Meet Yoko Rai, the Singing Ventriloquist –

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Yoko Rai, ventriloquist based in Mumbai. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Raised in a musical family, singer Yoko Rai took the opportunity to perform in choirs, university events, take the piano and settle in live concerts. However, once she accepted a job with a company, music took a back seat. Rai said, “Fast forward to now after the birth of my son and I have found my way back to music, as a performer and teacher. In 2017, she surprised a young ventriloquist called Darci Lynne in a television show America has talent and quickly became fascinated with ventriloquism.

It didn’t take long for Rai to hone his ventriloquist skills and even make his first puppet named Tutu to help him perform his role. She said, “Before I knew it, I was suddenly a singing ventriloquist.” Rai would continue to perform in various shows, including sets in schools and even overseas. To complete her performance, the artist enlarged her clan with the Zola, Dolly and Froggy du Pond puppets. “All three have distinct personalities and voices, which enhances their singing,” says Rai.

Recently, Rai and his puppets released an upbeat song titled “Just Fine” as part of the Hungama Artist Aloud Talent Platform initiative to raise funds for daily workers affected by the coronavirus. The track features Tutu and Zola showing off their vocal range, vibrancy and eccentricity. “I mean, all I could think of was for the song to be as simple as it gets and send a message and then finish it with the confidence that everything will be fine,” the ventriloquist said.

Although Rai has found success performing covers, she is very keen to write more of her own material and start publishing it. The artist plans to work on a children’s album with his puppets. She says, “Also, with puppets, the extra angle would be to output video as well to support audio output.” As Rai prepares for her next offering, she believes ventriloquism is a dying art. However, the puppeteer artist is more passionate about it than ever since she started her journey as a person. Rai said, “I’m very happy that I was able to take singing to the next level.”


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