Singer-songwriter Jaia Suri has built her career on deeply personal and introspective lyrics and unwavering honesty in expressing her experience through Eastern melodies, unusual tunings, and percussion on the body of her guitar and banjo. Her desire for truth and spiritual development was felt in the first chapter of her career through songs themed around the suffering and wobbling of not having inner fortitude and around the longing for deep connection with the divine coupled with a youthful rebellion towards the status quo.
Jaia spent her twenties touring the folk circuit year-round in a veggie-grease powered rig. During this time she released Luna-tic (Vagabond Records, 2001), Truck Stop Gypsy (Vagabond Records, 2002), and Fire in the Archives (Jaia Suri, 2004), which garnered the praise of Sing Out!, Performing Songwriter Magazine, and a growing body of fans around the world.
“I was touring around the country pouring myself out on stage and feeling this pretty unbearable emptiness. I was doing everything I could to try to fill up with love and admiration from the outside, which I now know is a completely futile endeavor.”
After a heartbreaking personal experience just prior to the release of her 4th studio recording, Strawberry Hat with Producer Perry Margouleff (PIE Records) in 2007, Jaia let go of all musical pursuits and joined a Monastic-Christian Mystic Order where she spent the next 7 years intensively practicing meditation and prayer and eventually ministering as an ordained priest. Finding the work deeply gratifying, though in the end pretty cult-ish, she left that path and began another more supportive inner path which continues to fuel her life’s work of spiritual development.
During the years away from music, Jaia married her beloved husband, Pianist Timothy Lin, birthed two precious babies (entering the temporary insanity of parenting young children), cared for hundreds of fruit trees as a professional gardener and arborist, and continued to experience life deeply. All the while, songs kept coming. She would jot them down while folding laundry, dream them in the night, and record snippets of them while driving.
Her official return to songwriting and recording was prompted by an undeniable passion for expressing beauty, meaning, and authenticity. Coming back to music was in some ways a coming back to herself – and she uncovered hundreds of songs that simply had been waiting to be recorded over the last fifteen years.
“It’s been amazing to return to music as a more developed and inner-resourced person. I’m writing songs from a completely different place, for a completely different reason. I now have a full cup!”
Indeed, fifteen years of diligent inner exploration and wisdom can be experienced in Jaia’s beautiful and insightful new songs.