To last longer, you need to be creatively original – Bhuvan Bam
In just a year, New Delhi’s 22-year-old Bhuvan Bam has become the youngest Indian vlogger to cross one million subscribers on his YouTube channel BB Ki Vines. The singer, songwriter and music composer turned YouTuber is a one man army who writes, acts in, shoots and edits his own videos. Bam, who started his career as a singer in a restaurant at the age of 18, has made the character of Bancho a part of his fan’s lives. We get up, close and personal with Bam.
How did BB Ki Vines happen?
BB Ki Vines happened by accident. During the Jammu floods, there was a news reporter who asked a lady, ‘How do you feel about losing your son in the floods?’ This illogical brainless question provoked me to make a satirical video and post it on social media. I randomly created a page with a couple of more videos, which then went viral.
What has made your channel so popular amongst viewers?
People, especially the youth, connect with my content. Youngsters relate to every situation that I portray. Hence, relatability is the key to its success.
Relatability is the key to its success
Did you ever anticipate your videos going viral like they did?
Not really. As I said, it was all random. But gradually when more people started following (the channel), its popularity grew even faster.
Getting more than 100 million views on YouTube, 504K Instagram and 14 thousand Twitter followers in just one year is a huge deal. Was there a marketing plan involved?
No. Till now, I have spent just Rs. 500 in the marketing of BB Ki Vines. That too in the early days, when I was exploring Facebook’s advertising tools. All my followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are organic and by word of mouth.
You have faced criticism for the content of some of your videos and usage of cuss words. How do you deal with such instances?
Criticism is a part of every art; you can’t please everyone. A video might not get the desired appreciation. So the best way to get rid of it (the criticism) is to stay positive and keep working.
Criticism is a part of every art; you can’t please everyone
You’ve featured in TVF’s Bhootiyapa Bachelors Vs Ghost and have been collaborating with them for over a year now. How important is to collaborate with other players in this field?
I think collaborations are very important in order to grow as an artist. You get to share each other’s audiences. I would like to collaborate with any artist if the project is beneficial for me.
How do you consistently keep creating content that is popular and appreciated by all? Do you also face a writer’s block situation?
That (Writer’s block) is very common with any writer. It’s quite pressurizing to be consistent and keep producing the same quality of content. Especially for me, as I’m the only one writing and performing all the 13+ characters. But I’m a keen observer and most of the topics in BB Ki Vines are influenced by my personal experiences. Meeting different kinds of people helps me in creating new characters.
Today entertainment is taking new forms. Most of the people now have access to the Internet so they prefer YouTube for their daily dose of fun. It’s quite a positive change because people are fed up of daily soaps.
The Internet and social media have played a vital role in your success. Had these platforms not been there, there would have been limited scope to showcase your talent. Your thoughts?
I feel very lucky to have YouTube as a platform to showcase my talent in front of the world and I have managed to use it intelligently. Before YouTube, the only way to get recognized was TV auditions. But now, people have a great medium to showcase their talent.
I feel very lucky to have YouTube as a platform to showcase my talent in front of the world
You play almost 15 different characters on your channel. How would you define the real Bhuvan Bam?
I’m a reserved lad. I prefer being in my own zone. ‘Not socialising’ is one of my favorite hobbies!
Since you were a musician, would you say that BB Ki Vines has given an edge to your current career?
While doing music, I had a particular set of followers. They loved my songs and were regulars for my shows. But BB Ki Vines has given me worldwide recognition.
BB Ki Vines has given me worldwide recognition
Are you happy with the monetization process of YouTube videos? Don’t you think it is a bit too less?
YouTube’s monetization is quite less in India. The reason being that only 30% of people are using YouTube. The rest are still watching TV. Hopefully, 10 years down the lane the situation might improve.
I’ve read that Bollywood is your ultimate destination. What kind of roles would you want to do and which directors are on your wish list?
I love humour. But exploring my versatility is the aim. I look up to Anurag Kashyap; working with him is definitely on my bucket list.
What are your future plans?
YouTube, until Bollywood calls.
To last longer, you need to be creatively original
Any message to upcoming vloggers?
Please stop copying from other artists. This might give you short lived fame but to last longer, you need to be creatively original. Originality is the key!