Sikh band 'White Sun' wins Grammy and Punjab is elated
California-based Sikh band group White Sun, having defeated the likes of Enya and Vangelis, emerged as the winner and went to bag the Grammys 2017 in the New Age category for their second album White Sun II. And now, Punjab is elated as a number of fans have tuned into White Sun’s website to search for words they had counted on their entire lives.
The 'White Sun II' consists of around 10 compositions either from the Guru Granth Sahib or those written by the 10th Sikh master, Guru Gobind Singh. The 11th symphony is an instrumental derived from the Sikh expression for God - Akaal.
The founders of the band are Adam Berry (Two- time Emmy-winning music composer) and lead vocalist Gurujas Kaur Khalsa, aka Gurujas, who is also a veteran Kundalini yoga instructor.
The grammy was received by Gurujas , Adam and instrumentalist Harjiwan, a turbaned disciple of the late Harbhajan Singh Yogi aka Yogi Bhajan, who started propagating Sikhism among Americans half a century ago.
Apart from the original members, White Sun II features Grammy-winning kora player Mamadou Diabate, the Punch Brothers' violinist Gabe Witcher and tabla player Abhiman Kaushal. Kaushal is another Indian-American originally from Hyderabad, who is an adjunct associate professor at the department of ethnomusicology at the University of California.
When White Sun picked up the trophy, accepting the award, Gurujas said, "We just want our music to make something better for somebody somewhere. And it's our dream to see this world become a more beautiful place. For anyone who shares in that dream with us, thank you, we love you and let's do better."
Apart from the Grammy-winning kora player Mamadou Diabate and the Punch Brothers' violinist Gabe Witcher, White Sun II also features Indian-origin tabla player Abhiman Kaushal. The album was a breakout New Age hit in 2016 and a chart-topper on iTunes. White Sun announced touching one million streams on its Facebook page with a chant of "Waheguru".