On Friday, March 20, in front of nearly 4,000 screaming fans at YouTube Fan Fest in Mumbai, Lilly Singh aka ||Superwoman|| pretty much brought the house down. A cryptic hashtag the YouTube star had been using on social media for weeks — #AT2UI — was finally explained: it stands for 'A Trip To Unicorn Island', which she revealed at the event is the name of her upcoming, first-ever world tour, beginning this May.
As if the roar when she announced this wasn't deafening enough, she said, "So I was thinking about where I should start my tour..." before the giant screen behind her revealed tour dates for four cities in India, which would be the starting point.
Did you hear?! I'm going on a world tour: A Trip to Unicorn Island! Annndddd my first stop is India!… https://t.co/ZsJYIiYqvr— Lilly Singh (@IISuperwomanII) March 21, 2015
The ringing in our ears hasn't stopped since.
HuffPost India caught up with the talented 26-year-old YouTube star, who is also a prolific motivational speaker and comedian, at a hotel in Worli, Mumbai, where she is currently staying. Here is what her fans can expect from her upcoming tour:
1. Yes, of course Manjeet and Paramjeet will be coming along.
A staple feature of many of Singh's videos are Manjeet and Paramjeet Singh, who are highly fictionalised and exaggerated portrayals of her father and mother respectively. Singh usually plays them herself in her videos, so how will she pull this off live, minus the smoke-screen of video editing? "I will be using a mixture of technology and quick costume changes to recreate the same effect," she says, dressed in her trademark attire i.e. a baggy t-shirt, ripped jeans, and sideways baseball cap. "A lot of Manjeet and Paramjeet's portions will be pre-shot, but my fans will also get a chance to see me transform into those characters instantly after changing into those costumes."
2. This is going to be a 'legit' production.
Aside from her trademark rants, sketches, and motivational speeches, A Trip To Unicorn Island shall also feature musical and dance performances, the latter of which shall be performed by a troupe of 8 dancers who will travel along with the show. "I really had to fight for this one," she says, with a laugh. "But as someone who has also been a performing dancer, I know the impact it can have on an audience. The idea is to show that digital talent can be at par with all the standards set by live entertainment across the world."
3. Visually, it promises to look awesome.
There is absolutely no better way to describe anything than the way Singh describes what 'Unicorn Island' (her mythical "birthplace", and another common reference from her videos) is going to look like live, so we'll just let her say it in her own words.
"Unicorn Island is going to look like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory + Wonderland [from Alice In Wonderland] + Miley Cyrus’s brain — all of these sitting on top of a rainbow eating Skittles [a brand of candy]. It's gonna be huge," she says.
*Sound of her fans' minds exploding*
4. Each show will be tailored for the city it is in and might just feature special guests.
The tour has tentatively been planned till August, with a number of cities and venues still being finalised. For each performance, Singh plans to tailor her material in keeping with the city and/or country she is in. "For example, in India there will be quite a few references to Bollywood, while in Singapore, I'll speak in some Singlish [the local dialect of English spoken by Singaporeans]," she says. Each show will begin with its own 'intro video', which will be unique for each city.
As for other popular YouTube stars or celebrities joining her at any of these shows, Singh says that it's something she is actively working towards. "I really want to end my tour with Toronto and have Drake [rapper] join me on stage, for example," she says. "Or maybe get Kunal Nayyar [star of popular TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory] to join me when I perform in LA. I don't know yet, but I'm hoping it works out."
5. You won't need to sell off any organs to pay for tickets.
Singh says that her main aim from this tour is not to make money as much as it is to just simply do it because she wants to. "Obviously, we will need to recover costs and make some money because, y'know, people have to eat and everything," she says, rolling her eyes in mock-frustration. "But I know that most of my fans are teenagers and we are going to make sure that most of the tickets are affordable for as many people as possible."
This, of course, may not include the VIP tickets which will give fans the chance to meet her backstage after each show. Ahem.
6. This show is for everyone — including her haters.
While her fan-base mainly comprises girls between the ages of 14 and 25, Singh wants to make sure that everyone who attends — including parents — have a good time. "There will be some material that is slightly edgier than what I normally do, which my younger fans perhaps won't get, but their parents definitely will," she says.
She also wants people who dislike her videos, especially, to come for the shows. "We're putting a lot of effort into this tour and it's going to be about more than just trending on Twitter or doing Q-n-As or other stuff you see on YouTube," she says. "I want people to come and see it for themselves."