New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Robin Renée didn’t set out to be a voice for spirituality in pop music. But as she has discovered through the course of her indie career, sometimes these things happen.
Over the last several years, she has been developing what she calls Mantra-Pop – her own genre of accessible tunes with a spiritual twist. In March she released Live Devotion – her third CD – and the first dedicated wholly to sacred chant. She will perform at Oly Yoga in Olympia on Friday, June 1st at 7pm, and on Saturday, June 2nd, she will perform at 1pm for the Conscious Living Expo at the Spokane Convention Center. A CD signing and workshop will follow.In Olympia, Renée may play a few alt-folk tunes from her first two releases In Progress and All Six Senses, but kirtan will be the main event. Kirtan is a call-and-response style of chanting from the bhakti yoga tradition of India – with easy-to-learn Sanskrit, and perhaps inner peace for all who give it a try.
In Spokane, she will give a mixed performance of songs and chanting. Her concerts bring together uniquely combined audiences of social progressives, rockers, folk fans, the LGBT community (She is outspokenly bisexual), and yoga enthusiasts. In her workshop, Kirtan: The Sound of Devotion, she will chant and speak on the some of the Holy Names that are sung during kirtan, traditions surrounding them, personal insight, and developing a connection to the practice. A third special event has just been added: a kirtan on Sunday, June 3rd at The Community Building in Spokane that will benefit KYRS Community Radio.
An awakening moment about five years ago turned Renée’s already mystical gaze eastward. Live Devotion was foreshadowed by mantra-referencing songs like “I’m Coming Down” and “Holy River” from the 2002 release All Six Senses, which was produced by the world-renowned Scott Mathews, who has worked with artists including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Elvis Costello, Patti LaBelle and many more. Renée first met the emergence of chant in her creative process with an element of surprise, then with a sense of balance.
“I’ve always been a deeply spiritual person, but I kept it somewhat muted and cryptic in the lyrics. It’s exciting to put it out there so freely now- It feels like a natural integration,” she said.
Robin Renée Washington Appearances
Friday, June 1st 7-9pm $15.00 for adults / $10.00 for students and under 18
Oly Yoga, 1005 4th Avenue East (btw Quince & Eastside Sts.), Olympia, WA 98506
Saturday, June 2nd
3-5pm Workshop: Kirtan – The Sound of Devotion
Conscious Living Expo, Spokane Convention Center, 322 N. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA
Sunday, June 3rd 7pm *$10
The Community Building – Lobby
35 W. Main Ave. (just west of Division and Main)
Spokane, WA 99201
*A portion of proceeds will go to support KYRS, Community Radio.