You are the most followed comedian/ content creator in Asia and you are all of 21. How did you manage to get there so soon and when did you realise that comedy skits happen to be your true calling in life?
I started created content when I was really young, 10 years and fans discovered me much later on but I have been on YouTube since the inception of the platform. I don’t think I have discovered my true calling or my full potential yet and I believe it’s all variable. I like to do different things and especially things that make me curious. I don’t showcase it to everybody but I like to write a lot and I have a lot of material which is just sitting there on my laptop. I would like to execute all of it when I feel the time is right and people are ready for it.I started making videos in 2009, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I decided I wanted to do it full-time. It took me eight years before I achieved moderate success. I am so grateful to the audience because without them I don’t think it would have been possible to be Asia’s #1 YouTuber. I consider myself lucky and blessed to be in this position where people love and respect me unconditionally. I believe more than the numbers, it’s about the impact you have on so many lives. It’s indeed a moment of pride that an Indian is leading in Asia now.
Tell us the story behind your stage name CarryMinati
The alias for me is just a cool-sounding name; there is no story behind the name actually.
You are now a musician as well. How have your peers reacted to this career deviation and what has the overall response been like?
I like to experiment a lot, a lot of people have been nice enough to support me and then there are a bunch of people who think I should just stop doing it and focus on roasting. I am currently 21 and if you tell me I won’t be better in next 5 years that just doesn’t make sense, yes good things do take time and right now there will be people who won’t accept me as musician the way they accept me as a YouTuber but I know it will change and I have to just keep doing what I do with the love and support of my fans.
Just like most comedians, you have courted multiple controversies and that too at a ripe age. How did you tackle all that was being said and written bout you at the time and how did you come out of that phase?
Some days I take it in my stride and on some days, I am disturbed by it, we are all human after all! Controversies are a cathartic experience that allows me to introspect and gain perspective. You can’t always expect people to say nice things about you, you need to be a sport when the bad things come your way, because everyone will have an opinion that you may not like. I mean I was roasted a hundred times before I even took this profession up seriously and I took all of it in my stride.Stand-up comedy also faced a similar resistance in its formative years till it became a fad.
The path that you have chosen for yourself is pretty unconventional. How did your folks react to that? Do they watch your content and what is the sweetest/ most bizarre reaction that your parents have given to your body of work so far?
No doubt my parents were a massive pillar of support when I first started out but there was discipline inculcated. They made me promise them that I would complete my education via distance learning. I never abused the power my parents vested in me and I always understood my responsibility towards the family. Finally, they came around and understood the potential of what I brought to the table with my digital content. Yes, they’ve seen all my videos and to be honest the sweetest reaction was ‘we underestimated your potential and it’s like there are two personalities living under the same roof with us’.
As you already know, the attention span of your viewers can be short lived at times. What is it that you are doing to stay on top of your game? What lies ahead for you – professionally as well as personally?
I do understand the retention challenge so I try to be relatable and authentic. I feel that’s what makes me connect with the masses. Just want to keep creating good content, work on a musical album and some stellar collaborations.
Tell us about your collaboration with music composers Salim-Sulaiman
It was an honour to work with Salim-Sulaiman sir. I have been an avid fan of theirs since I was a child so working with them was a walk down memory lane. Salim sir reached out to me and asked if I would be interested to joining forces with him. I heard the track and thought of giving a collaboration try.
You are all set to make your acting debut with ‘Mayday’ alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn. What was your reaction? And, how did it happen?
What made it really interesting for me to align forces on ‘MayDay’ was when I heard I am supposed to be essaying my own gaming alias. I eat, breathe, sleep and live my character every single day. I got to learn a thing or two about acting from Ajay Devgn sir. ‘MayDay’ isn’t my full-fledged debut. It’s more like an extension of what I do. I dedicate 10 hours a day for content creation and I’d like to consider that as my passion and calling, acting and music for me is a medium where I can showcase my art to a more varied audience. For me, personally, my authentic acting innings will happen when I secure an opportunity to dedicate myself wholeheartedly to the art. Everything else I do right now I consider as a special appearance.
Tell us about your new track ‘Vardaan’
2020 got me reminiscing about lot of things, including my early teenage years and how I acquired distinction and success despite all the odds. Last year was quite disheartening in a lot of ways, so I along with my brother Wily Frenzy (music composer and producer) thought we’d kickstart 2021 on a more encouraging note by giving out a strong positive message to the millennial community. This track is a dedication to all the young minds out there to not pay heed to the opinions of those who don’t matter. This track signifies my personal life story of the trials and tribulations I faced whilst pursuing my passion and I hope my humble effort will inspire the youth in some way.