This week, KYMÅ, a DJ, sonic wellness consultant, and trauma-informed breathwork teacher, released a sample music collection based on the rhythmic exploration of breath. The sample pack is featured on Splice, a massive music sample library used by more than 4 million producers.
My story starts with trauma. Growing up in a toxic household with substance abuse, I had to find ways of coping on my own. And music was always my healing space. I’d put my headphones on and blast music so I could go deeper into my feelings or move beyond my surroundings. I was also into making mixtapes for friends, and in time, this turned into a DJ career spinning for various nightclubs and cool parties. I appreciated it because music is such a spiritual, uniting force, but I wasn’t quite fulfilled.
In 2013, I started going to Icon Collective, an LA-based music production school, to develop my craft and learn more about music production. I was one of three women in my graduating class. I craved femininity and kinship with powerful women while attending as I was immersed in a very male-dominated industry. One day, walking around Santa Monica, I stumbled upon a Kundalini Yoga studio. My practice at the time was mostly hot yoga, power yoga, and asana-based practices. I had only recently attended my very first gong bath, but I’d never heard of this style of practice before. I wound up picking up a side job at the studio.
As I was learning how to make beats at school, I was also discovering the library of practices in the Kundalini Yoga lineage. The rhythm of the exercises grounded me and allowed me to meditate and do the breathing exercises for longer periods of time. I started weaving these two technologies together: I’d make a beat and then see if I could synchronize a breathing exercise with it, or vice versa.