There’d be no Vidya Vox without Shankar Tucker: Vidya Iyer

Ahead of her debut concert in Chennai, Vidya Iyer decodes her music, her bond with Shankar Tucker and why change is necessary

Karan Pillai Published :  17th March 2017 06:00 AM   |   Published :   |  17th March 2017 06:00 AM
Vidya Iyer, who along with her sister Vandana Iyer make up the duo called the Iyer Sisters, has amassed a mass following on her YouTube channel Vidya Vox

Vidya Iyer

While the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai gears up for Justin Bieber’s Purpose concert in May, Vidya Iyer of YouTube channel Vidya Vox fame will have her first live tryst with Chennai’s music crowd tomorrow. Both may be miles apart when it comes to style and international fame, but the two musicians do credit their initial success to YouTube. The Chennai girl, who was raised in Virginia and is a trained classical Carnatic singer, is having her show at VGP Universal Kingdom on the East Coast Road on March 18. With her two-year old YouTube channel abuzz with 200 million-plus views and a subscriber base that’s just a few thousands short of two million, it is hardly surprising that her performance is expected to attract a full house.

A still from the video of Chaiya Chaiya/Don’t Stop mashup
A still from the video of Chaiya Chaiya/Don’t Stop mashup

At first sight

Known for mixing songs by Selena Gomez with Kishore Kumar’s classics, or seamlessly fusing Rahman’s Kandukonden with Bieber’s second biggest Billboard hit, Sorry, the psychology graduate from George Washington University has something new for us with her recently released Kuthu Fire, the first single from her upcoming five-track debut EP. The energetic number might not be her best, but heralds a refreshing detour from mashups; fashionably too, she has done away with her trademark Indo-Western silhouettes to present a bolder attire. 

Shankar Tucker
Shankar Tucker


Tucker effect

Her mashups are often blended with Indian sounds, mainly from the tabla or dhol by percussionist Jomy George and electronic music by flute master Shankar Tucker. “There’d be no Vidya Vox without Shankar. I was drawn to his ability to take what he was taught and translate it in his own voice and style. He constantly pushes me to step out of my comfort zone and gives me the courage to execute my ideas, no matter how crazy they are,” she admits.   

Audio edge

Vidya tells us that technically they are regularly amping up their equipment kit. “(For videos) We love looking at new lenses and camera gear, and recently, we’ve been investing in equipment to improve the audio in our live shows, our latest buy being the Behringer SD8,” she informs. All that matters then, is the music.

March 18, at VGP Universal Kingdom, Chennai. 7 pm onwards.
Tickets at `1,500 on