avatar for Vijay Krsna (KIRTANIYAS) (India)

Vijay Krsna (KIRTANIYAS) (India)

Vrindaban, India
Vijay Krsna, founder and leader of the global kirtan collective known as Kirtaniyas, is a rising virtuoso in the world of kirtan, the ancient Indian devotional art of call-and-response mantra singing. Initiated into the Bhakti Yoga tradition at the early age of 11, the first instruction Vijay Krsna received from his spiritual master was to “always be engaged in kirtan”. Taking those words fully to heart, Vijay Krsna passionately immersed himself in India’s devotional folk music as he studied vocals, Bengali, Sanskrit and Hindi folk songs, harmonium, mrdangam, tabla, and kartals with renowned masters in India’s 5000-year-old temple-town, Vrindavan. Born in Birmingham, UK in 1985, Vijay Krsna’s upbringing was a multi-cultural and multi-faith banquet of arts, music and meditation, where East converged with West in a sensory explosion of musical exploration.

The son of a sound engineer, Vijay Krsna grew up with the rythms of dub, reggae, Sufi qawwali, West African music, Bollywood, and kirtan emanating from his father’s home-engineered vinyl sound system. At the age of 17, Vijay Krsna left home to begin his worldwide journey as a travelling kirtan performer. His rich ethnic and musical childhood travelled with him and over the years has grown into a vibrant, heartfelt expression of self that can only be described as the romance between urban hip-hop and a profound devotional inner world.

Vijay Krsna’s creations – be they his kirtans, his Bhakti-Yoga workshops, his self-designed clothes, or his hybridised unions of enchanting, ancient mantras with electronic dance music and subsonic bass – are all marked by an unmistakable artistic flare that celebrates the beauty of the paradoxical. And while Bhakti Yoga and kirtan are intrinsically secretive traditions steeped in mystery, Vijay Krsna’s musical and devotional purpose manifests as an all-inclusive embrace of anyone willing to sing and dance along. As such, his exhilarating kirtans have found voice in a surprising variety of venues, from the famous Kumbha Mela festival in India, to the Roxy in Hollywood, Burning Man and other festivals alike, to temples in the West, forests in the East, Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, some of the world’s most prestigious clubs, and regularly headlining at Bhakti Fest in California with his band.

Since 2014, Vijay Krsna has toured the globe continuously, both with his band and solo, visiting at least 18 countries each year. Since Kirtaniyas’ debut album, Heart & Soul, landed #11 on the iTunes world music charts, Vijay Krsna has gone on to launch his own record label, Sriyam Records, through which he supports the development of other kirtan artists worldwide.

His intentions to nourish the culture of devotional music in the West find expression in his affectionate collaborations with various artists, as well as leading immersive kirtan workshops and Bhakti Yoga classes at yoga retreats around the globe.

Fervently dedicated to the expansive beauty of the kirtan movement, Vijay Krsna continues to develop opportunities to be of service, brewing new and unique ways of sharing the rare and sublime musical meditations his masters imparted him.

My Artists Sessions

Monday, August 10

12:00am JST

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