Airdate: July 24, 2014
Come along on a journey into the music of Paloma Devi, a gorgeous woman with a stunning voice, who performs with the GuruGanesha Band. She has just released her very first solo album, called Let It Be So. Paloma has a distinct style and infuses her work with the energy of Latin America. It has a culturalism to it, Ramdesh says, that is “unique in the Kundalini world, but also in the Sanskrit mantra chanting world.” Paloma’s music is a blending of many cultures and energies; it’s multi-cultural and multi-energetic!
What is Paloma’s upbringing? “It’s a prism, there are so many stories to it.” She was raised in a traditional Catholic environment but always with a profound connection to spirituality. She felt not as much connected to the rules as to the mystic experiences. Paloma would have spontaneous moments of meditation every time she went into a church, and would always be transported, especially by the divine energies of Mary and Jesus. “It was such a powerful experience,” she remembers. She also sang in the church choir.
By the time she was five Paloma was in a great deal of pain from a rare tumor in her body, which caused a constant underlying vibration. She would find relief from that constant, excruciating pain through song and through meditation, by deep breathing and by paying attention to the sound of the music and the prayers.
“For me, singing from the very beginning has been almost synonymous with healing,” Paloma says. Later, she had surgery and was repaired, and then she found yoga and mantra, which became part of the healing mix. She also took Buddhism classes and became a Kundalini yoga teacher. “Not only were the practices healing me, but as I went deeper into them I felt they were somehow evolving my spirit,” she observes. Bringing her voice to these different traditions served her spirit but also gave her an opportunity to connect with a variety of cultures and different people. She took her degree in religious studies and majored in religious studies, Asian Studies and Dance.
Get to know Paloma as you listen to “Aisa Nam,” the first track. What’s it like to share her music? “I’m excited, it’s just the tip of the iceberg, like I’m peeling off the layers of vulnerability, sharing an intimacy of myself with the world; it makes me excited, honored and grateful.” It’s a dream of sorts, Paloma reveals (even the album cover is whimsical and dreamy). A tender part of her soul is being expressed in the sound current, and she feels that she is connecting with the soul of whoever is listening.
Next is “Tenemos Todos” in Spanish. Paloma’s first language is Spanish, as she is a Cuban-born Miamian. Spanish is the language of her heart. The chorus is a positive, beautiful affirmation that means we have everything we need inside and love is the truth of who we are. That love exists within you always; it’s you and your higher self, you and the Divine, Paloma says. “There is so much dramatic language around romance and love; but love is really inside of our selves, and the greatest love story is between you and the Divine.” The piece also incorporates the mantra Ardas Bhaee, the affirmation that all of our prayers have already been answered. Everything is on its way; so just relax and allow!
You’ll also hear Paloma on the GuruGanesha Band albums. She is the “glowing flower on the stage” surrounded by men who are masculine but are also conscious and tuned into the feminine. Paloma gives a big, and well-deserved shout out to the band!
What is her favorite track? “Sunniay.” It’s about deeply listening. Paloma was in India at the Golden Temple, helping in any way she could when the song came to her. Thousands of white butterflies were passing by her window and it felt like a dream– a mythical, magical adventure. Paloma recalls that she felt as if the butterflies had a song and that if she listened deeply their wings would have a song to give her. As she sat at the harmonium watching the butterflies “Sunniay” was born. “It’s been untouched since the minute it came to me; it is perfect, divinely translated.”
This special podcast plays out to the beautiful butterfly song, “Sunniay.” Come along on Paloma Devi’s very own magical mystery tour!