He has a lovely twinkle in his eyes, there’s that childlike mischief hidden in his eyes.It’s almost like he will be up to some mischief any minute! But as you get talking to him, you realise how full of wisdom he is and I even joke with him and tell him that he should be called Baba Bhuvan Bam and he laughs. He knows exactly what he wants and where he stands.
In and exclusive interview with this YouTube sensation and everyone’s favorite, Bhuvan Bam, he tells us how it works. “YouTube is such a place that if you keep doing the same old things again and again and don’t bring something new, then somebody else will take your place. Artists usually feel that the world revolves around them, but they don’t realise that if they do nothing new, people will forget them and someone else will replace them.That’s the bitter fact about this industry, you might feel that you are relevant, but no it doesn’t work that way. So that is why it is important to work with passion and whatever you do, do it with passion,” says Bhuvan in a very matter of fact manner and he has my attention right away.
Not many people are aware that behind that face that makes some of the most entertaining videos, there is a huge tragedy he is dealing with in his personal life at only 25 years of age. His father is bedridden and sadly does not even recognise him. But Bhuvan is very subtle about it, he tells me, “Yes baba has been bedridden but we are grateful to still have him and his blessings with us. I don’t need to tell people what I am going through, people watch my videos to get entertained and whatever I am going through is my personal life, so why should I bring that up in my videos again and again? Having said that, I did make a video where I explained my whole situation only once, for people to know that we all go through tragedies in life but what we need to do is move on and keep doing what we have to and not make that an excuse.”
Read on to know more about this extremely wise and likeable guy.
What do you think worked for you?
What worked for me is perhaps my content, it caters to every age group from kids to college going youngsters and their problems that they cannot share with their parents.They can relate to what I do and say. For example the constant fight with our moms for those missing empty dubbas! Also the language I use is not really explicit but it’s just the way two friends talk, when two friends are talking I can guarantee you that they will never speak without adding a gaali!
What is your strength when it comes to work?
Till you don’t tell people what you do, how will they know? A lot of people think I am a stand up comedian but I’ve never been on stage. I have a stage fright. My strength lies in my acting and writing. I write from my heart. When I introduced my first song it was a huge risk, I was worried how people would react to it. The first day I got a lot of flak, but today it is so popular that wherever I go I just have to strum the first line and people go crazy. So my point is till you don’t tell people what you can do, how will they know? That’s the power. One must also understand that the audience for Instagram and YouTube are totally different. YouTube is hardcore BBK Vines but on Instagram you should never portray characters, there I am only and only Bhuvam Bam as a person. There I tell them how I am as a person.
When does your mind work best?
My ideas come at bizarre times. For example two of the scenes I have written, I have seen them in my dreams. It’s the one called angry Masterji. If I sit down thinking today I will write, it will never happen. It comes to me at the most bizarre places and times.
Have you ever had to struggle in life or did things come to you easily?
Frankly I wouldn’t say I had to struggle. Even when I was singing in the restaurant, I did it at my own will because I enjoyed it and I wanted to. My Aai and Baba were working and earned enough, so I really don’t have to work to support my parents etc.I do what I do because I enjoy it, not only for the money.
Do you have any kind of fear? Like the fear of one day waking up and being irrelevant?
Like I said earlier, the day you think you are the best and you know it all then you’re doomed. We have to work with this fear thinking that we are not irreplaceable, there is someone else to take our place. That fear itself will drive you to do better. That fear is necessary.
What’s next? Do we see you in Bollywood soon?
I have no intentions of getting into Bollywood. I have been getting offers everyday but I have had to say no with a heavy heart and respect for the seniority. I don’t think it’s right. Bollywood is all about one Friday, it decides your fate where there are over 100 crores people judging you.The film audience will go out of the theater and then review it verbally or otherwise but with YouTube, the audience will write and give you gaalis there and then immediately, within 5 to 6 minutes of uploading the video! You get to know right away the likes and dislikes.
How do you take all the criticism?
I have a simple funda, if you try to please everybody, you will probably go mad.It’s impossible to make everyone happy.I am lucky that the people who don’t like my videos are less than the ones who like them.These are the people who will push the video forward.
Are you going to experiment further, come out with a new format a chat show or something?
During the end of 2018 I did a new chat show which was a ‘sasta’ version of Koffee With Karan, it was more like a ‘chai tapri’ show. The very first guest was Shah Rukh Khan. He happily agreed to come to the show and that shows that even the celebrities are happily enjoying the atmosphere and coming to promote their films. I have a set audience and whatever I put up it has to be justified, if I take things for granted then that will be the end.
Who do you think is your biggest critic?
We have to stop surrounding ourselves with the types who say, “arree wah!” then there is no hope left for you. Those are things we already know. But if the people who are close to you, like your parents, family and close friends, tell you that you have done a good job then that is genuine and something that holds great value.
How do you see the social media trend in a year’s time?
The changes have already started. Today the entire Bollywood is on YouTube. They plan their promotions in such a way by checking how many likes and views the videos are getting.It’s fun to see the change. Earlier you had to stand in a long line to show your talent for someone to tell us whether we are good or bad but we have a platform now.
What is the biggest misconception that people have about YouTubers?
The biggest is that people think we make a lot of money. We upload a video and money just flows towards us. But no it’s not like that, also in India we earn in rupees and not dollars! It’s not that easy.
You did say that you’re not interested in Bollywood but if you ever got into Bollywood, which is the one character you would love to play?
Apart from the hero or heroine ka bhai, I would maybe do anything. The bhais are the first ones to get killed in most Hindi films(Laughs). Maybe I would like to play the ‘sutradhar'(narrator).The one who takes the film forward because he’s the one who people always remember.
He’s already made his mark and people not only remember him, but he has millions of followers, probably even more than some of the Bollywood stars! Bhuvan Bam is a star in his own right!