I have been in a big fan of AYKANNA ever since I first heard them playing “Beautiful Am I” in the Yogi Tea Cafe at Summer Solstice 2010. I can remember that it was a random night of hanging out and talking with friends in the Cafe. At first we we weren’t really paying any attention to the band on stage, but I couldn’t help but hear some of the music in the background. Eventually I had to interrupt everyone and ask, “Who are these guys?”
It was lead singer Sukhdev Jackson with her very rich and soulful voice along with Akahdahmah Jackson on percussion. Aykanna’s overall sound is very catchy, smoothy and funky with Jazz and Soul influences. They are kind of like Kundalini Yoga’s version of the jazz vocalist. No matter which song you listen to, you can’t help but find your self humming along to it throughout the day.
Aykanna’s second release, Mother, has an intention to heal the Divine Feminine and the Mother Earth through music and mantra. Yogi Bhajan said it best when he said, “As long as humanity does not learn to respect the woman, there will be no peace on this Earth. There will be war always.” Through praising and honoring the Divine Feminine we can heal the earth. Without it we have no hope. Humanity can no further without the realization of the Divine Feminine.
Mother kicks off with Bluezone which is The Lord’s Prayer in Jesus’ native language, Aramaic. Aramaic is a language much like Gurmukhi in which the words were created before their meaning was attached to them. Much of the meaning in the biblical version of the Lord’s Prayer is lost in the translation from Greek to English. ‘Bluezone’ transitions from Aramaic to the English version that was translated directly from Aramaic. There are not a lot of recordings out there of the Aramaic or English translation of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer out there. Listen and chant along to tune into the consciousness of this great teacher’s prayer in his original language.
The album moves into Adi Shakti, the mantra to invoke the Divine Feminine energy. After about a minute into the mantra, it is nearly impossible to not want to snap your fingers and move around. Aykanna’s ‘Adi Shakti’ is a very much a feel good and fun version of the mantra. You can feel the joy in Sukhdev’s voice. This one can be used in an 11 minute meditation and if you are meditating on the mantra Adi Shakti, I recommend adding this version into your rotation. This is quickly becoming a favorite!
Rising with the Dawn is peaceful song with light guitar. It can be a nice song to play while getting ready for your morning sadhana or a song to have on your wake-up playlist on your alarm clock.
Aykanna adds their unique touch to the Aad Such mantra. Aad Such begins with a steady rhythm and really picks up in middle intertwined with some catchy English lyrics and Sat Nam Wahe Guru Ji. ‘Aad Such’ reminds us despite everything, you shall always be you.
Sukhdev shows us her singer/ songwriter side in the original song, I am Woman which is an inspiring song about claiming your true Divine Feminine power. ‘I am Woman’ reveals the journey from being a little girl seeking approval to gain love to the woman who is confident in being who she is.
Ek Ong Kaur (Mul Mantra) starts off with a light guitar in the background and picks up with percussion in the middle. Aykanna fuses the Gurmuhki and English translation of the Guru Nanak’s first mantra.
Har Haray Haree is a unique version of this popular mantra used in a number of Kundalini Yoga meditations and White Tantric Yoga. It is very upbeat with some Jamaican flavor to it with shakers, congas and background vocals. This version can also be used as an 11 minute meditation. If you ever are meditating on this mantra, you need to also add this version into your rotation. Very fun!
Mother- Father is an original prayer in English with some light guitar for the Divine Mother and Heavenly Father. It can be a nice song to use during a savasana or to end a yoga class.
The Butterfly Effect is the inspiring words coming through Akahdahmah recorded live at a retreat in Costa Rica. You need to hear this!
True to the album’s name, Mother closes with Jai Ma, the mantra for praising the Divine Mother. Sukhdev adds her own personal touch to this wonderful mantra with her own heartfelt lyrics singing to inspiration of the Divine Mother of all. It is very beautiful.
This is an excellent album to add to your collection and especially good for honoring the Divine Feminine. After centuries of male domination, we are at a stage of our human evolution where we are moving back into balance of the male and female energies. Without this balance and elevation of Divine Feminine, we will not be able to get any further in our development as a race. Mother is very deep, heartfelt, catchy and soulful. Make sure you check it out!