Interview: Kailash Kokopelli

Celebrating his new single release ‘Tatawari Fire Chant’ on Nixi Music, Kailash Kokopelli gives us an insight into his cross-cultural wisdom. 

Kailash Kokopelli is a multi-instrumentalist, sound medicine man, producer and performer of ceremonial medicine music since the early 90s.

His songs ‘Above & Below’, ‘Walking Tree’, ‘Morning Star’ and ‘METARA’ are celebrated and shared worldwide. Now another jewel is added to the collection: ‘Tatawari Fire Chant‘ – specifically the remix of Nils Olav.

Exploring the healing effect of sound over 30 years, Kokopelli has developed a unique transmission initiating self-healing processes through the Native American Prayer Flute, the Australian Didgeridoo of the Aboriginees, magical string instruments, Shrooti Box featuring healing mantras and overtone chanting, as well as medicine drums to invoke shamanic spirit chanting.

As one of the first European Didgeridoo Players and Healing Music producers, Kailash is a leading pioneer sound therapist with a rich expertise in the healing effect of sound through countless individual and group sound medicine treatments as well as ceremonial Medicine Music Concerts worldwide.

In all of his performances Kailash loves to collaborate with exquisite guest musicians.

The maestro offers overtone chanting and Flute lessons as well as astrological chart readings and individual sound medicine treatments online and in person.

In a time where interest in the ancient traditions is rising for all of our healing, it is important to share the roots of this wisdom in honour and respect for those who came before us and opened up the pathways. We are very grateful to Kailash to share his wisdom and teachings. Ancient ways in modern days.


Read the interview below:

Tell us about ‘Tatawari Fire Chant’

Tatawari Fire Chant’ (Tatawari is a Wixarica word meaning Grandfather Fire) is a celebration of the sacred fire which has kept us warm and alive in the cold and dark times. It is the fire which brings us together in story, song and dance remembering our ancestors and future generations. The fire cooks our food and brings nourishment to our heart and spirit. It is a fire offering healing and transformation. Through reverence for the sacred elements of life we recognise that the fire from the heart of our solar system in the form of Father Sun and the fire of awareness as pure consciousness are one. May the fire of destruction and warfare cease and may our dance around the fire bring peace.

The fire chant was given through the fire itself. I am just translating it through my reverence towards the sacred fire and the doorway it is to ancestors and great mystery. I have been singing this chant for many years in ceremonies and our global medicine family has sung and shared this chant in countless ceremonies. As musicians, when receiving a song, we are bound to give birth to it and share it with the world. The spirit of the song calls in the musicians by sheer synchronicity, divine guidance and intuition. Many of my songs marinate for years until they are ready to be shared. Every element is an essential part of the alchemy of sound and the frequency of each musician adds to the final result and medicine of the music.


How did you find and align with the name Kokopelli? – Tell us about this Deity.

Kokopelli is the Native American flute playing messenger, seed carrier as well as song and story teller.

The ancient tribe of the Anasazi lived in the four corners between New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado over a thousand years ago and left petroglyphs of the mythological flute player and bringer of fertility.


Long before the postman announcing the mail by blowing the horns, there were Bards, Troubadours, messengers  and the clan of the Kokopelli – the flute playing bringer of news, knowledge and growth through story, song, dance and trading of seeds. Their flutes song was their white flag of peace in order to be bringing messages between the tribes even during warfare.




As your name and musical sound emanates, we guess you have a strong connection with Native American cultures. How did this begin and what is your experience within?

To answer this question we need three days of story telling around the sacred fire. But what I can tell you is that the first thing I drew as a child was Native Americans on horses around teepees. I would go only with sticks and feathers on the street mostly with a painted face. Then when I was 17 years old I met Sun Bear, my first teacher, who took me in as an apprentice to initiate me into the medicine wheel, sweat lodge purification ceremony, vision quest and the Chanupa prayer pipe. Later Sun Bear would introduce me to Archie Fire Lame Deer and Wallace Black Elk of the Lakota Nation who I consider as my elders.


Can you tell us about the Native American prayer flute and how you began to work with it?

When I was 10 years old I would go alone into the forest to play my flute under ancient beech trees and the wind would come and open my perception for the breath of the great mystery. I received prophetic vision about the coming times of big purification and communicated with the field of pure consciousness through my prayer flute.

The wind, breath and silence are my teachers. My flute is my teacher. Becoming the breath, flute and sound is the teaching.


What do you feel is medicine music to you and what is your role within it?

Medicine Music is a terminology or genre born out of ceremonial music used in connection with teacher plants and sacred cacao for example. Specifically though music as prayer with a message of reverence and awareness for the sacred earth, the elements of life and all of our relations in all kingdoms. It can range from meditative music via shamanic ritualistic music to heart songs and mantras. New age fused with folk and world music with elements of  electronic music for ecstatic dance and sound healing ceremonies. MEDICINE MUSIC as well as World Music, Sacred World Music and HEALING MUSIC are recognised as a new genre and deserve to be integrated in platforms like Spotify and others alike.


Can you recommend any Native American artists to share?

As a flute player R. Carlos Nakai is the pioneer and master of the Native American Flute.

Primaux & Mike are master singers of the NAC Native American Church peyote chants.

Buffy Sainte-Marie is a legendary Native singer songwriter.

Robert Mirabal, who I met in Arizona and Tokyo, is an amazing Native singer songwriter.

Robbie Robertson & Red Road Ensemble


Can you recommend any Native American prayer chants to share

One thing which needs to be understood is that traditional Native American prayer chants are never sung out of context of the ceremonies they belong to. The social media and new age copy paste culture has little reverence for the sacred ancient ways. Honouring the lineage of a tradition, tribe or culture. Everybody still takes without asking often and adorns themselves with songs they haven’t been authorised to sing. Everyone wants to be a powerful shaman carrying medicine songs without being initiated. Few have gone through purification, pilgrimages, quests, ceremonies to earn the feathers or songs they claim to carry.

Even though I have been dancing eight years in prayer dances and sat in lodges with Lakota elders half my life, I made it a point out of my respect for the native ways to never sing any traditional song outside ceremony.

All my songs are original songs I received through my communion with the sacred elements of life and the great mystery and source of it all.


Which lineages did you learn from?

I studied with Sun Bear and the Bear Tribe medicine society as well as Archie Fire Lame Deer and Wallace Black Elk of the Lakota Nation. I also been blessed to have met Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh and HHL Dalai Lama in person as well as countless luminaries, masters and so called enlightened ones. I was initiated 1989 as a Pujari Priest at the Dhuni of Haidakhan Babaji and later became a pilgrim and Monk meditating in the caves of the Himalayas and Mt Kailash, which name was given to me by a Brahman in Pushkar in 1988.


What is your message in the world through music?

My message is clearly encoded and carried audibly through my music, in a simple poetic and tangible way for those who can listen.

My heart and my soul are translated into and through my music. My mystic songs are simple reminders on the essential sacred principles and universal laws such as love and respect for all living beings as well as reverence for the sacred elements of life on Mother Earth and all of our relations in all kingdoms including our ancestors and future generations. My devotional songs give thanks and praise to THE ONE source of all that is and I feature artists and poets who carry the pure vibration of devotion, prayer and healing to alchemise and translate the essence in and through my medicine music. I have explored the healing effect of sound since the early 90s and was one of the first to bring the Didgeridoo of the original indigenous people of Australia to Europe then. I have witnessed self healing processes being initiated through the healing sound of my instruments both in individual and group sound healing treatments which then transformed into healing concerts of Medicine Music.



Which artists inspire you?

The Beatles, The Doors, Eric Burdon & War, Magma, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Prince, Bob Marley, Leonard Cohen, Buffy Sainte-Marie, R. Carlos Nakai, Habib Koite, Rokia Traore, Sona Jobarteh… love African Music, Vintage Soul, Blues, Soul Funk, Acid Jazz, Lounge, World Music, Classic Music.. the list is limitless.


How did you meet and begin to work with Nixi Music?

I met Nils Olav at a ceremonial celebration of a mutual friends Birthday. As divine orchestration guides it we recognised a kinship, a resonance and vibed. My friend and colleague Txai Fernando from Nixi Music has been pointing out Nils Olav for a long time before we actually met. Our collaboration was destined. We worked passionate and dedicated for many month on the remix of Tatawari Fire Chant and the result is rewarding and speaks for itself.


Kailash KokopelliTatawari Fire Chant‘ (Nils Olav remix) is out now on Nixi Music 


Find his world of music also on Instagram @kailash.kokopelli spotify, youtube, soundcloud etc.

(Also get in touch with Kailash for overtone chanting and Flute lessons, astrological chart readings and individual sound medicine treatments online and in person. He also officiates wedding ceremonies!)

Kailash Spotify playlist

Nixi Music


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