More about Kevin James
Kevin James Carroll was born in a large and happy family in a beautiful little fishing village in the far South of Victoria Australia. Kevins confidence for singing was evident from an early age, though from a non musical family, he didn’t discover guitar until the age of 21 when a stranger appeared at his birthday party and offered him a song as a present. This experience awakened his calling for music and within the space of a year he was performing locally in bands and then formed a duo with that same musician from his party and immediately started writing original songs. Even though things seemed to be going very well, playing with the idea of becoming a musician, Kevin felt there was something more he was to offer with music and left his home with his guitar to follow a childhood dream of traveling the world. He first went to Asia where he magically discovered the teachings of the East, Tibetan Buddhism, Dzogchen, Hindu chanting and yoga. After returning to Australia he couldn’t continue his old life in his home town so he traveled North where he started sharing music again as a solo artist playing a mixture of covers and his own songs.
Tasting life in the conventional music industry he walked away again feeling that this was not his path and he started to be drawn to a journey of self discovery, studying yoga practices, different philosophical teachings, raw food and chanting mantras became a personal practice. With the vision to contribute something harmonious and useful to the world, Kevin decided disconnect from society in the far North Queensland for 10 years, to develop and put into practice what he was learning and to reconnect with nature. To discover his true nature. To find and live what he had to offer. There he also discovered Rainbow Gatherings and their music and he embraced the universal sacred chanting. A prolific songwriter, eventually he moved to Byron Bay and started a band which fused his original songs with his passion for mantras called The Optimystics and also led small gatherings or chanting circles as a personal practice. In the space of 1 year the band achieved a fast growing popularity and began to headline local festivals but again, he felt to stop and pause, with an inner knowing that this was not feeling right.
For Kevin, music was part of his journey of self discovery and re-connection, which is reflected in the songs and directs the listener inward to join. Playing at festivals up on a stage while people dance was the path before them and people were often drinking alcohol which was contrary to the space he felt to create. Kevin wanted a closer connection, to bring them into the experience, that they could be more involved, to co~create. Kevin knew that this was not his destiny and walked away from the Optimystics into the unknown. Meanwhile he continued sharing his community chanting circles and what happened after that is what would decide his fate. The fans from the Optimystics came to the Chanting circle and they requested he sing his more lyrical and uplifting songs from the Optimystics. That’s where the fusion of a songwriter, chant leader and a shared a journey became the Heartsong chanting circle experience. One other unique aspect being that Kevin brought in his passion for the Shakuhachi flute into the circle as a way to close the circle with a flute meditation.
With the support of great friends like Kim Kindersley who rented big houses especially for the circles, wonderful inspiring musicians who joined him and the community who loved to sing, eventually they outgrew the private houses with complaints to the police, not from the music but from too many cars parked in the street. So they moved into local halls, then after 7 years of regular weekly circles Kevin produced his first album ONE with the whole community involved. Kevin “I discovered and developed my vision of music equally by finding what resonates with my heart, but also by giving myself the freedom to turn away from what doesn’t without judgment. I managed to pave a way of sharing music that is unique and meaningful to me, that allows me to be completely myself, independent and in charge of my own destiny. That empowers and involves others on a journey of re-connection and harmony, because I feel that’s exactly what the world needs the most, so it became my greatest service.” After some years sharing and introducing this style of music in Asia, Kevin was invited to Europe and developed friendships, connected with communities of like minds and the response was like beautiful dream. He did it all by donation and went from one circle to the next. While touring, Kevin had a strong intuition to go home and get rid of everything, so he went back to Australia and let go of his home, car, reduced his possessions to a suitcase and began a life of only going forward, head on into his vision of supporting this movement of connection to the heart. Kevin “Just me and my suitcase and instruments.
I found such a freedom and loved the simplicity. 7 years later and still it continues to grow like a tree. No pushing or pulling, just refining and taking it step by step without losing sight of my vision. I was so blessed that when my daughter dropped out of school, she joined me for 3 years where I had the privilege of walking her into womanhood from the age of 17 to 20 years old. We were together 24h 7 days a week and had an epic adventure from the far reaches of Japan to Scandinavia, Bali, Hawaii and even rafted through the entire Grand Canyon. In 2016 I met Susana and rose in love. Since then we’ve been touring together and Susana naturally became a harmonium player and support of the music management. Nowadays, we play as a solid team while enjoying the nomadic life.” Together they lead Heartsong Chanting Circles all over the world and also run workshops and retreats in places like Ladakh, Bhutan, Greece, sailing and Australia where they combine the use of the voice, Kevins personal practice called the morning practice sound meditations and chanting to harmonize and heal together supported by these powerful environments and beautiful places to support the journey of re-connection to the heart as a way to be harmonious in emotional body, mind and therefore our life.. Kevin James has now produced 4 studio albums and many live albums and is about to produce another new album in 2019. You can find out about his movements around the globe or his upcoming retreats and music at www.kevinjamesheartsongs.com