Snatam Kaur debuts “Akaal” —an exquisite first single from her new album Nirankaar
Celebrated devotional singer Snatam Kaur’s latest release, “Akaal,” comes out March 4 and is the first single from her long-awaited new album, Nirankaar. The track is a heart-expanding rendition of the sacred Sikh mantra sung with all the radiant light Snatam, a Grammy-nominated vocalist, touring musician, teacher, and author, is renowned for. Listening to Snatam’s “Akaal” is a profoundly uplifting experience. Her love of the mantra shines through her luminous voice and the compelling build of the music. Presales of Nirankaar also begin on March 4, with the album scheduled for release in May. A video of “Akaal” also debuts on March 4.
The Meaning of Akaal
The word Akaal means “Beyond or without death” and is usually chanted to support loved ones who have left their bodies as they connect with the Infinite. It is similarly chanted for those left behind, helping them tune into the deathlessness of the soul’s vibration.
Speaking with Snatam Kaur about Akaal
We recently had an opportunity to speak with Snatam Kaur from her home in rural New Hampshire to learn about her latest recordings, an upcoming tour, and her deep appreciation for the Akaal mantra.
“This mantra has been so important and so beautiful to me personally,” said Snatam. “We’re releasing this track about connecting beyond death with the energy of the soul nature first because it plays an important role in our capacity to really connect with God, connect with our lives, and to be present for all of the challenges we face in this day and age.
“Akaal is a mantra that comes from the Sikh tradition, but the word Akaal is pervasive throughout Sikh scripture,” she said. I’ve come to understand that Akaal is not only for the time of death or for a loved one to chant, but for each of us to truly connect with that nature and deathlessness of the soul. Each of us is able to access that point beyond death.
“This connection with the soul is incredibly important. If we exist solely within the chatter of the thoughts and forget to be present to our loved ones, our lives, and the nature of the soul, life can be quite lonely. The moment I return to this nature of the soul within my own practice, there’s so much love and peace. There’s much more capacity to be present with my loved ones. That space of loneliness, of that mind chatter, is just melted and dissolved.
Snatam Kaur Chanting Akaal
“I’ve been chanting Akaal my whole life and didn’t really tune into the intellectual meaning of it until quite late,” said Snatam. “When people chant the open ahh sound in Akaal, I think they open their heart space, which has a really powerful effect. You don’t need to intellectually understand any of this to experience it, and sometimes we’d probably be better off just going to the feeling we have when chanting as opposed to anything else.”
Participate in Chanting Akaal
Released by Be Why Music, “Akaal” is one of eight tracks on Nirankaar and is a collaboration with producer Ram Dass on piano and vocals, Grecco Buratto on guitar and vocals, and Sukhmani on percussion and vocals. In addition to singing, Snatam also plays harmonium on the track. On March 11, an extended and streamlined remix of “Akaal” will be released as the first track from Snatam’s new Mantra and Meditation Series. The series is specifically for practitioners to chant with and experience the sublime power of mantra for themselves. On March 16, Snatam will provide an “Akaal” workshop through Kirtan and Kundalini, her online school of sacred music and yoga. The workshop will be rebroadcasted on Snatam Kaur’s YouTube channel.
In addition to the new album, Snatam and her band will commence their Into the Light Tour on May 15, with summer concert and workshop dates across Europe, the UK, and Israel. Watch the video of “Akaal”: Pre-order the album Nirankaar.
Marina Muhlfriedel is a native Angeleno and self-described creative omnivoire with extensive experience as a writer, film producer, and musician. She teaches Mindfulness Meditiation to at-risk populations, speaks pit bull, practices Tai Chi, and is a senior teacher at Club Kundalini, having begun her spiritual journey in high school as a student of Yogi Bhajan.