Among the nominations for the 58th annual Grammy Awards nominations for music in 83 categories are nods for sitarist Anoushka Shankar and singer Madi Das.
Shankar is nominated in the Best World Music Album category for her album Home. She has been previously nominated on four occasions. Her first nomination was in 2003 for her third album, Live at Carnegie Hall. Shankar has not won a gong, even though bets had been placed last year on her album Traces of You. Shankar lost out to Angelique Kidjo’s Eve. This year, Shankar is up against Kidjo once again, who has been nominated for her album Sings.
Here is Shankar performing a piece from Home, titled Guru: Jogeshwari, Jod and Jhala. It is a tribute to her father, Ravi Shankar, who composed the original raga that she plays.
Speaking about her new album, Shankar said, “This music is a slow burn, you know? If someone’s used to the average two-and-a-half-minute song on the radio, it can be hard to understand what's going on, because at two and a half minutes we’re still just playing the first notes and establishing things. Give it the time to open up and play, and then it sort of seeps under your skin, and it has a very profound impact as a result.”
Another artist who has a nomination is not of Indian origin, but his work in steeped in Indian devotional music.
Madi Das has been nominated in the Best New Age Album category for his debut album, Bhakti Without Borders. Das was born in Germany and grew up in India learning kirtans and bhajans. He is an ISKCON devotee, and he claims to contribute all profits from the album towards the education of the girl child in Vrindavan.
Das works in Hollywood as an entertainment executive. His interest in Celtic music has inspired him to fuse the Indian bhakti tradition with elements of folk, bluegrass and country from traditional American and Irish music.
In this video for the track Shri Radhe from the album, Madi Das and Chaytanya chant the many names of the god Krishna.
“I wanted to make music that reflected both the Eastern and Western parts of my personality,” Das said. “Music which could be easily shared with friends, hooks that could be sung, beats that made you want to dance — alone or with friends. The result was Bhakti Without Borders.”
Das has a decent shot at glory: last year, Indian musician Ricky Kej collaborated with South African composer Wouter Kellerman for the album, Winds Of Samsara, which won the Best New Age Album trophy.