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New Mantra Americana II Album Continues Culture-Bridging Kirtan Following Grammy Nod
By Atma Tattva Das, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Авг 05, 2023

Mantra Americana at the Grammys – L to R: Corbin, Allie, Dave, Tulsi, Madi, Justin, and Patrick.

In a boldly beautiful and groundbreaking endeavor, music project Mantra Americana, led by artist-producers Madi Das and Dave Stringer, has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with their fusion of Indian ragas in eastern traditional music, infused with an American twist. This unique musical project has earned a prestigious Grammy nomination in the Best New Age, Ambient, or Chant Album category. But their journey doesn’t end there – with a new album on the horizon and a crowdfunding campaign in progress, the creative team is on a mission to make the transcendental power of the mantra music accessible to all, regardless of cultural background or spiritual beliefs.

Speaking about the inspiration behind Mantra Americana’s distinctive style, Madi Das explained, “We are not trying to manufacture anything fake or gimmicky. There’s a long history of kirtan music constantly innovating and reinventing itself, taking it beyond the temple room and reaching a wider audience.” Merging Indian ragas with American musical influences, the project coined the term “Country and Eastern.” The goal is to create a musical language of kirtan that resonates with diverse audiences, making it more accessible to those unfamiliar with Krishna Consciousness.

Collaborating with Dave Stringer, Madi found a partner in the effort to bridge cultures and musical traditions. Dave Stringer, though not a Vaishnava himself, brings his musical background to meet Madi in the middle. “He would add guitar and pedal steel, and we would build on the songs from there,” Madi explained. This organic collaboration allowed Mantra Americana to create a unique blend of Kirtan music, where traditional melodies from India and ISKCON’s temple kirtan heritage seamlessly integrate with the sound of contemporary American instruments.

The pandemic lockdown provided an unexpected opportunity for Madi and Dave to collaborate on new music. Despite being separated by distance, their determination to bring kirtan to a broader audience fueled their creative efforts. The resulting first album, a five-song EP titled Mantra Americana, reached the Grammy nomination stage, a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation.

Mantra Americana II: Building on the success of their first collaboration, Bhakti Without Borders, and last year’s release, Mantra Americana, the team is now ready to drop its third album, Mantra Americana II. Featuring six new tracks, the album promises to take kirtan to new heights while maintaining a deep connection to the spiritual roots of the Vaisnava kirtan. “We wanted to collaborate with the best musicians who could serve the music,” Madi emphasized. The artists’ diverse backgrounds have played a significant role in shaping the album’s unique experience of kirtan music.

Mantra Americana team.

Mantra Americana has launched a crowdfunding campaign to sustain the momentum and share kirtan with a broader audience. “The landscape of music has changed dramatically,” explains Madi. “Streaming platforms have transformed how people consume music, and the album’s creation depends on upfront financial support.” Contributions to the campaign will be instrumental in promoting the latest album, Mantra Americana II, as a powerful tool to introduce the transformative power of the mantra music to people beyond the immediate Krishna Consciousness community.

The fusion of Indian ragas and American musical styles in the new music is more than just a combination of sounds. It represents a bridge, a Rubicon of cultures, where diverse traditions unite harmoniously. The band’s innovative approach offers a contiguous path, unifying spiritual practices, and musical expression.

A path of unity and harmony, Mantra Americana’s Grammy nomination and the upcoming album release signify a remarkable journey that began with a vision of making kirtan accessible to all. Through the collaborative efforts of Madi and Dave, the project continues to evolve and touch the lives of people from different backgrounds and beliefs. As the crowdfunding campaign seeks support from music enthusiasts and spiritual seekers alike, Mantra Americana remains steadfast in its mission to break boundaries and inspire souls through the universal language of music.

To discover more about the music and support the release of Mantra Americana II, visit the project’s campaign page via mantraamericana.org.

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