For music lovers, music is a reflection of feelings. I’m no different – when I’m stressed, I listen to music. When I’m sad, I listen to music. When I’m happy, I listen to music. Listening to music is what keeps people going when they feel like they can’t go on anymore. It transports you to another place, one where you don’t have the same worries and anxieties that you thought you had five minutes ago. Music has so much power, across all generations, all races, all genders. I love the power it has. It brings people of all walks of life together. It only makes sense that music is a symphony of many emotions, as it is an expression of an artist’s feelings. Once hidden away, to be brought to life in song, just for a moment. Emotions shared evoke emotions in others and so the butterfly effect unfolds in front of your very eyes. Watching someone feel moved by a piece of music is something that cannot be compared to anything else. Bringing some to tears and you can’t explain why. This and more, is all what has inspired many to sing and express their love for music and Cordeliya Prahalathan is no exception.

So, Cordeliya, why don’t you introduce yourself to SUBCULTURED?
“So, I am a second year psychology student… An ordinary girl, living an ordinary life. Music has been part of my journey from a very young age and has got me through a lot of difficult times in my life.”

How long have you have singing?
“I learnt Carnatic music when I was little, with the veena alongside that. I’m at grade 8 with Carnatic, basically diploma level, and with the veena I am at grade 7. Being able to share my passion with other people is such a blessing – it’s super nice.”

What’s your favourite memory that singing has given you?
“Being a shy person, performing alone is very nerve-wracking for me so my performance last year at the University of Surrey’s iGala was a challenge. But it was also a fear to overcome, having everyone look at me whilst I sang a solo. On the day of the performance I was absolutely terrified, but my friends encouraged me. As soon as I got on that stage with the spotlights on me, I was transported to another place. That was my moment. Hearing people cheering you on gives you the boost you need and reminds you why you love music so much. It makes you feel alive. I realised the power of music in that moment. I was so happy and proud that I faced my fears, because hearing the audience applaud at the end was such an unbelievable feeling that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

How do you balance your passion with student life, especially as you’re a second year student?
“Due to my studies, I had to take a break for a while because it was a bit much at the time. But I haven’t given up on my passion, last year I saw the opportunity to perform for the university’s Tamil society and I thought “why not!””

Is this something you’d like to continue throughout your life?
“I don’t think music will ever not be a part of my life. Now that I’m in second year, my friends suggested that I should start a cover account on Instagram to showcase my singing. Hopefully to lead on to a YouTube account later down the line. Originally I didn’t want to because I was overthinking the negatives, but once I realised they were stopping me from pursuing what I actually wanted to do, I went for it. Uploading my first cover was so scary, but the support I got was really encouraging and it really inspired me to keep going, so I’m excited to see where it takes me!”

Interested to hear more?
Please follow her on Instagram at

Text by Annabella Costantino

Picture research by Anna Irina; featured image from Pinterest.