Aditi Dot is the YouTube star India needs

Aditi Dot’s music breeds cheer in unlikely places—like the YouTube comments section. Under her video ‘Everybody dances to techno’ is a heartening trail of niceness rarely seen on the Internet: hat tips, hyperbolic praise and earnest thank yous for brightening dull days and duller moods. The song, a playful ruing of techno-dominated dance floors, was uploaded by Dot earlier this year and shared widely across social media. “I started getting around 300 Facebook friend requests a day,” says the 18-year-old daughter of the late Amit Saigal, legendary founder of India’s first music magazine, Rock Street Journal. “It was a bit stressful because I had my exams. I was feeling a little pressured initially, but now I’ve got things under control.”

Dot’s prodigious vocals, which instantly bring to mind Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor, pair perfectly with oddball songwriting that’s silly, soulful and anything but formulaic. She graciously accepts the flattering comparisons coming her way, while politely sidestepping all labels. “I don’t really like it when people call my music jazz. I don’t think in terms of any one genre. My focus is on words and poetry—I like the sound of words, the way they roll off your tongue. I love experimenting with syllabic stresses and phrasing things in an odd way,” she says. 


YouTube: Aditi Dot

Dot has been populating her channel with more off-kilter compositions like ‘Asymmetrical’, inspired by a classroom lesson on beauty, and ‘Alaw’, a sweet love note for Wales, where she’s pursuing a degree in music and creative writing from Bangor University. The road ahead, she says, will be about limiting expectations and maximising fun. She has deferred a studio album till she finds a “less perfect and pristine” alternative, turned down film assignments for their stresses, and dreams of singing to intimate audiences instead of filling stadiums. This unconventionality is reflected in her choice of moniker too (she was born Aditi Saigal). “When I was young, my mum and I used to colour together and she would make these dots outside the drawing. I didn’t like that, I wanted it to be perfect, but she explained that they’re not hurting the drawing; they only make things more interesting. Dots are small, but not insignificant.” 

Back in India on a three-month break, Dot is currently lining up live performances—including a Sofar Sounds gig—and mining this happy spell for more blithe melodies. “This past year has been amazing. I love cycling around Wales; it’s such a beautiful place,” she says, before adding, shyly, “I’ve never felt so aware of my happiness.”

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