It was like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy morning when I read a piece of news that warmed my heart. I had not followed this child prodigy for a while, and it was so encouraging to learn that fourteen-year-old Suchetha Satish has once again spread the message, this time during COVID-19, that music knows no boundaries.
Hailing from Kerala, Suchetha is a ninth-grade student and lives with her parents in Dubai. In 2018, she had shattered 2 Guinness World Records at the same time by singing in the most number of languages (102) during a single concert and for being the first child to perform the longest live singing concert (6 hours and 15 minutes). Earlier this year in January, Suchetha was conferred the 100 Global Child Prodigy Award. The award, which is supported by the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam International Foundation and Oscar Award winner A.R. Rahman, celebrates the brilliance shown by children in music, dancing, acting, writing, science, sports, and other creative fields.
Suchetha literally breathes music. Belonging to a musical family, her journey started at the age of four. She started off learning Carnatic music and then moved on to mastering Hindustani music as well. The seeds of love for singing in different languages were sown in 2016 when she picked up a Japanese song sung by a friend. Thereafter realizing that she had the potential to sing in other languages as well, she continued her journey. Currently, she sings in 125 languages.
How did Suchetha come up with her COVID-19 project?
As Suchetha herself mentions in her Facebook page, an idea came to her mind when schools were closed because of the pandemic. She thought that she could, in her own small way, sing a song to spread awareness about the virus. Composing the lyrics herself and with the help of a close friend Siddhanth Suresh, who she calls “an excellent musician”, Suchetha recorded a song in her home studio. The track was titled “It’s Time For The Retreating Beat”.
Taking the project forward
The first coronavirus awareness song which Suchetha sang was in English, but she didn’t just stop there. The shining talent went ahead and recorded songs in multiple languages which included Malayalam, Bengali, Arabic, Kannada, Tulu, Konkani, Marathi, Gujarati, Rajasthani, Sindhi, Himachali, Odiya, Manipuri, Nepali, Urdu, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Telugu, Kashmiri and Sanskrit. The theme of her songs has as its premise an appeal to people to wash their hands, observe cleanliness, and maintain social distancing. As Kerala launched the campaign “Break The Chain” to combat COVID-19, her songs in Malayalam, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, and Tamil were used to spread the word.
Suchetha tweets that citizens need to exercise caution during this crisis. Her latest music release was on June 12. With great humility and seeking the blessings of her listeners, she shares how, after days of exams and assignments, she managed to record another COVID-19 song. This time she has sung in Tagalog which is in Austronesian language.
The great Greek philosopher Plato once said, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” When the love and passion for the art is pure and stems from the heart, music transcends all languages, and there is only one truth that prevails: it soothes the soul. Young Suchetha Satish has proved this beautifully.
As the young talent continues her musical journey, let’s send our love and blessings and pray that she be showered with all the success and happiness the world has to offer in the days ahead!
( This article was also published in Women’s Web )