Me, The Change: Maithli Thakur, Bihar’s Teenage Singing Sensation
Maithli is an Indian classical music singer, who was the runner up in the 2017 Rising Star music competition.
‘Me, The Change’ is The Quint’s campaign for the first-time women voter who has an achievement to her name, however big or small. As part of the campaign, The Quint is accepting nominations for these young women achievers and showcasing these stories. If you know someone who fits the bill, let us know by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a child, Maithli Thakur didn’t want to sing. She would think, “Kyun karna hai?” Today, the 18-year-old from Madhubani, Bihar is a singing sensation, with 540K followers on YouTube, a verified page on Facebook with 970K+ likes and a verified Instagram handle with 266K followers.
An Indian classical singer, Maithli won the I Genius Young Singing Star competition in 2016, was a runner-up in the 2017 edition of Rising Stars, a Colors TV Channel reality music show and had made it to the top 20 in 2015’s edition of Indian Idol.
Maithli remembers her experience at Rising Stars fondly. She says she learnt something from everyone there, be it the mentors or the other participants. “I especially loved the fact that it was unedited and aired everything that happened. It was a great experience and I learnt so much from it,” the teenager gushes.
Now a resident of Dwarka in Delhi, Maithli hails from a musically-inclined family. Her father and grandfather were both singers and her two younger brothers now accompany her on stage during performances – one as a tabla player and the other as a singer. Her father, Ramesh Thakur, taught her everything she knows, Maithli says. He now manages her career.
‘Big Crowds a Motivating Factor’
Maithli started training in music at the age of three and has been performing since she was 11 years old. Now she does shows all over India and has 20 concerts lined up for November across the country.
Her shows see a footfall of up to 10 lakh people, she says. “Earlier, I used to get scared even singing in front of ten people. Now, big crowds have become a motivating factor,” she says happily.
“I have travelled all over, to Coimbatore, Assam, parts of Uttar Pradesh for my shows. At first I used to get very excited about taking a flight, seeing everything from above. Now, I’m so used to it because I sometimes take four flights a week,” she laughs. The next step for the singer is going abroad.
A first year student of BA Programme at Atmaram Sanatan Dharma College of Delhi University, Maithli says that she loves this life. Everyone treats her as a celebrity and is very nice to her. “I can’t be very regular in college because of my shows and interviews. But then I have the support of the college and my friends. They all help me,” she adds.
She already has an album, titled Ya Rabba, to her name. It was released as the prize for her winning the I Genius competition in 2016. But that isn’t all for the young girl.
“I receive calls all the time for albums in regional music. But my father isn’t interested in those. We both want a dhamakedaar debut for me,” she laughs.
Helping her Family Financially
For now, Maithli’s aim is to make a mark on social media and take over all the platforms to showcase her talent.
But Maithli hasn’t always had it easy. The road to here has been dotted with financial problems and after coming to Delhi, she has had to move houses multiple times.
“We’ve had a lot of money problems. In the beginning, we used to rent a 1 BHK in Tilak Nagar, where the five of us (her parents and her two brothers) used to stay. We moved houses multiple times and it was always a 1 BHK. Only two months ago did we finally get our own apartment, a 2 BHK in Dwarka. Our financial situation is better now,” she says, attributing it to the money that comes in from their shows.
What Does the Future Hold?
“I have gotten many calls from many music directors, even Vishal Dadlani and they’ve all told me to go meet them if I am ever in Mumbai. Our plan is to shift to Mumbai next year and work with music studios, singing for Bollywood. It would have been very difficult to do it as a struggler, since Mumbai is so hard to afford. But now I think I can do it,” says Maithli.
But Maithli’s dream goes beyond being a playback singer in Bollywood. “I want people to hear my name and say, oh yes, we listen to Maithli’s songs all the time. There are so many singers in Bollywood, but you don’t know all their names. I don’t want that. I want my name to be recognised.”
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