My music story.....
I have spent most of my life playing music in many projects and capacities, mainly as a vocalist and percussionist/drummer. I am the eldest daughter of a 7-sibling family and raised in the ‘music centric’ Hare Krishna community in Vancouver, Canada. We played music 3 hours-a-day 365 days-a-year. My father, the temple’s founder and president, was a notable musician touring internationally in the 60s, 70s and 80s, gaining notoriety as a pioneer of his original brand of ‘Mantra Rock’. I spent my childhood trying to get my father and 2 brothers, who were also musicians, to teach me melodies on the harmonium and drum beats. I would practice for hours, singing up to 3 hours a day; looking back now I think this was also my therapy. Women were not allowed to lead our music sessions but as I started to get recognized as being able to play and sing I was given opportunities and by the time I was 12 was performing in front of large crowds in USA and Canada.
When I was 16 years old my family left the community. Coincidently my future husband Thomas, originally from Trinidad, also a musician, who had joined the commune a few years back traveling the world as a monk, was similarly disillusioned and we left at the same time. We started a band together for the annual Ratha Yatra festival and started dating soon after. Exploring music, helped with the painful transition of leaving the tight-knit community behind and starting a new life on the ‘outside’.
My musical influences found fresh life with Thomas’ impassioned song-writing and rock-reggae influences and we’ve been writing and performing music together ever since. Thomas spearheaded our musical partnership with a band called Samsara, a frenzied mash-up of soca, reggae, rock, funk & soul. We toured for 10 years across Canada and internationally, writing, recording and selling scores of albums – gaining recognition as leading musicians and cultural pioneers in our region. Together we co-founded and directed a renowned gathering, the Komasket Music Festival for 10 years, winning awards and presenting leading international artists. Thomas has written/recorded 7 albums, over 150 songs and worked with legends in the music industry including Jon Anderson (Yes), Buffy St Marie, Arrested Development and The Wailers.
We relocated to London UK in 2008 for a new adventure following a strong urge to give more focus and stability to our 4 almost-grown sons’ education and home life. Balancing work and raising our sons, we took a break from music for a while.
In 2017 after I worked as an arts marketer and events producer here in London for 7 years, music was screaming our name loudly and we started Stunflower, a trio playing Thomas’s songs. We played the UK festival and music venue circuit and recorded 2 albums and a handful of music videos. With the pandemic in March 2020, all gigs were cancelled and we started Saturdays with Stunflower from our garden studio which connected us to many folks internationally.
I also collaborate with dancers and organizations, composing and improvising music for dance.
To see more of my musical work visit Stunflower's website HERE