About Prem Joshua
Born to a musical family in Germany, Joshua began learning the flute at the age of five, becoming a fine flautist while still a child. As a teenager he was soon performing in various Rock, Jazz and Fusion bands as a flute and saxophone player, always searching for new ways of expressing and expanding his music.
However, his musical “discontent”, combined with his search for the spiritual, pulled him, perhaps inevitably, towards India - her culture and her music.
He remembers vividly hearing Indian music for the first time, age 16 - a crackly vinyl record of a sitar performance by Ravi Shankar: “I had never heard anything like this before,” Joshua recalls. “This was beyond my musical grasp and experience but was something of such immense beauty and depth. It felt unfamiliar and mysterious - yet at the same time like a remembrance of something I knew very well.”
This experience changed his way of perceiving music completely. Thus it was, that in the late seventies, at the age of 18, he left home, he left high school, ended all his career plans, and traveled instead, overland from Europe to India - following the irresistable attraction and pull that the East had now cast over him.
On his subsequent overland trips to the East he traveled extensively throughout countries like Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in each place he became deeply involved with the indigenous folk music he found there, playing live with and learning from, local musicians everywhere. “I loved the roots of this music and felt an immediate
connection that I missed so much in Central European music,” he recalls.
When he reached India he had a sensation of knowing it; it felt like coming home! Along with the feeling of familiarity there seemed to be an inexplicable vibe of “at-ease-ness” in this country of mysteries, contradictions, colors and smells.
And this coming home to India was only the “outer” part of his journey. On his travels he came across the enlightened mystic, Osho. In the presence
of this man with a long white beard, eyes as deep as the ocean and a strong sense of humor, he came in touch with the art of the “inner music” - Silence.
“This was really coming home! For the following years I did nothing but be around this man, go deeper in meditation and play, play, play music. Here I found the musical and spiritual nourishment and satisfaction that I had been looking for. I started playing with musicians from all over the world and learning from some of India's finest teachers, among them Maestro Ustad Usman Khan, who became my sitar mentor.”
Years later, in the early nineties when Osho had passed away, Joshua returned to the West after many years of study in India. He and his music had totally changed - it was time to share the overflow and time for his music to really blossom.
Until today he has released 14 albums under his name and played on countless studio recordings. He has traveled the world numerous times and played to an ever increasing number of music lovers whom he keeps inspiring with a musical space beyond the borders of traditions, religions and beliefs.
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Prem Joshua is a pioneer in the field of World Music, exploring and creating a new synthesis in sound which takes us beyond the borders of both East and West.
Haunting melodies on the sitar, bamboo flute and soprano sax soar over driving tabla rhythms - ancient Sanskrit and Sufi poems are re-awakened by captivating songs and chants. And while drawing inspiration from these deep wells of the musical traditions of the East, Joshua has never lost touch with the pulse of contemporary Western music. Over the years he has continued to refine his awesome talent for fusion, mixing meditative classical Indian ragas with highly energetic compositions, modern cutting-edge sounds and grooves, to create a music both distinctive and unique.
He is now the number 1 bestselling World Music artist in India and the daily newspaper "The Times of India" has lauded him as the new "Guru of Fusion".
In 2003, the BBC nominated him for its prestigious “World Music Listeners Award”.
In early 2005 the music channel "MTV" invited Joshua and his band to give a half-hour live performance during one of their regular MTV live shows in Bombay. His performance was broadcast on TV several times - a rare opportunity for a musician of his genre to be featured on a TV music channel that otherwise concentrates mainly on mainstream music.
He has performed in front of prominent names such as Paul Getty III and Deepak Chopra to mention but a few. In addition, Sitar Maestro Ravi Shankar has blessed his concert tours and his daughter, Anoushka Shankar, herself a world-famous and outstanding sitar player, has said she simply loves Joshua´s unique sound and compositions.
Besides being busy with composing and studio recordings, Prem Joshua has always been a passionate live performer - he is as much at home on stage in Bombay as in the clubs of New York, touring the globe for almost 7 months each year.
For the last 15 years he has shared the stage with internationally acclaimed musicians from East and West, performing in the USA, Japan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Israel and Europe.
Joshua´s concerts are enhanced by the mezmerising dance performances of Hina Sarojini (Singapore). She is quite simply his music in movement and combines Indian and Western dance traditions with an effortless, awe inspiring and spell binding grace.
With this album, Prem Joshua sought to slow down his usual uptempo trance/worldbeat fusion and create something more mystical and contemplative. Taking the ancient mystical Tantric writings of India as an inspiration, he laid down basic tracks with tabla player Manish Vyas in a small studio in the Indian city of Pune, then took those tapes home to his house in Tuscany, where he overdubbed more acoustic instruments before filling out the mixes with keyboard tracks in Amsterdam, in collaboration with Maneesh de Moor. The resulting music is not exactly ambient and by no means minimalist, but there is definitely something soothing about its gently rolling beats and rich instrumental textures. As usual, it's Prem Joshua's flute playing that is most engaging here, especially on the exceptionally lovely "Remembr This". He's no slouch as a sitar player either, though, as he ably demonstrates on the gently chugging, midtempo "Dakini". Not really trance, not really New Age, this is music that defies easy categorization and, really, ultimately transcends it. Highly recommended.
- Rick Anderson, All Music Guide
Tracks n Sample Clips
Mixing, Gopichard: Prem Joshua
Cover gn: Carlo Savona
Tabla: Manish Vyas
Gopichard: Prem Joshua