Young, sweet, bubbly, and confident – that’s Haripriya for you. She walked into the room, a barrel of coy smiles, accompanied by her mother. There was a spark in her eyes, one that was full of confidence and big dreams for the future.

Haripriya was down in Kuala Lumpur for the Retro Rahman: A Tribute concert on the 7th of July. The sell-out concert was put together by Mojo Projects and it was held in Hotel Istana. We managed to catch up with Haripriya and ask her how she felt about sharing the stage with some one of the industry’s biggest names.

“I’m so happy that Mojo Projects put this show together, the Retro Rahman concert. I got to perform with some of the biggest stars from India, Unnikrishnan sir, Unni Menon sir, and Harini madam. I feel so blessed,” Haripriya quipped. Her eyes beamed with excitement.

If you guys don’t already know, Haripriya was hand-picked by Oscar-winning musician AR Rahman to tour with him – after she impressed him with her unique rendition of “Sowkiyama Kanne” on Super Singer Junior.

“I cannot describe that feeling I got when I met AR Rahman sir and got to sing in front of him. It was my lifelong dream. I sang “Sowkiyama”, and I think he really liked it, and then he asked me to sing another song. It was unbelievable,” 

AR Rahman and Haripriya consequently went from celebrity-fan to mentor-mentee. Haripriya now gets to work with AR Rahman in the studio, watch him doing what’s his best at, and pick his brains while she’s at it.

“I’m a very nervous person. Until now, I still start shaking when Rahman sir walks in the studio. I’m still very nervous when I’m standing next to him. And it all still feels like a dream to me,” she added.

We also wanted to know what keeps Haripriya going in life, and where she finds her strength when the odds are stacked against her.

“My biggest driving force in life is my father. After he passed away, I felt like I needed to step up and find a way to support my family. Since I loved singing, and my father has always encouraged me to be a singer, I decided to join Super Singer. I thought it would be a good platform and would provide great opportunities for me as an aspiring singer,” 

“I actually did not make it through the first two times that I joined. But I never gave up, I kept trying. Eventually, in my third try, I finished third place, and I got to meet my childhood hero. It was a surreal experience,” 

“Again, it all still feels like a dream. I cannot believe this is happening,” 

Naturally, the next step for an aspiring singer like Haripriya would be to get into cinema and make it as a playback singer. However, Haripriya told us that she’s not going to get into cinema just yet, as she wants to garner more experience and needs to finish school.

“I’ve been getting a lot of offers for movies, but I’m not going to take any of that yet. I want to focus on finishing school – I’m in 12th standard now. After I’m done with school, and after I’ve had more experience, then I’ll start doing movies,” 

The young songbird also said that her dream is to visit and perform in South Korea one day.

“I would love to go to Korea one day, and maybe perform there. It’s a long shot, but that’s one of my goals. I’m actually a huge K-Pop fan!” 

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Here’s Our 12 Memorable Moments From ‘Retro Rahman: A Tribute’