11-year-old singer Aditi Iyer, who is taking the digital platform by storm rues that is not one of the most popular kids at school yet
At 18 months, when most babies babble, Aditi Iyer started humming tunes and singing along to the Beatles. By the age of three, she had already mastered all nursery rhymes. And when Iyer turned five, she could croon classical and contemporary Western songs of Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Michael Jackson, almost like a professional.
Today the bright-eyed 11-year-old is an upcoming YouTube star. With around 3,000 YouTube subscribers, her videos have managed to gain considerable views, the largest being a cover of We Shall Overcome that garnered more than 75,000 views. For the holiday season, Iyer has recently released a cover of the Mariah Carey favourite All I Want For Christmas.
Currently studying in standard 6 in Gurgaon, Iyer comes across as shy and unassuming when we speak to her over the phone. “I’m not one of those popular girls in school. In fact, I don’t think I would want to be one. Being popular in school isn’t going to get me anywhere. I’d rather be popular in the world,” she laughs. While she is famous for her covers including Style by Taylor Swift, To Sir With Love by Lulu and Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do, Iyer also composes her own songs.
Last year she had penned No Match For Me, which was an anti-bullying song. “I experienced it at my earlier school, probably because I was different. I wore glasses, worked on my own pace and did not try to please anybody. But later, I stood my ground and told my bullies I would not stand for it. I wanted to help others who go through the same thing,” she says.
Interestingly, Iyer is mostly a self-taught singer. “Neither her father, Rajesh nor I are into music, but my mother is a Carnatic musician. I guess that’s where Aditi gets it from,” says her mother Sangeetha. The family was in London when Aditi was born, then moved to Singapore, and then Jakarta before moving back to India six years ago. She feels it is her daughter’s guilelessness and the fact she is passionate about her singing that has struck a chord with viewers. “When you meet her she might come across as a shy kid, but when she takes over the mic, she transforms. She sings straight from the heart,” reveals the homemaker. Since a year, Iyer has been learning opera from renowned voice trainer, Situ Singh Buehler, and is her youngest student.
Iyer was first spotted by the noted vocalist, Jyotsna Rana, and was invited to perform before a gathering of achievers on Women’s International Day 2013 at Artemis Auditorium in Gurgaon. She sang ‘Power of Love’ to welcome Padma Shri awardee, the renowned Shanti Hiranand. Later, a family member suggested they sign up with talent management agency, Culture Machine. She has also sung with some of the industry’s leading artistes such as KC Loy, Vasudha Sharma, Mihir Joshi and Blaaze, Kiran Oberoi.
But she is also just an 11-year-old girl. And when she’s not singing, Iyer loves watching horror movies, dancing, listening to French operas and drawing. “But it’s only music that really gets me going,” she adds.