues, yoga studios, spiritual retreat centers and interfaith and non-denominational churches. They’ve been the opening act for internationally known acts including John Densmore (The Doors) and will open for Jason Mraz in November 2010 at the Long Beach Convention Center. They have also performed for many spiritual leaders and teachers including Deepak Chopra.
Since 2007, Larisa & Shakti Tribe are a regular addition to festivals in the US & abroad including Earthdance, Harmony, Raw Spirit, Bali Spirit Festival, and Bhakti Fest to name a few. Their performance on the main stage at the Earthdance Festival in N. California ushered in the Global Peace Prayer for thousands and their headlining performance at the opening ceremonies of the Bali Spirit Festival earned them international attention.
“Claire’s Prayer” and “Heaven” off of Larisa’s 2 solo projects—“Reaching Out” and “Moment by Moment” respectively—were featured in the critically-acclaimed Prism Award nominated film “Purgatory House” about teen suicide.
Their current release, “The Shakti Sessions,” was co-produced by Counting Crows founding member Matt Malley and their ability to really rock shines through. Notable tracks include the anthem-like song “The Peacemakers,” and the delicately soul-searching “Gayatri” in Sanskrit.
Shakti Tribe is currently in the studio creating their new album “Rock On, Sat Nam” slated for February 2011 release. Larisa & the band have many musical friends from both the mainstream rock & sacred music world contributing their time and talent to this project including Walfredo Reyes Jr. (Carlos Santana), Victor Bisetti (Los Lobos), Benjy Wertheimer (Shantala, Krishna Das) and Patrick Richey (Dave Stringer).
Shakti Tribe Foundation:
2007 marked the beginning of their work in the prison, jail and juvenile systems. Bringing their music’s messages of peace, hope and love in order to empower, transform and educate not only inmates but our communities is some of Shakti Tribe’s most powerful work to date. Teaching the concepts of Oneness—that we are all connected by the invisible threads of our humanity beyond race, religion, etc.—is a pivotal piece in shaping people’s lives, their sense of personal value and higher responsibility. Witnessing the transformational power of their work and having the desire to continue it became so pivotally important that they formed their own non-profit organization—Shakti Tribe Foundation—in the summer of 2007 to help expand and grow this work. In 2010, Shakti Tribe began adding empowering leaders and speakers to their peace concert series programs to connect people at a crossroads with positive communities around them. The Peace Programs now include workshops and peace concerts for youth as well as adults.