An Indian-origin singer-songwriter will perform at a one-off charity concert here this weekend to raise funds for educational projects in Punjab.
Dubai-based Manika Kaur, an Internet sensation with her unique Sikh devotional kirtan renditions popular on YouTube, will perform hits from her second album ‘I Bow to You Waheguru’ at the concert in north London.
"We are hoping that people come to the concert not only to listen to the kirtan but also in turn to support the 'Kirtan for Causes' charity. All proceeds from the ticket and album sales will be donated to the charity which will in turn help fund education projects for impoverished children in the Punjab," said Manika Kaur.
The singer who grew up in Melbourne, Australia, has over 9 million views on her YouTube channel since her first album Bandhana released in 2009. Her new album features contributions from award-winning artiste and composer Talvin Singh, a pioneer in fusing the traditional tabla with modern electronic, as well as several Western and Indian classical performers like Rakesh Chaurasia on bansuri, Jyotsna Srikanth on the violin and Bernhard Schimpelsberger on percussion.
"I feel very honoured to be in the UK for the live performance of kirtan from 'I Bow To You Waheguru'. It has been a long journey to get this album completed with some very talented musicians," said the singer.
Manika Kaur's natural musical talents were nurtured by a lifelong family connection to the complex traditions of Sikh devotional music known as kirtan. Together with her siblings, she performed at temples as well as at home.
"The tunes pop into my head in the prayer room. I would start singing the prayer instead of speaking it," she said. In 2013, Manika released a video to a track "Gur Ram Das Rakho Sarnaee" which masterfully depicts the life story of Guru Ram Das through the medium of shadow puppets.