Deva Premal & Miten began their journey into love and music in 1990 when they met at the ashram of controversial Indian mystic, Osho. Their worldwide concerts and best-selling albums have since introduced millions of Westerners to the joy and deep relaxation found in spiritually based songs and chanting mantras from the Eastern meditation traditions.
Deva’s debut album The Essence, which rocketed to the top of New Age charts around the world when it was released in 1998, introduced a unique musical genre, offering the ancient mantras of India and Tibet in contemporary musical settings.
Since then Deva & Miten have released a string of acclaimed CDs with sales exceeding one million, and their concerts have moved from yoga studios to audiences of thousands in concert halls, cathedrals and music festivals around the planet.
Their music transcends all the usual boundaries, receiving accolades from such luminaries as Eckhart Tolle, who calls their music “pure magic.” Hollywood movie icon Cher cites Deva’s The Essence as “My favorite CD to do yoga to.” Motivation guru, Anthony Robbins, describes Miten’s Songs for the Inner Lover album as “Passionate and powerful.” Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama is reported to enjoy their music during his private time and, when hearing Deva & Miten chant his favorite mantra at a private audience, exclaimed, “Beautiful music, beautiful…!”
German-born Deva Premal is a classically trained musician who grew up singing mantras as bedtime songs. Her mother plays viola da gamba and her father was an artist and a devotee of the Eastern spiritual path, including Zen and Yoga. He taught himself Sanskrit and meditated daily.
Deva notes that
“When my mother was pregnant with me, their welcome was to sing the Gayatri Mantra throughout the pregnancy. As I grew up we continued to chant the Gayatri Mantra together regularly before sleep. I didn’t really know what I was singing… and why. I just did it because I was told to! It wasn’t until much later that I came to appreciate these precious times and what my parents wanted to give me.”
As a teenager, she moved away from the confines of both her classical music training in voice, violin and piano, and the mantra practice, and began to explore on her own. At age 11, her search brought her to the enlightened mystic Osho, who gave her the name ‘Deva Premal’ meaning divine loving when translated from the Sanskrit. Later, she studied body work, including massage, shiatsu and cranio-sacral therapies in the ashram in India.
It was in Osho’s ashram that she and Miten met. “Although I was 20 years old and he was 42, our hearts immediately connected,” she says. “Miten was one of Osho’s musicians, but that was about all I knew-apart from the fact that I felt good whenever we met. We laughed a lot … and still do. He writes the most beautiful songs, many of which I knew from the ashram meditations and celebrations.”
Miten was born in London and grew up in the 60’s. “At that time, England was alive with rock ‘n’ roll music and the sound of The Beatles,” he recalls. “Everywhere you went it was on the street. It was a time of innocence, a time when you could sense the possibility that life has no boundaries.”
He later went on to establish a successful career for himself in the 70s as a singer/songwriter, touring with such bands as Fleetwood Mac, Lou Reed and Ry Cooder. During this time he released two well-received albums, one produced by The Kinks, another by noted Los Angeles producer Bones Howe. This period of his life was exciting, but left him spiritually unfulfilled:
“I had a couple of album deals, and moved into writing music for other people, then radio and TV work, then eventually found myself in my 30’s asking questions — I was looking for something more substantial in my life than the prescribed diet of sex, drugs and rock and roll.”