Exclusive chat with world records holder musician Neil Nayyar
Some are born with exceptional skills, same is the case of Neil Nayyar, a 14 years old young Multi-Talented Musician and Instrumentalist who we got to interview and learn more about him. An extraordinarily talented boy, who at this age has won two world records and mastered 107 musical instruments.
Luckily we got to chat with him, after chasing him for quite a long time. Here is the interview……
How is the feeling of holding a world record? Has it changed anything in school or amongst friends?
Neil: I’m thrilled to be able to realize this accomplishment. When I look back and see how far I’ve progressed, it makes me feel incredibly happy and fulfilled. Yes, it definitely has helped me reach a level of popularity in school as well as other places where I perform.
Which was the first instrument that you learned? When did you realize that it’s music that attracts you?
Neil: My first instrument was the drums. My dad signed me up for free drum lessons when I was around 6 years old and noticed my interest in music as soon as I struck my first beat. My parents then bought me a drum kit at the age of 2. Unfortunately, I never ended up taking much of an interest in it.
Were your parents supportive when you said it’s music that interests you?
Neil: For sure, my parents have supported me from the very beginning, and still continue to. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They always give me the best suggestions and have guided me down the right path, while inspiring me to go beyond my beliefs.
Usually, people play one or maybe two instruments, how come you learnt to play 107 instruments?
Neil: When I started playing drums, I was always excited to play other instruments at music stores. I found that I was quickly able to make music out of them with not much time spent on each.
When I reached a personal milestone of playing 12 instruments in 2016, I noticed a guy who held the world record for playing 27! He was 23. I decided that if he can, why can’t I? I began learning more and more instruments, and was able to reach 44 instruments by the end of 2017.
In 2017, I achieved my first world record at age 12 for “Youngest To Play 44 World Music Instruments”. It attracted the attention of various media publications from all over the world. My desire to play more instruments kept growing, and I managed to reach 107 instruments in 2019. That’s when I received another world record for “Youngest To Play 107 World Music Instruments”.
What made you completely immerse in music?
Neil: My dad used to play Mozart’s music to me while I was still in my mom’s womb. He read that Mozart’s music would help with forming the soul, mind, and heart of the baby, so he experimented with that. Little did he realize that I would later become completely immersed in music later on! In our family, I’m the only one who plays music. My mom dabbled with learning violin at one point, but she gave up after only 6 months of classes.
Whose music inspires you so much?
Neil: My favorite musicians include Miles Davis, Carlos Santana, Bruno Mars, Chris Martin, A.R. Rehman, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Billy Joel.
Would you ever want to collaborate with any musician? If so, who would be that?
Neil: If given the opportunity, I would like to collaborate with A.R. Rehman. I love his creativity. In the West, I’d like to collaborate with Coldplay. They are my favorite band.
Have you ever thought of launching your own album?
Neil: Yes, I have been working on my album for the last three months. It is still in the works, and will be out within the next 6 to 9 months. My plan is to include all 107 music instruments on this album.
Any particular incident or experience that you would want to share with our readers.
Neil: I recently signed a contract with an acting agency based in Los Angeles/New York. I’ve been continuously attending auditions for commercials since the end of 2019. One of them made it to the top 10 commercials of Under Armour. I am also attending live auditions to sing and play the National Anthem on saxophone for the Sacramento River Cats’ baseball game. More to come and the journey continues!
Would you like to give any message to other South Asian youngsters who are already inspired by you?
Neil: I’d like to pass a message to the parents out there. Please look for passion in your kids from an early age, and support and nurture that passion.
To all the kids, never stop working towards your dreams. If you are consistent and approach it with genuine passion, I promise that you will reach heights you would have never imagined. If things don’t go your way immediately, just get up and keep going. And make sure to always practice, practice, practice.