Aditi Iyer – India’s Youngest Global Chart-topper and pop prodigy: “I want to try as many genres and be as versatile as I can so that in the future, I can carve out a unique niche for myself.”

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She’s undoubtedly India’s youngest global chart-topper and pop prodigy. …And guess what, she’s returned with two amazing summer singles. We at TheGlitz had heard a lot about this multi-talented young singer and so to find out more about her music journey and her being India’s pop prodigy, we caught up with her.

Meet the super-talented Aditi Iyer – the 18-year-old music prodigy who has made India and the world sway to her punchy numbers. Her musical journey has been nothing less than magical. Barely months after she finished school, Aditi witnessed two simultaneous no.1s for her single Deleted Your Number. Shortly after that, her name was featured alongside some biggest global music icons such as Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo & The Weeknd, as the track made a grand debut on the coveted DRT Mainstream Top 200 music chart.

Aditi released her first original composition at the age of 10 called Who You Are as she began her musical journey at the tender age of two. She spent most of her childhood singing and performing complex Western Classical and contemporary pieces at home. These iPad renditions were flawless productions much before she even received any formal education in music. Aditi received a standing ovation from the judges of Next Star Romania (the equivalent of an Indian Idol) after delivering a spellbinding performance the same year.

As a teenager, Aditi released her first EP ‘The Girl They See’ in 2020. A prolific young singer, Aditi has worked on enhancing the range and dexterity of her voice from a very young age. While she was still in school and preparing for Class 12 exams, Aditi proved her prolific prowess as a songwriter by releasing her second EP ‘Dollhouse’ in August 2021 whose 4 haunting tracks explored the darker facets of abusive relationships.

She has moved on from the haunting themes of Dollhouse –both sonically and lyrically — and showcased her growth as an artist by asking listeners to groove to her musings on the life of a young adult, first with Deleted Your Number in 2022 and now with a ‘Coming of Age’ pair of singles in 2023.

This 18-year-old Berklee student has made her way from somber, provocative writing in Dollhouse (2021) to confident post-break-up ‘tangled’ electro-pop in Deleted Your Number (2022). Now she takes on ‘coming of age’ milestones, through the lens of celebration (on turning 18 and becoming a legal adult) and undoing romantic woes. Never Met You (August 3rd release)is an age-appropriate composition on unrequited infatuations, while 18 With You conjures club nostalgia for this complementary tune duo.

Aditi’s powerful vocals in these dance music renditions can be likened to Dua Lipa, YEBBA or Anne Marie for their superlative ability to sing like their heart died in the 80s. The production by renowned Producer Rohan Solomon feels new-age, party-ready in the same beat. 18 With You /Never Met You is a triumph not just in feeling but also sonically for blending genres of both eras.

Aditi has spent the last few months at the Berklee College of Music, US embracing all it means to be a singer-songwriter on the global stage. TheGlitz caught up with the super amazing Aditi Iyer to find out more about her musical journey. Over to Aditi Iyer…

Aditi Iyer Photograph courtesy Yeashu Yuvraj

Your musical journey has been extraordinary. Tell us more about it…
My musical journey had very early beginnings. My parents tell me that at 9 months old, I was humming tunes I heard around the house from artists like the Beatles. At 3 years old, I sang many nursery rhymes, and then at 4-5, I graduated to singing songs from the likes of Celine Dion and Michael Jackson. From a very young age, I felt a strong connection to music I couldn’t explain. Music has always been a safe space for me, a way for me to express myself.

And it felt so natural to want to pursue it as a career. I think a big cornerstone of my musical journey has been kick-starting my online presence, which me and my parents did when I was 8 years old and uploaded my very first YouTube video. At 10, I wrote my very first song, Who You Are, which was an anti-bullying anthem. It opened my eyes to the wonders of songwriting and I haven’t looked back since. Now I’ve released 11 songs in total (2 four-song EPs and 3 singles) and I’m so grateful for the support I’ve gotten for my music and the immense opportunities I’ve received to keep learning with each song I make.

Tell us about your new single Never Met You?
Never Met You is about the feelings associated with an unrequited infatuation. At heart, I think of it as kind of an ode to the angry, immature, and illogical thoughts we all sometimes have. I think none of us are perfect and Never Met You is an angsty summer single that acknowledges that rawness and vulnerability in all of us.

Have you faced any challenges and setbacks during your journey? How did you overcome them?
I have definitely faced challenges along the way. One big one that I think is a constant in any career path is dealing with rejection. From an early age, I started applying to competitions and was rejected quite a bit. It was really hard, especially when, at the age of 9, I came runner-up in Next Star, a renowned Romanian talent show. I had trained for months and hoped to win; I cried a lot when I didn’t.

But, on the plus side, being exposed to rejection from such a young age has made me stronger and more resilient to failure; I know it’s not the end and, in fact, I can even learn lessons from it. With Next Star, one of the judges gave me valuable feedback. While she praised my singing ability, she did point out that I needed to let go of my stage anxiety and become a more dynamic performer which is such an important lesson that continues to be relevant to me.

Three milestones you are very proud of?
In no particular order: I am very proud of releasing Dollhouse, my first formally released EP, tackling the difficult subject of abusive relationships. It was a great opportunity for me to hone my songwriting and find a new sound. I’m really grateful to have received the positive reviews and support I got which has been a constant source of encouragement.

The next milestone I am super proud of is becoming the youngest Indian solo artist to have two simultaneous number 1s on the Euro Indie Music and World Indie Music Charts, with my single Deleted Your Number. Deleted Your Number was my first time experimenting with the Top 40 genre and I’m very proud of this song. Finally, the last huge milestone I need to list is completing a year at Berklee College of Music in Boston, achieving a GPA of 3.96 and landing on the Dean’s List.

I’m proud that, despite never living apart from my family before college and having anxiety about being alone for the first time in a different country, I’ve grown more independent. I’ve become fond of Boston, found so many wonderful friends, and improved so much as a musician, which is a huge personal and professional milestone for me.

What’s next for you?
I’m, as always, in the process of working on new music and discovering different sounds. I want to try as many genres and be as versatile as I can so that, in the future, I can carve out a unique niche for myself. I’m already learning about genres I never knew in depth before like Jazz and RnB and I want to learn even more so I can be a more knowledgeable musician.

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