Jaya Lakshmi is, without a doubt, one of the most innovative, up-and-coming artists in the realm of contemporary chant music. Spiritual as well as sensual, her music is an intoxicating mix of mystical sonorities: ethereal Vedic chants that lift the soul up high, percolation tabla beats that make you want to move, cutting edge dance groves, harmonium drones and even a little Gypsy spice thanks to the use of flamenco guitar. It's music for dance and deep trance all wrapped up in one, providing the perfect accompaniment for yoga, ecstatic dance or chilling out.
Having grown up in a family of musicians, Jaya Lakshmi's natural talent for creating music was discovered early. As a child she was schooled on the piano. During her teenage years she started writing songs for the guitar and joined a folk cover band while in high school. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1985 with a degree in Anthropology, Lakshmi moved to rural Western Oregon where she resumed her songwriting and singing, inspired by the lush green forests, misty mountains, and the ring of the twelve-string guitar.
It was a few years later, after relocating to the big island of Hawaii, that her career path was forged. She had the good fortune of meeting Srila Govinda Majaraj, from whom she received the "harinam" initiation and was bestowed the spiritual name "Jaya Lakshmi," which means "victory to the Goddess Lakshmi" (Hindu Goddess of prosperity). Lakshi moved to Maui in 1996, where she continued to draw inspiration from the majestic landscape of Hawaii and developed a profound connection to her Native American roots. It was here that she met Deva Priyo and Om, who she went on to form the group Lost at Last with. The vision of the band was to blend ancient and modern music (acoustic and electronic) in a mood of love and devotion, with chanting and devotional Singing.
Lost at Last's debut album was released in August of 2001. The album's joyous, ethno-centric energy was enhanced by Lakshmi's contributions as lead singer and keyboradist, as well as her accompaniment of harmonium, guitar and percussion. Recently, the artist embarked on her first solo album - Ocean of Mercy, which was released on Sequoia Records in November of 2002. The album featured an ecstatic blend of harmonium swirls, infectious tabla beats, flamenco guitar, and, of course, Lakshmi's gorgeous vocals. Her follow up album, Jewel of Hari features more of her signature sound; only this time with an even warmer, more intimate feel. In addition, she regularly leads bhajan and kirtan chant sessions on the West Coast and continues to collaborate with other artists, revealing her beauty and versatility as a singer and songwriter.