Reflections on January 2016

manika-kaur-reflections-1601-001The dawning of a new year provides time to reflect, to let go and to look forward. 2015 was a wonderful year for me.

Highlights include releasing my album I Bow To You Waheguru, debuting live in London at the Union Chapel and recording the music video to my track ‘Aukhee Gharhee’ in India. Most significantly, the successes of my musical career have meant Kirtan for Causes has been able to further its work providing education to disadvantaged children in rural Punjab. The concert has allowed the organisation to start processing 100 children for education (for minimum 2 years has been kept aside so far. We have also been working on a new website…more info on this in the next blog! I am honoured to continue to donate any profits made from my musical pursuits directly to Kirtan for Causes.

Personally 2015 was a year filled with great learning. With every show, album, video I am enveloped deeper into the mysterious, magical world of Kirtan and my understanding grows more and more each time. Working with producer Talvin Singh on my album was an illuminating experience. Just conceiving the manner in which Talvin approaches organising sound was an education for me. As a solo singer, I’ve always considered music top-down, from the perspective of a melody-maker. Talvin’s percussive perspective seems to start at the bottom, from the beat, layering up intricate rhythmic patterns to create the whole. Collaborating with other musicians is a sure-fire way to explode your own expectations and preconceptions of your music. It’s an invaluable experience that nurtures creativity anew.

A surprise this month came via the internet. My husband discovered by chance that there is now a registered Wikipedia page in my name. I’m happy to discover a kind user has created this entry which charts my discography, career and the aims of my charitable foundation. Anything that spreads the message of seva and love is powerful indeed.

This month things are bubbling away, gently brewing to be ready for public consumption in the coming months. I’m composing new tracks for an album to be released in October 2016 and I’m fine-tuning the tracks 4 shabads that were recorded with Jyotsna Srikanth and also working on 4 shabads with Talvin Singh. I’m also drawing inspiration and conducting research into the artistic concept for my next release, every detail from the music itself to the album cover is artistically directed by me and I want it to be just right. Live shows are being planned…

Recently I was at a child’s birthday party with my son when another mother approached me. She congratulated me on my music and mentioned that she listens to my album every day with her daughter. I was so touched by this moment of intimacy and kindness. This indeed is the meaning and message of my music. If the sounds and words of sacred kirtan are curling into the eardrums of just one precious child and imparting happiness to them – my job is done. Happy New Year dear friends.