Dubai: A 16-year-old Indian girl in the UAE, who is famous for singing in multiple languages, has set a new Guinness World Record for most languages sung in a concert, by singing in 120 languages in seven hours and 20 minutes.
Suchetha Satish, a Grade 11 student of the Indian High School in Dubai, broke the previous record held by Kesiraju Srinivas from India, who had set the record in 2008 by singing in 76 languages.
Suchetha’s concert, titled ‘Music Beyond Borders,’ was held on August 19 at the Indian Consulate in Dubai’s auditorium as part of the platinum jubilee celebrations of India’s independence. The result was officially declared by Guinness over the weekend after a scrutiny of the songs, including the pronunciation.
Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, who had inaugurated the concert, said Suchetha has been a true cultural ambassador for India in the UAE.
Just a couple of days after her 16th birthday, Suchetha had impressed the diverse audience at the concert by her perfect diction as she rendered songs in 29 Indian languages and 91 foreign languages.
Suchetha had started with a devotional song in Sanskrit and then sang in alphabetical order in different languages, in every letter of the alphabet starting from A to Z. During the last hour of the concert, she sang in her favourite languages.
The last three songs were in her mother tongue - Malayalam - then Arabic and Hindi.
Suchetha’s songs in Basque (spoken in parts of Spain), Yakut (spoken in Yakutsk region of Russia), Breton (spoken in parts of France) have already become very popular among the native speakers.
Asked how she manages to get the perfect diction, she said: “It is all by God’s grace.”
But she also works hard to render her songs perfectly. Having started learning music at the young age of three, Suchetha spends a lot of time every day to practice and fine-tune her singing.
She thanked her parents, brother, grandparents and teachers for their constant support.
Suchetha said she can presently sing in 132 languages and is confident she will be able to sing in at least 200 languages. Her role model is the versatile Bollywood singer Shreya Ghoshal and her mentor is the legendary south Indian singer and Guinness record holder P. Susheela.
Hailing from the south Indian state of Kerala, Suchetha’s parents have been her source of inspiration and support. Her father, Dr T.C. Satish, a senior dermatologist in Dubai, said he was “happy that this record could come at an opportune moment as our second home, the UAE, celebrates its 50th year of formation [this year], and India celebrates its 75th year of Independence”.
Suchetha’s mother, Sumitha Ayilliath, a former faculty member at the American College of Dubai and an artist in her own right, was thrilled that Suchetha sang her original songs in Arabic and Hindi. “The Arabic song titled ‘Fifty Glorious Years’ was a tribute to 50 years of the public life of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It was penned by noted Emirati poet Dr Shihab Ghanem,” she said.
“The final song in Hindi was a tribute to India and its leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi titled ‘Namo NaMo Vishwaguru Bharat’ and penned by me and Dubai-based singer-lyricist Ajaygopal. Incidentally, both the songs were composed by the ace Bollywood composer Monty Sharma.”
Earlier, Suchetha had set another world record for singing in the most number of languages during one concert and the longest live singing concert by a child in 2018. She had sung in 102 languages for six hours and 15 minutes back then.
A recipient of the 100 Global Child Prodigy Award for singing in 2020, she had also received the Sheikh Hamdan Award for Distinguished Academic Performance.
Asked about her future plans, Suchetha said she “would like to pursue a career in psychology and music and become an international performer”.
She is now getting ready for her first professional live concert on October 22 at Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, besides another song release in Arabic.