Twin songstresses Kiran + Nivi found their voices through singing, literally. Up until age 3, neither Kiran nor Nivi had spoken a word and it wasn’t until they participated in choir at their church that they both spoke their first words and eventually began speaking fluently. In middle school Kiran + Nivi began posting covers and mashups of their favorite American hits with an Indian twist on Facebook and YouTube. While Kiran + Nivi slowly started to cultivate a fanbase, they eventually found viral fame on TikTok. With 2 million followers on TikTok and over 18 million views on their “Hopelessly Devoted” video alone, Kiran + Nivi are nothing short of superstars in the making. Kiran + Nivi have collaborated with brands like Walmart, Instagram, Coca-Cola, Audible and many others and have even worked alongside Jason Derulo. Jason Derulo invited the twins to LA to collaborate on TikTok content in support of his “Love Not War” release. Not only that, Kiran + Nivi have also received follows and co-signs from the likes of Shawn Mendes, Sia and Meghan Trainor. Today Kiran + Nivi join us to discuss their musical journey, connecting with fans through their music and latest single “1 Last Bye.”
The Knockturnal: You both first began singing at church, is that correct?
Kiran & Nivi: Yes, it was Indian devotional singing that we went to every Sunday.
The Knockturnal: Is it true that you both said your first words together when you sang for the first time?
Kiran & Nivi: We weren’t talking or making sounds like normal children, so our parents took us to a speech therapist, but it wasn’t working. Every Thursday evening our parents would take us to Indian church and the host asked my mom one week to teach us an Indian devotional song and my mom had obviously no hope that we would be able to sing it, but she just had faith and taught us and the next week we sang it with perfect pitch and rhythm and our parents were shocked that we could sing because we weren’t making sounds or talking. Believe it or not, but after we started singing, we started talking normally, so for us music is basically a miracle in our life.
The Knockturnal: How old were you both at the time?
Kiran & Nivi: Around three.
The Knockturnal: What role did music play in your household growing up?
Kiran & Nivi: Honestly our parents started learning more about music after we took an interest in it. They don’t really know much about music, but once we started getting interested in music, they put us in lessons and we just started learning music as much as they started learning, like at the same time.
The Knockturnal: It’s obvious that music and singing had such a positive impact on you both, would you say that your parents have been supportive of you two pursuing careers in music?
Kiran & Nivi: Yeah, of course our parents have been supporting us from the day one, we are just grateful to have parents that are supportive of our dreams.
The Knockturnal: Did you both pursue higher education?
Kiran & Nivi: Yeah, we both graduated from college last year, from UC Irvine.
Kiran: I did a double major in music and psychology
Nivi: I did a double major in business, econ and music.
The Knockturnal: Do you both plan on using your degrees towards furthering your music careers?
Kiran & Nivi: We’re focusing on being artists and performing and writing songs and living that music life. That’s basically the dream for us.
The Knockturnal: How long have you been content creators and was TikTok the first platform that you released music on?
Kiran & Nivi: We were in middle of high school, and we actually were on Facebook first. We started just posting some Indian classical music videos, and then we started our YouTube channel, and we did like mashups of Indian songs with Western songs. Then in 2020, during the pandemic we found TikTok out of just randomness and downloaded it. Around June or July of 2020, we posted our first video on TikTok and it was a cover of Shawn Mendes and that’s when our journey started.
The Knockturnal: You’ve both received a lot of celebrity support and co-signs, what was it like getting to work with Jason Derulo?
Kiran & Nivi: Yeah it was like really shocking, one day he DMed us on Instagram and just said he would love to collab on TikTok and we were so excited. The next week we just flew to L.A. and did a video together. It was crazy! It was just really amazing to work with an artist.
The Knockturnal: Who’s been your favorite celebrity shout out or repost?
Kiran: I would say it would be the collab with Jason Derulo because I feel like I got to know an artist in person.
Nivi: For me it would probably be Sia, she shared one of our stories, that would probably be my favorite.
The Knockturnal: Speaking of artists, who do you two hope to collaborate with?
Kiran & Nivi: There are literally so many, but like dream collaborations would be Adele, Billie Eilish, BTS and The Weeknd.
The Knockturnal: What does it feel like going viral and getting 18 million views, let alone a million views? Can you both tell me how you felt the first time you got a million views?
Kiran: Yeah, it was crazy. Like the first time we went viral and even like experiencing that, it was really unexpected. We were just grateful that it happened. I think it was the song “Never Enough” that we posted of me singing solo and I didn’t expect it to go and told Nivi we shouldn’t post it because I thought it was bad, but Nivi insisted on posting it so you never really know what to expect.
The Knockturnal: Your latest release “1 Last Bye” has been your most popular so far. What was it like receiving such positive feedback on work that’s so personal?
Kiran & Nivi: It means a lot. One thing we’ve gotten a lot from this song is that a lot of people have faced the same thing and have gone through the same experience and so many people have related to, to the lyrics. I think that’s the goal for every songwriter and we just hope to make more music that so many people around the world connect to.
The Knockturnal: Can you share the meaning behind the song, it has to do with your cousin’s passing, correct?
Kiran & Nivi: In 2020 our cousin passed away through a brain seizure and she was going through a lot of stress and never told that to anyone. She kept it all in herself, so we never knew until after the fact. It hurt more because of that reason. That’s the reason why we wrote the song because in her story she didn’t share her pain and sometimes we just forget to share what we’re actually going through to the people who actually care about us. That was the main message we wanted to give out of the song, it’s okay that you’re not feeling okay, you could just share it with the people who really care about you.
The Knockturnal: Thank you both for opening up and sharing that with me. Is there anything else that you’re currently working on musically that fans can expect?
Kiran & Nivi: Yeah, right now we’re currently working on a lot of like singles and there’s a few social media collabs on the way as well!