Washington, November 12: Popular American singer Mary Millben on Wednesday released a rendition of 'Om Jai Jagdish Hare' as her Diwali greetings to people across the globe, particularly in India and the US, celebrating the festival of lights.
"'Om Jai Jagdish Hare', a beautiful Hindi hymn commonly sung during Diwali and in Indian households across the world, is a song of worship and celebration. This hymn continues to move me, touch my spirit, and stir my passion for Indian culture," said Millben.
"As a daughter of retired ministers, my singing roots originated in the African-American church and this upbringing shaped my faith. As a woman of faith, I value the diverse ways many worship across the world," she said in a statement.
With music given by Canadian Screen Award and Grammy nominated composer Daryl Bennett, Mary released a spiritual and original arrangement of 'Om Jai Jagdish Hare' with a diverse creative team -- Sony Pictures producer Tim Davis, award-winning engineer/mixer Jorge Vivo, executive directors John Schaus and Trent Massey of Arizona-based production company Ambient Skies, and BridalbyDeena owner Deena Mali.
The video has been shot at the picturesque The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona. "My mother Reverend Althea Millben was the first one to encourage me to consider recording and performing this song. During these times, we all need spiritual reinforcements that unify our souls," she said.
"India, the people of India, and the Indian-American community are very special to me. What a blessing to perform virtually for Diwali 2020 -- an annual, Indian festival of lights where India, Indian Americans, and people from all over the world gather this year virtually to celebrate new harvest, gratefulness for prosperity, and celebrate light over darkness through the beauty of lamps," said Millben.
Millben became a known voice in India following her moving performance of India's national anthem for the 74th Independence Day on August 15, 2020.
"My relationship with the Indian culture and love for India has grown through my learning and study of Hindi.... I have been immersed into the culture, cinema, and music of India. These last several months learning 'Om Jai Jagdish Hare' has been a true blessing to my life." she said.
"Patriotism is a universal virtue.... The United States and India, the world's two largest democracies, share the value of freedom," said Millben.
As an independent artist, Millben has become one of the world's new celebrated voices having performed for three consecutive US Presidents -- George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump -- and world leaders.