Singer Kiara Chettri fulfils a promise for Indian talent going global

It might have been a year ago since New Delhi-based singer Kiara Chettri, then aged 17, made it to the coveted no. 1 spot on the World Indie Music Chart – which is powered by Digital Radio Tracker, and features a chart comprising of hundreds of radio stations across the world wherein, each week, all artiste “spins” are collected and tabulated to compile a ‘Top 100’ – and, with a commitment to keep her songs “honest and real”, Chettri is barely sitting on her laurels.

A recent rendition of New York-based band The Pretty Reckless’s “Make Me Wanna Die” at the singer’s live gig in April this year, comfortably showcased that Chettri’s talent is not restricted merely to the studio, but is effective in a live environment too.

While Chettri has been singing since four, her stage debut occurred barely two years later as she went onto sing Queen’s anthemic “We Will Rock You”, an appropriate beginning as Chettri has not stopped rocking since. Being trained in western classical music, and since becoming a multi-instrumentalist too – playing guitar, piano/keyboards, and ukulele, among others – Chettri’s roots were always grounded to the media and entertainment industry with her mother running a music school in Gurugram, and her father being in the events business.

However, music was not always the first choice for Chettri. “Initially,” admitted Chettri in a previously published interview, “I was never interested in music.” However, with a mother who refused to compromise on her daughter’s potential and, deservedly so, ensured that within three years of Chettri’s mother’s determination, Chettri began to sing in a professional manner and, simultaneously, learnt to play musical instruments.

Since those days, Chettri has also recorded an album, ‘4 AM’, released in 2020, consisting of nine English songs, and a Hindi song called ‘Kinara Hu’; “a song about someone who holds a very special place in my heart (and) I could not find a better way to express love for my special one,” explains Chettri and, in turn, also establishing that she is equally adept singing in other languages.

While Chettri continues to pursue her academics in tandem with her musical passion, she is the first to accept that “a balance is important”. And, so it was, with the release on June 10, 2021 of a song replete with tough realizations and soul-searching on her keyboard-laden ballad, “Why?”, which spoke about picking up pieces and taking responsibility for actions. Supported by a shiver-inducing showcase of vocal talent that stands tall alongside some of the better performances available digitally, by pairing Chettri’s inimitable voice with an engrossing lyrical vignette, reminding us that all we can do is keep trying. After all, as Chettri elucidates, “When I wrote ‘Why’, I wanted each and every single listener to have a different interpretation of the lyrics.”

As a footnote, another youngster by the name of Keshav Menon must also be credited in this article, without whom this writer would have otherwise “lost” an artiste in the burgeoning digital clutter. But, fortunately, destiny does work in mysterious ways, as Kiara Chettri is a singer-songwriter who says that she is extremely happy that independent artistes are gaining recognition across the world, including Chettri herself, who certainly deserves the accolades she is receiving and, hopefully, her success in becoming the youngest Indian artiste to hit no.1 on the World Indie Music Chart is just one of several deserved awards arriving her way, among other independent artistes too!

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