Musician Snatam Kaur is preparing for the most high-profile performance of her career. This Sunday, the Wilton-based recording artist will take the stage at the 61st Grammy Awards ceremony. Kaur will perform “Darashan Maago,” a song on her latest album Beloved, which is nominated for best album in the new age category.
On Beloved, sacred Sikh mantras are set to devotional music. Kaur’s parents embraced Sikhism when she was young, and she says that greatly influenced her career as a musician.
“A lot of music [is] in the house, especially in the Sikh tradition. Music is a part of life,” Kaur told NHPR’s Peter Biello.
Kaur’s songs are often played in yoga and meditation classes, including ones that she teaches with her husband at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Milford, N.H.
Find a list of Snatam Kaur’s local events here: Local Events.
Kaur, who has recorded over 15 albums, says she feels like she’s been preparing for the Grammys since she began touring in 2004. While a little nervous, she says she’s not concerned about the size of the audience. Instead, she’ll focus on spreading knowledge about the type of music she performs.
“It’s a great opportunity to get the message of this music out,” Kaur says.
Kaur believes each of the eight songs on the album has a unique healing power. “If I have any issue, it’s like a little medicine toolbox,” she says. “I just take out a chant and start chanting it.”
For example, “Darashan Maago” is for “reestablishing self-esteem and honor.” Kaur says the song is about striving to be more present with God and with family.
But, you don’t need to understand the meaning of the words in the chants, Kaur says, because just singing them can put your body at ease. When the tip of your tongue touches the roof of your mouth, it “sends the positive message of the chant throughout your whole body system,” says Kaur.
Here are the songs we played during our interview Snatam Kaur on All Things Considered:
This song, a sacred poem by one of the founders of the Sikh tradition, is about learning to get by with fewer material possessions, says Kaur. Its message is that peace is priceless, and so we should strive for more simplicity in our lives.
For Kaur, “Darashan Maago” is a reminder to be more present. When she feels present with God, she says this translates to being more engaged with her daughter and her husband.
“Water of Your Love”
Kaur wrote “Water of Your Love” by a creek close to her home. She was struck by the beautiful sounds of the rushing water, which made her think about her concern for the environment, and her desire to protect it. Kaur collaborated with the Sierra Club on the music video for this song.
“Har Uplift” restores equilibrium, according to Kaur. By chanting “har,” you create equilibrium between the Earth and the heaven, she says, and the song also helps chanters rid themselves of negative energy blocks.
Visit Snatam Kaur’s website to for more information about her music and her album "Beloved." And tune in to the Grammys this Sunday at around 4:30 p.m. EST to watch Kaur’s performance.