Nina Rao learned traditional chants (bhajans) from her grandfather in a village in South India when she was nine years old. Her childhood was spent living in and moving between many countries around the world. Prior to rediscovering chanting with Krishna Das in New York in 1996, she worked in banking before switching to organizing and leading photographic wildlife safaris in Africa and India. For many years, she has been Krishna Das’ business manager and accompanist as well as a chant leader in her own right.
Nina tours with Krishna Das, playing cymbals and singing with him. In 2007, she recorded the track “Nina Chalisa” on Krishna Das’ CD Flow of Grace: Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. In January 2013, she released her debut album, Antarayaami: Knower of All Hearts, which includes a duet with Krishna Das. Later that year, she was honored to accompany him at the Grammy Awards webcast performance. Her second album, Anubhav, released in 2018, was entirely crowdfunded.
For over 20 years she has supported conservationists in preserving the sacred wilderness and forests of India via her charity, Saving Wild Tigers. Nina regularly leads kirtan, chanting in Hanuman Chalisa workshops and retreats in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York, and beyond.