Editor’s Note: This is the first of a 2 part interview with Gurujas from White Sun. You can also read part 2, where she opens up about her Kundalini Yoga practice here.
We are absolutely in love with White Sun II – the second album by Los Angels-based band White Sun. The album debuted at #2 on Billboard’s New Age Chart and #7 on the World Music Chart!
White Sun is known for its pioneering musical interpretations of yogic mantras. These are the songs of yogis sung with a penetrating vibratory musicality that enhance consciousness and awareness while delighting the senses. White Sun’s music emphasizes the healing vibrations of mantra through the clear, profound lead vocals of Gurujas. Band members Harijiwan and two-time Emmy winner Adam Berry serve up the richly layered, rhythmic foundation that takes listeners beyond the every day realm to a place of inspired, energized experience.
We couldn’t resist finding out a little bit more about Gurujas, White Sun and the making of this transformative new album!
Spirit Voyage: What was your inspiration for this album?
Gurujas: White Sun’s music is designed to create good feelings. If one person feels good, that person will make other people feel good – and this is how the world becomes a better place to live.
Gurujas: When I wrote the melody for “Humme Hum,” I wanted to tap into the blues sound current of the Mississippi Delta and the sounds that comes from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, which is on the Tennessee River. This is a place that the Native American people of this area called the “Singing River.” I wanted to root our yoga song in deep American musical history. So, we asked Bobbi Page to round up some gospel singers and she came in with nine singers, including Julia Waters, Maxine Waters, and Oren Waters. I had originally seen them in the movie 20 Feet from Stardom. Adam Berry said to me, “Well, we have some of the most famous back-up singers in the history of recorded music in the studio today.” Singing with them was a real thrill for me.
Spirit Voyage: Is there something that your fans would love to know from the making of this album?
Gurujas: This project was born from a desire to make things better for others. I think White Sun II has been successful because that mission is coming to fruition. People from all over the world have told us stories about how their lives have been effected by this music. One little boy was able to vanquish severe night terrors using the song “Aap Sahaee Hoa.” He told his mother that dark shadow creatures would come into his room at night and scare him. So she played the mantra underneath his bed, and they went away. Another woman lost her husband in an accident, and the song “Akal” brought her peace during a time of tragedy and mourning.
So, I feel like the album is doing its job and people are hearing about it. But, still we need the message to get bigger and wider. We need you to tell your friends and family about this music . . play it for your children . . play it for your pets . . .play it at night while you sleep. These songs will increase the frequency, the frequency will upgrade the thoughts, and the thoughts will shape a better reality.
Spirit Voyage: Are there any special contributors to this album? If so, tell us about them!
Gurujas: White Sun II is embellished by the musical genius of special guests like Mamadou Diabate, Gabe Witcher and Abhiman Kaushal. Mamadou is a 70th-generation kora player from Mali, who won a Grammy for his solo kora playing. I met a king in India once, and Mamadou has the same regal qualities. Gabe Witcher is the fiddle player for the Punch Brothers, and has been nominated for 9 Grammys. He is a musical genius. Abhiman Kaushal plays on both of White Sun’s albums, and has toured with Ravi Shankar and Phillip Glass. He is also a professor of North Indian tabla at UCLA.
You can learn more about Gurujas and White Sun in Part 2 of our interview.
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