Coming from a family heavily involved in the tachings of their Sikh guru, it was almost pre-ordained that Manika Kaur would use her beautiful voice for devotional music. Kaur’s early recordings were in English with western producers, but meeting the “Prince of Bhangra, “ producer Sukhibir Singh, presented the opportunity to release Satnam Waheguru, an album of devotional chants and hymns.
The CD includes traditional instruments as well as a male vocalist, whose voice is layered into soothing effect. Kaur’s clear tones will lull and enchant you, and a steady rhythm throughout assures you won’t be jarred with a sudden detour into turbocharge. Amidst all her success—her YouTube video of “Gur Ram Das Rakho Sarnaee,” illustrated almost entirely with hand shadowgraphy, has had close to 5 million hits—Kaur hasn’t lost her lifelong commitment to helping others; all proceeds from her sales go to the S.O.S Initiative, a humanitarian organization focused on assisting Punjab Sikhs in need. “I have been blessed with a very comfortable life,” she says, “but I feel I must do something for those less fortunate.” (Invincible Music).
- Paul Andrews