Achyutam: Your Names, the soulful, joyous debut single from Govinda Priya, is set to be released at 8am UK time on Diwali day, Saturday November 14th. Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights, and the song promises to shed some light during a dark time.
“At the moment everything is so dull and difficult, and everyone is really struggling,” Govinda Priya says. “So we wanted to offer something uplifting.”
Growing up and going to gurukula in New Mayapur, France, kirtan and singing was always a big part of Govinda Priya’s life. She never thought to pursue music in a serious way, however, until her twenties, when she decided to study Brijabasi bhajans, ragas, and Indian classical music with a guru in Vrindavan Dhama, India.
Later, Govinda Priya, now living in the UK, created some English language jazz and soul songs with her husband Luke Whicker, of rock band Late Day Breakers.
After contributing a song to Radha Krishna Records’ Mantra Lounge album series, Govinda Priya decided to create devotional music drawing from all her influences.
Originally recorded early this year and intended to be released for Janmastami in August, Achyutam: Your Names is a selection of verses from the Achyutastakam, a Sanskrit prayer that invokes many names and aspects of Lord Krishna such as Achyuta the infallible one, Keshava, Narayana, Rama, Damodara, and Vasudeva.
Govinda Priya’s heartfelt take on the prayer blends soul, folk, jazz and Indian classical influences; the melody is co-written by husband Luke, who also plays guitar. In addition, the track features piano by Gaura Horn, flute by Shammi Pitha, bass by Kishor Murti and production by Jagannath Suta Das.
Achyutam will be released independently by the artist’s own Govinda Records, and includes stunning cover art by Radhe Gendron, a childhood friend who grew up with Govinda Priya in New Mayapur.
Over the next few months, Govinda Priya hopes to release several more singles, followed by a full album next year.
Until then, she hopes Achyutam, with its bright feel and major notes, will bring listeners a spark of joy.
“Luke and I listened to the song a lot in the car when we were trying to get a feel for what we needed to do, and every time we drove and the sun shone in, I thought, ‘This song just makes me feel like sunshine.” So I hope that translates for listeners.”
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Achyutam: Your Names will be available on all major download platforms from 8am UK time on Diwali day, Saturday November 14th. Presave on Spotify and iTunes here: https://distrokid.com/…/govindapriya/achyutam-your-names