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Maya Neelakantan: I’m representing all of India on America’s Got Talent stage FilmyMeet

by Arun Kumar
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For Maya Neelakantan, who is being dubbed the ‘rock goddess’ after her America’s Got Talent (season 19) audition clip went viral, fame is incidental. “I had never expected all this,” she gushes.

Guitar prodigy Maya Neelakantan has gone viral for her America's Got Talent audition, for her rendition of Papa Roach’s Last Resort infused with notes of Carnatic music.(Photo: Instagram)
Guitar prodigy Maya Neelakantan has gone viral for her America’s Got Talent audition, for her rendition of Papa Roach’s Last Resort infused with notes of Carnatic music.(Photo: Instagram)

The young guitarist, who hails from Chennai (Tamil Nadu), feels the fusion of Indian classical music with rock and metal is “exciting and hasn’t been explored much”. “These genres are so underrated together! I want to create my own music, which is more like the AGT performance,” she shares.

The 11-year-old went on the reality show stage dressed in an embellished lehenga-kurta set, complete with traditional jewellery, and played Papa Roach’s Last Resort infused with notes of classical Carnatic music, creating an audio-visual juxtaposition. “I was representing all of India and wanted to make a place for traditional music, too. My amma helped me organise the outfit, with the earrings and everything,” says the school student.

Neelakantan, who fell in love with Carnatic music at the age of two, learns it online with Prasanna Ramaswamy (Guitar Prasanna).

Speaking about business tycoon Anand Mahindra sharing her video, she said, “I did not expect that at all. It was very nice of him to do this… I have received love and support from guitar lengends, many of whom are close friends. But for him to discover me in this way was very unexpected, and got me love from the entire country!”

Support Matters

Counting her blessings, Neelakantan says that she’s grateful for all the support she gets from her parents (Indian dad and Australian mum) and others: “I’ve received so much support from legends like Gary Holt (American guitarist), who flew all the way from Sacramento to Los Angeles to watch my AGT audition.” She enjoys good following on the internet with 15.8K followers on YouTube and 49.2K on Instagram.

See also  Randeep Hooda on receiving no support for 'Swatantrya Veer Savarkar' from Bollywood: 'I make films for the audience, not the industry' | Filmymeet



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