A girl’s passion for singing takes her to top in music world

She began identifying notes from everyday sounds like car honks and pressure cooker whistles.
Vidya Suravarapu
Vidya Suravarapu

VIJAYAWADA: Vidya Suravarapu, a 11-year-old girl with a passion for music, became the runner-up in the renowned singing show ‘Padhuta Theeyaga’ season 23 conducted by ETV channel, which was concluded on May 27. This sixth grader bagged a cash award of `6 lakh, competing with nearly 1,000 singers globally.

Vidya, who hails from Vijayawada, was born in Austin of Texas and moved to India at the age of 10. Aspiring to be a composer and singer, she already has a few original English compositions and plans to compose in Telugu as well.

Vidya has been learning singing since she was the age of four. She began identifying notes from everyday sounds like car honks and pressure cooker whistles. Recognising her talent, her mother started teaching basics in music to her. She then studied with Vijawayada-based vocal guru Modumudi Sudhakar for three years online, alongside her younger sister Uma Suravarapu, and is now learning from her mother and self-teaching.

Vidya has excelled in numerous national and international competitions. Her accolades include winning the Austin Super Singer at age four, clinching first in classical and second in film music at 2019 TANA Dhim Tana in US, clinching first and second prizes in classical and film music at Star Kalakaar International 2020 in Dallas. In 2022, she was awarded Saptami Star at the Saptami International Competitions in Dallas. Additionally, she won top positions in Veenadhari International Music competitions held at Bengaluru in 2022 and 2023. She also attained second place in the National Carnatic Vocal Competitions 2022 conducted by Sampada Silicon Andhra, California, USA.

Besides music, Vidya, studying at Inventure Academy in Bengaluru excels academically, with a strong passion for mathematics and science. She aspires to be a scientist and innovate in alternative energy. She is also enthusiastic about cubing and can solve the 2x2, 3x3, Pyraminx, and Megaminx Rubik’s cubes.

As a musician, she aims to be a composer and singer. She already has a few original compositions in English and plans to compose in Telugu as well. Vidya self-taught herself for Padutha Teeyaga, with guidance from her mother, focusing on nuances, expression, and diction for Telugu.

Speaking to TNIE, her mother Gayatri said, “Vidya listens to each song at least 50 times, writes her own notation, and then practices hundreds of times. Competing with native kids to bring nativity to the song was extra hard. She would practice until midnight to get it right. Her strong Carnatic foundation helped her understand the finer details, and she always tried to present the song as close to the original as possible.”

Sharing her experience about the achievement, she said, “I am very grateful for the opportunity. I learned a lot musically and gained life skills. Hard work, disciple and focus are key to success. The judges, mentor and fellow contestants inspired me to improve daily. It was never about winning or losing but about learning and enjoying the process. I can see my singing skills have improved post the show.”

She expressed gratitude to her parents, Ravi Suravarapu, a design engineer and Gayathri, a software engineer. Her maternal grandparents, Dr Challa Hari Kumar, a noted ayurvedic doctor, and Vijayalakshmi, reside in Vijayawada. Her paternal grandparents, Surya Prakash Rao and Krishna Kumari, reside in Hyderabad. She thanked her mentors Srinivas, Tejaswini and Prasad, the judges noted singers Vijay Prakash, Suneetha Upadrashta, Oscar award lyricist Chandrabose, famous singer SP Charan and to the school management as well as teachers at Inventure Academy, who have supported her.

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