We're so excited to share the next installment of our Mantra Music Stars interview series featuring the uber talented Sirgun Kaur. Sirgun's music is earthy, ethereal and very healing. We love her Ra Ma Da Sa track she generously allowed us to use on one of our recent commercials, and we think you will really enjoy getting to know her and the story behind her music.
1. Tell us a little bit about how you got in to singing mantra music?
I first got into singing mantras for an audience when C.C. White invited me to sing response vocals for her in 2010. It happened at a time when I had stopped singing entirely because I felt really lost as a singer-songwriter. I realize now, my vibration was raising and I just felt very disconnected from the sad and often angry material I had been writing. It felt so good to fill that silence with mantras. I am very grateful to C.C. for getting me singing again.
2. What is your favorite mantra and why?
The one I use most often is definitely "Waheguru" because I use it in my daily life as a catch-all expression. (Stub my toe: Waheguru; morning cold shower: Waheguru; near-death experience in my car: Waheguru). My favorite mantra changes depending on which one I'm working with musically I think. My first favorite mantra was the Ray Man Shabad. That was the sound current that got me into all of this.
3. Everything is made of sound.. how does it feel to create reality is such a primary way with your art?
I love this question! Yes, everything is vibration. Sound is one way we interpret vibration. Eye sight is another though, so YOU Jamila are also creating a reality through visual art. But yes, sound is a powerful medium for creation and it feels AMAZING to create my own reality. When I first heard kundalini yoga music I felt like I wanted to live a life that felt like that music sounded. And now I do. So I'm very aware of how the music changes and enhances my world. I think the most powerful thing for me about the mantras is that it takes my mind off of a specific outcome and helps me enjoy the moment. And then through that state of being I am now a willing vehicle through which my preferred life circumstances can unfold.
4. Is there a mantra you have recorded that you feel is particularly helpful for people right now?
I think people tend to know which mantra is right for them when they hear it. That being said, my version of "Bliss (I Am the Light of My Soul" that I recorded with Sat Darshan Singh is the #1 mantra people tell me has changed their life. I think people need to hear more about how GOOD they are.
5. Are there any other art forms you practice and what are they?
Yes! I write poetry, and lots of articles. I also love to dance. One of my future projects will be a book to help highly sensitive and empathic people transcend their negative emotional states so they can realize their destiny as intuitive healers.
6. What artists and teachers have been inspiring influences on you in your life and work?
In my early years, I was influenced by Joni Michell, Sarah McLaughlin, Jewel, Kate Bush... so many! At the moment, I am actually listening to more subliminal messaging "music" than actual music. Jason Mraz has been one of my favorite artists for a long time. I really dig his message and what he stands for. As for teachers, I am very inspired by the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, the teachings of Joshua, and I've been finding myself channeling as well, so there is a "teacher" coaching me that I get insight from daily.
7. How does your kundalini yoga practice effect your art?
That's a difficult question to answer, because my Kundalini Yoga practice has become a sort of baseline for my life. I think I'd have to stop practicing for a while and see what happens to truly comprehend the depth of what it gives me. But I will say that since beginning this practice I have been led to the next greatest thing again and again and again.
8. What is your favorite Kundalini Yoga set and meditation ? What do you practice regularly?
As you may have already gathered, I am not a creature of habit. I like to mix it up. So at the moment I am doing Karani Kriya (from The Mind Book) as my daily meditation and I'm LOVING it! If I do a set before it, I'll go with Surya Kriya, or the Basic Spinal Series, Sarabang Dandes, Awakening Your Ten Bodies, or Alternate Nostril Breathing (Emotional Balance Pranayam). I like the simple ones. Before I had kids, I was all about the crazy aerobic ones that felt kind of like torture, but I've realized I don't need to be as extreme anymore to get great results. I always end my practice with silent meditation, which just feels so good.
9. If Starwater Yoga mats have supported or inspired your practice, please share in what ways?
Your yoga mats add a dignity to my practice that is vital to my life right now. Because I have 2 small children who homeschool, I don't get a lot of uninterrupted yoga time, so having this piece of art laid out in front of me reminds me that what I'm doing is important, that I'm worth of beautiful space. It's like an altar I practice yoga on. And I am incorporated into that altar. I also bring my mat (I have the green prana one) to my concerts so that all the intention of my daily practice can support me when I lead people in chant. Because I perform in a variety of spaces, I like bringing my sacred space with me in the form of my mat. In the past, it had been very easy for me to absorb the energy of the group. That's not what I want. I'm there to uplift the group. So I need to be very mindful of containing my own energy, and I've noticed that my altar-mat has helped me achieve that.
Thank you so much Sirgun for sharing your wisdom, story and songs with us!