"emotive melodies beautifully articulate the poetry she sings so hauntingly" — Songlines
"Manika Kaur has this incredible natural gift as a vocalist, as a singer" — Talvin Singh OBE
"dreamy soundscape this is at times reminiscent of what Sigur Rós might sound like if they were Punjabi women rather than Icelandic men" — Perceptive Travel
It began with a dream. Manika Kaur held a CD in her hand. It bore her name, and it was dedicated to a cause close to her heart: the construction of a Sikh temple.
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.
Now, for her second release, I Bow To You Waheguru (United Sound; January 20, 2015), Kaur continues her spiritually rich journey. 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).
“When I discovered kirtan as a girl, it was a different feeling from any other music I had known,” reflects Kaur. “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.