“Basically, I owe my whole entire musical abilities to him because, without him, I would’ve never sang. My mom would’ve never sang. He passed it to my mom and my mom passed it to me,” Vaid told NBC news.
Sonika’s mother and father, Kuldip Vaid and Ananya Vaid, both moved to the us at very young ages. Once settled into the country, they fought to achieve the American dream. Her father became an eye surgeon, which he still practices today, while her mother obtained an engineering degree and is currently working as a real estate developer. “It’s funny because I’ll get the comments, like the occasional, ‘Oh my God, your parents, do they have Indian accents?’, and I’m like ‘no, they moved here when they were five’,” Vaid said. Vaid’s mother knew her daughter— the eldest of six children — had a gift. She became Vaid’s personal vocal trainer and helped her break out of her shy personality. After winning viewers over with her first audition on “American Idol,” Vaid has attracted fans from across the world. “I’m getting a lot of love from India,” Vaid said. “I’ve never been, but it’s awesome. I’m getting love from South Africa and Europe, Brazil, the Philippines. It’s so amazing.” But even with her success, Vaid is still focused on her education. She plans to transfer to the College of Holy Cross in Massachusetts in the fall to finish her degree though she still plans to pursue music. “I have taken time off to do music, and I think even if I don’t win, I think music will still be a really big part of my life,” she said. But healing other people — like her father does — is just something she can’t give up.