Meet Neil Nayyar, a teenage musical genius from Elk Grove

Neil Nayyar of Elk Grove plays 117 instruments, broke 2 world records, and now Honda has come calling!

ELK GROVE, Calif. — It’s hard to overhype Neil Nayyar. The Elk Grove student has already broken two world records for playing the most musical instruments at his various ages.

“My dad read that early exposure to music helped brain development, and my mom started putting a speaker that played Mozart to me on her stomach,” Neil said. “I was born playing.”

The process must have worked, as Neil had broken the world record at the age of 12, and again this year at 16. He plays 117 different instruments from around the world.

He can now add a Honda commercial broadcast around the world to his list of achievements.

An advertisement published this week features Neil’s mother, Sukhbinder, showing off the ample space her SUV has and Neil’s collection of instruments requiring that space.


The ad started airing months after filming took mom by surprise.

“I never told my colleagues about it,” Sukhbinder said. “You know I don’t like to talk about myself…and then I see a message on the band’s message saying ‘I SEE WE HAVE A COMMERCIAL STAR WITH A MUSICAL SON’ and then I got the link and I watched the whole day!”

Another big commercial starring Neil will air later this summer, along with a children’s book featuring his story and historic performance.

Neil opened for the Sacramento Rivercats on their home turf.

Neil also played the US national anthem at a professional sporting event on the North Indian guitar, known as the sitar.

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