March 03/03/23, 2023
Imagine that matter is vibration and the cosmos is sound. Mantras are prayers that harmoniously vibrate with the universe. On this newest track from Indian Trap, titled “Durga Mantra (Om Katyayanaya Vidmahe),” vocalist S. J. Jananiy provides a powerful and sublime vocal performance over a hypnotic beat and melodic synths, Indian temple bells, beats and flutes. What you will hear is a three thousand year old mantra modernized to go right to the heart of the here and now, as contemporary trap music that is re-emerging from the streets.

Working with at least 30 different vocal layers, Jananiy delivers a unique collage of taans, aalaaps, swaras, and improvisations that blend beautifully with harmonies, presenting her passion propelled by her own personal strength. Listeners will find spicy delight at these dramatic and fantastic imaginative and colorful depictions of this famous ancient Indian legend. This is a salute to Maa Durga in her form as Katyayani, the sixth form of Durga. “Durga Mantra (Om Katyayani Vidmahe)” begins with the expression Om, which is the syllable that sets into motion all Hindu mantras. Maa Durga’s divine presence is felt throughout the universe.

The Goddess Durga is said to be one of the most powerful deities in the Hindu religion. She is also known by the name of Devi or Shakti which in Hindi means ‘woman’ and ‘power’ respectively. Durga is a warrior goddess, she is depicted expressing her martial skills, usually seen as a motherly figure and a beautiful woman, riding a lion or tiger, with many arms, each carrying a deadly weapon.

Durga’s facial expression is traditionally derived from the belief that she is protective and violent not because of her hatred, egotism or getting pleasure in violence, but because she acts out of necessity, for the love of the good, for liberation of those who depend on her, and a mark of the beginning of the soul’s journey to creative freedom. Durga’s legend centers around combating evils and demonic forces that threaten peace, prosperity, and dharma, representing the power of good over evil. Durga is believed to unleash her divine wrath against the wicked for the liberation of the oppressed, and entails destruction to empower creation.

The word Durga in Sanskrit means ‘a fort’ which symbolizes the fact that Goddess Durga is the epitome of strength and womanhood. Other times Goddess Durga is referred to as Durgati Nashini which translates to ‘one who eliminates suffering.’ She treats her worshippers just like a mother treats her children. She loves in a most caring way and she is equally likely to get angry when required. This all sums up to say that Goddess Durga blesses her worshippers with strength, patience and many such virtues, but she destroys the things that need to be destroyed.

The Durga Mantra (Om Katyayanaya Vidmahe) pushes the envelope,“As a musician, my material is sound,” says Indian Trap. “I’ve always considered myself a sound designer. When I learned that the Shaivite Hindu tradition believes that matter is vibration and the cosmos is sound, it got me thinking! We talk about someone having great vibes, don’t we? Don’t we say that some people vibe well together? These seemingly trivial words have a profound meaning! Mantras are prayers that ‘vibe’ with the universe. What better lyrics can a composer ask for? Jananiy brought the mantras, and I brought my music! Three thousand years old mantras that go right to the heart of matter and contemporary music that has emerged from the streets, from ordinary people… we’re talking about roots! Music is the medicine for the soul, Plato said. At its best, music is a cosmic energy that removes negativity and obstacles, bringing peace, focus, and satisfaction to all who listen. Ever heard of Bach? The journey may be long, but we are on the right track.”

S. J. Jananiy reflects, “Working along with Jay for this very special single was highly explorative by fusing the Vedic Mantras, his Indian Trap music, and the many vocalizations. It got me thinking about how these Mantras, encased in Trap music and Indian raga-based music, could be performed live, and that got me curious about those possibilities. This song has at least 30 different vocal layers, along with a unique collage of taans, aalaaps, swaras, and improvisations that blend beautifully with harmonies for Jay’s track!”

This mantra begins with the word Om, which is the main mantra of all mantras. It is a salute to Maa Durga in her form as Katyayani, the sixth form of Durga. Her divine presence is felt throughout the universe, and she is also worshipped as Kanyakumari. The devotee prays that no matter what name she is called, she is always Durga.

Goddess Durga, also known as Shakti or Devi, is the protective mother of the universe and the embodiment of true womanhood. She is known as Durgatinashini, meaning "the one who eliminates suffering." Like a mother, she deeply loves her children and protects them, nurturing and caring for them, while also destroying their enemies.

Maa Durga is the ultimate manifestation of Shakti and the fundamental essence of the universe. She is the most powerful deity and protects all that is good and harmonious in the world. By chanting her mantras, one can protect themselves from evil and negativity. She blesses her children by helping them overcome all misfortunes and evils.

Jay Singh, aka J2, is the successful record producer and composer behind Indian Trap. Jay rose to prominence after winning the prestigious Ministry of Sound DJ Idol Competition in 2002. He has since produced and remixed songs for various artists, including LL Cool J, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, and Madonna. He burst onto the pop music scene as J2 with the release of the smash hit “Dare La La La,” which he co-wrote and produced for Shakira’s 10th studio album; the track debuted in the Top 10 of most international charts. A reworked version titled “La La La” Brazil” was the official theme song for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and is featured on the One Love, One Rhythm World Cup album. The song was also used in a T-Mobile commercial and Shakira’s Activia commercial, which became the most shared advertisement of 2014 and has over 2 billion streams to date. J2’s compositions have appeared in over 100 films, trailers, video games, television shows, and advertisements. They gathered over 250 million streams across YouTube and other major DSPs.

S. J. Jananiy was a child prodigy. She is a Multi-Global-Award-Winning Composer. She studied Carnatic (South Indian), Hindustani (North Indian), and Western classical vocal traditions. She has an ATCL Vocal, Grade 8 in Western Classical Music, and studied piano and Western Classical Music theory at Trinity College, London. She plays the harp and the synthesizer. She works as a film-score composer, songwriter, performer, arranger, music producer, and sound engineer. She graduated from SMC, Chennai, with a degree in Economics. She has an M.A. in Indian music and an M. Phil from QMC, Chennai. She is currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Indian Music. She has received the Indian National Award, State Awards & many other Awards.
Between 2018 and 2022, she received twelve Global Awards.


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