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The Hot List 2017: Dot. (Singer-Songwriter)

How an unassuming teen won over the hearts of indie music lovers overnight with a YouTube video

David Britto Dec 14, 2017

Dot.’s folksy blues-jazz sound, combined with witty lyrics, makes for perfect easy listening after a long hard day. Photo: Abheet Anand

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If you’re an indie musician in India, the chances of pulling off a sold-out debut gig are rather bleak. They’re probably even bleaker if you’re an artist that plays “English” music. But when 19-year-old Aditi Saigal aka Dot. played her first-ever concert last July in New Delhi, she could well have been performing for loyal fans that lived and breathed her music for years. Except that she had released her breakout song “Everybody Dances To Techno” barely four months earlier, the homespun video of which went viral—by Indian indie music standards—on social media.

Saigal’s debut five-city tour, was part of gig series Tiny Big Scene and lived up to its name and more. All venues saw audiences packed in like sardines, singing along to almost every song from her setlist, from the instantaneously endearing “Asymmetrical” to the melancholic “Reassurance Me” and the blissful “Alaw.” Saigal is the daughter of the late Amit Saigal—founder of India’s first music publication Rock Street Journal. She started learning the piano at the age of six and has been writing her own music since she was 12. Her inspirations include artists like Paulo Nutini, Fiona Apple, KT Tunstall, Jack Johnson, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin.

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Currently, Saigal is pursuing a joint honors in creative writing and music at Bangor University in Wales. While her fan following in India can still look up her YouTube channel and dwell in the singer- songwriter’s soulful voice, there is no doubt that they will be waiting for her to return and perform in India. Saigal’s folksy blues-jazz sound, combined with witty lyrics, makes for perfect easy listening after a long hard day.

Hear “Everybody Dances To Techno” below:

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