Pilgrimage to India with MC Yogi

Bhakti-hop innovator MC Yogi travels to India for an unwitting spiritual chiropractic adjustment—and artistic inspiration for his newest musical offering.

Photo by Robin Livingston

Nicholas Giacomini has traveled to India numerous times with his wife and creative partner, Amanda. But their most recent trip was a bit different. Nicholas, also known as MC Yogi, the modern musical alchemist who combines sacred Hindu chanting with urban hip-hop, was going to India to record a new album. Little did he know that the musical pilgrimage would include being temporarily crippled by a mysterious illness. Or that he’d be able to walk again after visiting one of India’s sacred sites.“I’d been to India several times, but this time we recorded the album Pilgrimage,” he told S&H. “It was the most powerful trip I’ve had to India.” Nicholas was joined by Indian musicians to record Pilgrimage, the follow-up to 2008’s Ganesh-inspired Elephant Power, which grabbed the ears of yoga, kirtan, and hip-hop communities. He describes the Pilgrimage experience as “a dream come true.” Singer Mahesh Vinayakram, featured on “Pranam” and “Sun Light,” is the son of Grammy Award–winner Vikku Vinayakram, a percussionist with John McLaughlin’s ’70s fusion band Shakti. Lovely Indian flute played by Navin Iyer from …

About the Author

John Malkin

John Malkin is a musician, journalist, activist, and father who lives in Santa Cruz, California. His writing has been published...

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