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NYC Devotee Harmonizes Spirituality and Creativity Through Music
By Atma Tattva Das, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  May 17, 2024

In the heart of New York’s concrete jungle, devotee musician Premananda Kirtan Das orchestrates spirituality and creativity into harmonious melodies. With his music, he doesn’t just entertain; he enlightens. In an ISKCON News interview, he shared insights into his creative process, his spiritual journey, and the profound interplay between the two.

Born in South Africa, Premananda draws from his roots in Bhakti yoga to weave devotional themes into his compositions, guiding his listeners on a transcendental journey. “I’ve always seen music as a form of spiritual expression,” he explained, “a way to connect with something higher than ourselves.”

Premananda accompanying Indradyumna Swami, his spiritual mentor, with Ethan.

Having been nurtured in the rich traditions of Krishna consciousness, Premananda’s artistic vision is deeply rooted in spirituality. “It’s about more than just creating music; it’s about spreading spiritual awareness,” he emphasized. “Every note, every lyric should carry a message of devotion and enlightenment.”

His artistic endeavors are deeply collaborative, reflecting his belief in the power of collective creativity. “Collaboration is key,” he remarked. “When artists come together in their surrendered maturity, magic happens. It’s about supporting others and facilitating their mission. It’s a purificatory process, both for me and for the art itself.”

Prema with his lifelong friend and fellow musician Ethan.

One of Premananda’s most profound experiences was creating “Song of Grace,” a theatrical production that has touched the hearts of hundreds. “It’s a deep story of a girl’s journey, guided by the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita,” he shared. I’ve seen people rise to their feet and cry, moved by the magic of this process.”

Drawing inspiration from ancient Bhakti texts and folk melodies, he infuses his music with a contemporary twist. “I find myself fascinated by the intersection of tradition and innovation,” he mused. “It’s about staying true to my roots while embracing the spirit of possibility.”

In his latest project, “Remind Yourself,” Premananda explores the everyday struggles of the mind and the yearning for connection and meaning. “It’s about conveying deep spiritual truths in a catchy, accessible way,” he explained. “I want my music to resonate with people on a profound level.”

Beyond his musical endeavors, Premananda’s spiritual practice informs every aspect of his life and creativity. “Sadhana is essential,” he emphasized. “It’s about more than just creating; it’s about spiritual growth and connection.”

Looking ahead, Premananda is eager to continue his spiritual and artistic odyssey. Collaborating with fellow devotees, intellectuals, and musicians like Sri Prahlad Das, he envisions expanding the influence of his music and disseminating spiritual awareness to a broader audience. Premananda Kirtan has recently adopted a new approach to releasing music, sharing in-studio video recordings on his YouTube channel. At the same time, his Instagram account and Facebook page offer more ways to engage with his music and message. As he forges ahead, one thing is sure: the world will be listening.