It doesn’t get any bigger than this! On this week’s Diwali-special episode of #OnTalk, we bring you someone has been an Indian YouTube sensation. He is a music composer, singer and a delightful YouTuber, who has made us laugh and adore the contrasting characters that he makes up on his channel ‘BB Ki Vines’! Bhuvan Bam sat with us for a brief one-on-one interview.
1. How would you describe your journey so far and your shift from being a musician to one of India’s top YouTuber?
It is very tough to put it in words, the journey that I have been through but it was a necessary journey for me. If I look back at where I started and where I am now, I feel very happy about myself. I don’t think I have moved away from music. I have been doing live shows and very soon I will be coming out with an original song. So the focus is both on Music and YouTube.
2. How has the audience changed now, compared to the one when you released your first song?
When I released my first song, ‘Teri Meri Kahani’ about a year ago, the song got very popular among college students and the youth because I used to sing it in my live shows. Hence the audience in the shows would already know the lyrics and would sing with me. It was an added advantage for me. I don’t think much has changed between now and then. The only difference is that more people are awaiting the release of the song and we are equally excited about working on it.
3. Today ‘Bhuvan Bam’ has become a brand. How do you intend to capitalize on it?
I think on-screen many people might think the brand has arrived but personally, I am still struggling and improving. More and more people are now watching ‘BB ki vines’ and that has definitely opened up new opportunities. Bollywood is definitely one of them. I would like to act in a movie eventually but currently, I am concentrating on the YouTube platform to make ‘BB ki vines’ a much larger brand than it is now.
4. You have been part of a few web-series recently. Are there any upcoming web-series of which you will be a part of?
Currently, I am concentrating on my live tours and hence acting in web series has taken a back seat.
5. Why doesn’t Bhuvan Bam feature in collaborations? In the recent fan fest at Melbourne too, you were conspicuous of not making a vlog while other Indian YouTubers in the event were at it?
As far as collaborations are concerned, I have worked TVF and also worked with AIB on a video featuring Nawazuddin Sidiqqui. About the fan fest, most of the other Indian YouTubers are vloggers too, unlike me. Also, I am not comfortable with capturing my personal moments. So I would gate-crash into others’ vlogs rather than making my own.
6. When will we next see the character of ‘Papa Maakichoo’ again on your channel? How do you decide which characters you will portray in your next video?
I think ‘Papa Maakichoo’ was featured in only two videos. We first work on the content and then decide to feature the characters based on the content. One cannot randomly feature a character in the video just because it is popular, otherwise, the essence of the character would diminish.
7. You play so many popular characters. Which one is your favorite?
Currently, it is ‘Titu Mama’.
8. What was the concept behind the characterization of ‘Titu Mama’?
It has been a while since I have written something on ‘Titu Mama’. In our Indian society, we find so many ‘Mama’ who are blunt and bindaas and they keep supporting their ‘bhanjas’, no matter what! So the idea was to present a ‘Mama’ which everyone could relate to. Whenever I come up with a new character, I am initially apprehensive whether the audience will relate to it or not but the audience could easily relate to the character of Titu Mama and now it has become a favorite character of so many people.
9. How did the ‘Yahavi Icons – Bhuvan Bham India Tour’ happen?
I think there has been an immense contribution from Yahavi Icons with respective to the tour. They were the ones who approached me with this. This was something which has to be done on a grand scale. I too felt the timing is right. People have already appreciated my videos but the experience of watching live with thousands of audience will be something different. So that is how I said yes for the tour.
10. You currently have over 4.5 million subscribers. How do you plan to celebrate once you reach 5 million subscribers?
I no longer think about the number of subscribers. It was when you popped the question I thought about it. Yes, everyone does have an aim. I had an aim of 1 million subscribers initially and I have achieved that. Now, I am no longer worried about the numbers game. I rather concentrate on things like my content, how is it being appreciated and how are people reacting to it.
11. What is the reason for not including south Indian cities in Bhuvan Bam India Tour?
I don’t think there is any reason for it because even cities like Mumbai, Guwahati are also not featured. There has been some brainstorming at the backend and the cities that we have selected now for the tour are found to have more fan following. But we are also going to have a second leg of the BB Indian tour where we will cover the cities not featured in the first leg.
12. How was the feeling of winning the ‘Most Popular Channel’ award at WebTVAsia Awards 2016 held at South Korea? How did it feel to represent India at the global level?
When it comes to representing India, I feel extremely proud of winning the award. It is the nation which has provided the resources for me to make videos so in a sense the award belongs more to the country than me. One cannot express in words the feeling of representing a country but I felt very happy about it.
13. You are being anointed as the ‘Baadshah of Indian YouTube’. What do you have to say about that?
‘Baadshahs’ will come and go. ‘Rajas’ will also come and go. Raja banne ke chakkar mein apna baaja na baj jaaye! Everyone is a pioneer in their own niche. The important thing is not to take such things to the head and keeping working on our content.
14. What has been the greatest fan moment for you?
There have been so many memorable fan moments so it’s difficult to pinpoint to anything in particular. But sometimes, I keep getting messages that someone’s kin was sick and was admitted to the hospital and they used to watch my videos on the hospital bed and laugh. The fact that my videos make patients smile is the greatest compliment I have received.
15. Has there been any change in the way the parents look at you now?
I don’t think there has been any change. I still get scolded for not filling the water bottles! But the dependency on them has decreased. Just kidding, I am as dependent on them as I was earlier! On a serious note, they are happy that I have become more responsible, stable and the fact that I am involved in something good.
16. Could you tell us more about your upcoming song and maybe hum a few lines of it?
The question on revealing the lyrics in an interview doesn’t arise at all. I had released my first song by collaborating with TVF while this time, I will be releasing the song exclusively on my channel.
And on that note, we conclude our conversation with Bhuvan Bam. Extremely down-to-earth, Bhuvan Bam’s quick sneak-peak into his journey came with complete sincerity and zero pretensions! Obviously, we are all excited about the Bhuvan Bam India Tour and cannot wait for its first leg to start! Pinkie Promise!