India is a place with myriad cultures and traditions. Our culture and practices have percolated deep within us and that is what gives us the ‘desi’ flavor. In early 2017, one person from Uttar Pradesh set out to showcase this same ‘desi’ Indian hidden inside all of us and today, he is just a whisker away from achieving the 1 Lakh subscribers mark. Meet ‘Awanish Singh’, the YouTuber who has made ‘being desi’ – cool!
1. You have been on the YouTube platform for a year now and you will be reaching 1 lakh subscribers very soon. How has the journey been so far?
I did create the channel in November last year but I started uploading videos only in February. So it has been a journey of little more than half a year. I am a small town guy. I come from Ghazipur, near Varanasi. I was always interested in acting since my childhood. But there were no opportunities available in my town to pursue that. I didn’t give up and I kept looking for opportunities. I then shifted to Delhi to pursue law. It has then I released the power of social media. I thought it was a great platform to do something I loved and hence I uploaded my first video which was on ‘Demonetization’. That’s is how my journey started.
2. How do you intend to take your channel forward once you reach 1 lakh subscribers? What are your plans?
I have had just one dream since childhood – to get featured on the big screen! I am working towards that. I will do more sketches, create better content and do whatever it takes towards achieving that.
3. Are you currently YouTubing full-time?
No, but my parents have been very supportive of my venture and hence encourage me to pursue my passion but they also insist on not abandoning my education. So I am currently in the second year of integrated B.A L.LB course. I have sacrificed my hobbies and given my time towards making vines and videos. I intend to devote more time to making videos and take my channel forward.
4. How do you think your parents and peers will react if you want to pursue YouTubing full time?
My parents have been very supportive of me! My dad is a huge Amit Bhadana fan! It so happened that Amit bhaiya invited me to be a part of his video and when my dad saw it, he felt that I was going in the right direction! Amit bhaiya also talked to my mom and assured her that I am going to do well. Initially, when I started my channel, there was an ongoing trend that if you swear and use expletives in your videos, you would get more views. So I did the same and showed it to my family including my mom. My mom advised me that as an actor you should rather concentrate on getting views by your acting talent than by using expletives. So I deleted all the videos that contained expletives and started concentrating on my acting. Hence the support from my parents has been great!
5. Your videos have a unique desi flavor in them. Is there something that you intend to convey?
I always wanted to showcase the unique UP-waala lingo to the world but I was apprehensive as to how the audience will perceive the same! Then I saw Amit Bhadana’s videos, featuring characters with Gurjari lingo, becoming hits on YouTube. So I gave it a try and the response was unprecedented! I have learned a lesson from this – If you respect the land and its people, they will respect you back. So I decided to showcase the unique cultures of India rather than blindly aping foreign vines.
6. You videos series ‘Never Insult a Desi’ got a humongous response with Part 2 being more popular than Part 1. Is Part 3 on the way?
To be frank, ‘Never Insult a desi’ was never intended to be a series. It was just a one-off sketch. The idea was to showcase the ‘desi’ people who are so much connected to their roots. The message was to never discriminate or insult a ‘desi’ based on his culture, color etc. So when we uploaded the video, the response was massive. So I put up a question to my audience whether a second part should be made or not. I too wanted to make the second part because I felt the first one hadn’t ended on a high. So when the response was positive, I came out with the second part. Currently, I do not have plans to make the third part because I do not want to keep repeating my videos. I will lose subscribers if I do that but I will keep doing videos which have the same ‘desi’ flavor.
7. Will you be doing more collaborations with Amit Bhadana?
What can I tell you about Amit bhaiya! He is a person on a completely different level. He is someone who got 1 million subscribers in just under 6 months! It so happened that Amit Bhadana had talked to Elvish, who is another YouTuber friend of mine, about me. He had told that I had the potential in me to become big and he also would help. So one day I got a call from Amit bhaiya and he asked if I was interested to act in his next video on Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan. It was the best opportunity that I could ever get. I was anxious while working on the video because I was afraid that the video would turn bad if I didn’t act up to the mark. So I had a put in a preparation of 7-8 days for it and in the process of shooting, I also learned a lot of things from Amit bhaiya. Nothing would be happier than a chance to work with Amit Bhaiya again.
8. How do you get the idea of interspersing your videos with a ‘filmi’ touch?
I am crazy about movies! The craze is on a completely different level. If I have a chance to talk about something, I would talk only about movies. So I keep thinking of various Bollywood scenes and dialogues and that is how I get the idea of adding a filmi touch to my videos. As far as songs are concerned, we are inherent ‘jugaadu’ and hence can tweak the lyrics as per our whims and fancy!
9. Given a choice, which one of the following you would choose
a. Entry as Celeb in Bigg Boss House
b. At Nach baliye with your fav. Actress
c. Winning 7 CR in KBC
d. Work with Hrish Beniwal
I would pick ‘entry as a celeb in Bigg Boss’ because I am a huge Salman Khan fan and I want to have a sneak peek into the Bigg Boss house.
10. Do you have any specific goals in mind?
I have only one goal – to be an actor and prove myself so that people know that even a guy from a small town can be such a good actor.
11. Who are your favorite actors and why?
Three names – Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Ranveer Singh.
Salman because I have been watching his films since childhood and all his movies, from ‘Wanted’ to present, have impressed me a lot.
SRK because I have learned one thing from him – acting with your eyes! Nobody can emote with eyes as SRK sir does it!
Ranveer because even though he is completely different off-screen, on-screen whenever he plays the role, it may be in Bajirao or Ramleela, he packs a punch and completely transforms into the character!
12. Message for your fans.
Sapna dekhtey toh sab hai lekin usse pura karney ka mazza hi alag hai,
Apney Talent ki Izzat karo..apney Talent se Pyaar karo…Naa ki Ghamand,
Paisa toh sab kamatey hai…Log(people) kamaney ka apna hi mazza hai.
And with that, we wrap up the interview with Awanish Singh. His ‘jugaadu’ dexterity and his straight-from-the-heart answer sure awakened our ‘desi’-self within us! Happy Diwali!