Featured in top media including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and The Huffington Post, endorsed by celebrities as varied as Cher, Tony Robbins, and the Dalai Lama, included in movie soundtracks such as Walkout, Mantra, and 8 Seconds, and honored by 1.5 million album sales, 550,000 monthly Spotify listeners and 400,000 Facebook followers, chart-topping musicians Deva Premal & Miten are modern nomads on a mission to share with humanity the medicine of mantra.
Deva’s mother was a teacher of medieval music, offering lessons in piano, harpsichord, and recorder, and leading a local church choir, and Deva’s father was a visual artist who had taken up Middle Eastern drumming when Deva was born. In addition, both parents had embraced Zen spirituality and Eastern philosophy, well before Deva’s birth, and had a daily practice of chanting in Sanskrit. When Deva was in the womb, for example, her father sang the Gayatri mantra to her daily, and when she was a little girl, he sang it to her nightly, as a lullaby. And so Deva’s childhood was filled with chamber music, drum circles, and mantras – in particular, the Gayatri mantra, which back then Deva had no idea was one of the most revered and powerful mantras of all.
For the most part, Deva did not appreciate her parents’ influence – musical or otherwise – until she was older. As a child, she just thought her parents were weird, and at the age of 10, wanting to be normal like the kids around her, Deva dove into studies of Christianity and pursued getting baptized. In addition, while Deva studied recorder, piano, and violin, and even enrolled in a school that emphasized music education and performance, she disliked the rigidity of classical music and the rigors of practicing. Even then, however, she was drawn to both choir and orchestra, because she enjoyed the act of creating music together, through community – foreshadowing her future.
Meanwhile, one thing from childhood resonated deeply with Deva, as she still was growing up: her mother’s discovery of Osho’s teachings. Deva immediately felt a calling, and at the age of 17, quit school and moved to India, to join Osho’s ashram – where she immersed herself not only in Zen theology but also in a menagerie of artistic expressions of the Divine: Sanskrit mantras, Sufis dances, Native American chanting, African drumming, and more. Having broken from guru tradition, Osho did not teach mantras as an official part of ashram life. He did, however, encourage all those in attendance to share their unique expressions of love, peace, oneness, and compassion, in whatever format and from whatever tradition.
Miten’s contribution of devotional songs was embraced enthusiastically and loved immediately, and Miten soon found himself traveling to Osho gatherings worldwide, playing for thousands of devotees. At first, Deva sang backup with Miten as his life partner – harmonizing with him, as a way of connecting with and supporting him. She lacked confidence in her voice and felt shy about singing in front of people. But at an Osho music festival in England, when Deva heard someone singing the Gayatri mantra, for the first time since her childhood, she sang along at full volume, from her heart, her fear suddenly and entirely dissolved. It seemed that Gayatri was calling on Deva, to step out of the shadows and into her own radiant light.
Awakened to the treasure of her childhood, Deva began asking her Indian friends to teach or reacquaint her with mantras, and Miten began composing original harmonic melodies for the ancient chants, with Deva singing lead. In her mother’s kitchen in 1998, Deva and Miten recorded their first album, The Essence, expecting it simply to circulate among Osho followers. Instead, it exploded at yoga studios, massage clinics, and retreat centers globally, introducing the world to a brand new sound, with album sales reaching 300,000 in hard copies alone. And so Deva Premal & Miten were born.
With original chants that are used for meditation, yoga, stress management, massage, and sleep playlists worldwide, Deva Premal & Miten not only model spiritually-conscious living but also share powerful tools for wellness, mindfulness, and personal growth.
Creating an alternative to contemporary music culture, Deva Premal & Miten additionally offer sacred global gatherings with a temple-like environment, where music is not an ego-driven performance, but rather, a portal to contemplation, inner peace, and heart-centered connection.
As the musicians chant the core of mantra and improvise with instruments, all those assembled participate with their voices – making each gathering a unique work of art, an interweaving of humanity, and an offering to the Divine, as well as an antidote to the isolation, stress, and chaos afflicting so many in today’s world.
Against the backdrop of cutting-edge research in music and epigenetics, where scientific studies have proven the efficacy of “lifestyle medicine” in treating mental and physical health issues, those touched by Deva Premal & Miten’s albums and musical gatherings have written in to share dramatic shifts in their lives – including spontaneous improvement in, or even complete resolution of, chronic health issues – thereby validating the power of mantra to heal the world, one chant at a time.