CORRECTION: This story has been edited to reflect Arya’s correct age, that she is homeschooled, and to appropriately reflect family relationships. CTY regrets these errors.
Eight-year-old CTYer Arya Gartside-Vats and her family are pulling heartstrings around the world with their appearance in a new Alicia Keys video. The homeschooled New York City student is one of several kids featured in the video for Keys’ song “Blended Family (What You Do For Love).” The video has received more than 800,000 views on YouTube since it began airing last week.
The song sends a message of love and inclusion. Keys sings, while children from various diverse families run and play around her. Arya is shown playing chess with her dad, David, and sharing hugs and smiles with other members of her own culturally blended family—including her mom Archana and her grandmother.
Arya has been acting since she was young, with roles in commercials, TV shows and short films. In addition to singing and acting, Arya, who is homeschooled, loves math, and has taken three online math courses with CTY.
"Working with Ms. Keys was incredible," said Arya, a huge Alicia Keys fan. Since the video’s debut, Archana said, “We have had nothing but hugely positive feedback and many people saying this message was exactly what they needed to hear at the moment. Now is a time for love and acceptance, of coming together regardless of cultures, genders, sexuality. There is greatest strength if we believe there is greatest unity in diversity.”