Young Achievers

Suchetha Satish: The girl who sang for the world to hear

Sumitha Satish on stage singing while holding the flags of India and UAE
Photo: Sumitha Ayilliath

We know that music is a language in itself and transcends the boundary of actual languages. But what if you knew of a singer who can do a lot more? We’re catching up with Suchetha Satish, the 12-year-old wonder who is taking the musical community by storm having shattered two world records by singing in over 100 languages at the same concert!

Suchetha is originally from Kerala and resides in Dubai with her parents who moved to the UAE in 1999. On 25 January 2018, she stunned the audience at an event at the Indian Consulate in Dubai by singing in 102 languages for 6 hours and 15 minutes. In addition to being a stellar singer, Suchetha is also an excellent dancer and choreographs her own performances. When asked about her hobbies, she says that she enjoys reading, art and craft, and not surprisingly, teaching herself to read new languages.

Here’s a young girl who loves to sing and is excited to have started the eighth grade at the Indian High School, Dubai. But there is so much more to her that we are delighted to find out about.

TTT: When did your passion for music begin?
SS: Well, my passion for music started quite early. I have been performing on stage since the age of 3 and have been training formally since I was 4. I started with Carnatic music from Smt. Annie Dominic and since about 5 years, I have also been learning from Guru Sujatha Harish Kumar. I have recently appeared for the level 3 exams in Hindustani music. I am learning to play the keyboard as well as the guitar.

TTT: Tell us how you came to sing in all those languages!
SS: My mother tongue is Malayalam, so I could sing in it already. My father’s friend, a Japanese dermatologist, came to Dubai a year ago. When she came home, she sang a Japanese song. I liked it very much and learnt it. So initially, apart from Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil and English, I knew songs in Japanese and Arabic. Then I learned a Tagalog song as UAE has many Filipino residents.

TTT: How long does it take for you to learn a song in a foreign language? Which are the easiest languages and the toughest ones?
SS: If I like a song, I can learn it pretty quickly! The easiest ones are in Malayalam and Hindi while the tough ones are in German, French, Xhosa, etc.

TTT: Family is the greatest source of strength for most of us. Tell us about your family.
SS: My father, Dr. T. C. Satish, is a specialist dermatologist and my mother, Sumitha Ayilliath, is a lecturer by profession and currently a homemaker. My brother, Sushant, is in India preparing for the medical entrance exams. My family helped me select the songs and ensure that the lyrics are age appropriate.

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Anuja Siraj is the author of A Lifetime’s Worth and an Aerospace Engineer currently associated with Airbus.

Anuja Siraj

Anuja Siraj is the author of A Lifetime’s Worth and an Aerospace Engineer currently associated with Airbus.