Last year, Yashraj Mukhate became an overnight Internet sensation when he added a musical spin to a dialogue from the the popular TV show Saath Nibhaana Saathiya and his mash-up went crazy viral on social media. Mr Mukhate has come a long way since then, and he recently sat down for an interview with Humans of Bombay to talk about his journey, what led to his first viral composition and more.
Yashraj Mukhate was three when he fell in love with music, thanks to a keyboard his “Baba” gifted him. “Even then, I knew I wanted to be a musician,” he says.
His parents were supportive, but they wanted him to get a college degree before pursuing his passion for music, and so he would attend engineering college in the mornings and make music in the evenings.
“Somehow, I completed my engineering and after that, I channelled all my energy towards music. I didn’t have proper equipment, so I’d create music using dal dabbas or chocolate wrappers. I’d make song covers and post them online,” says Mr Mukhate.
Work trickled in, but slowly. “Aai-Baba weren’t on social media, so they’d wonder what I was doing in the basement all day. I wanted to wait till I could show them a Yashraj Mukhate original,” says the artiste.
When he saw the Kokilaben video which was already viral on social media, Mr Mukhate worked on it for a day before posting his composition online. The dialogue already had a rhythm to it, he says.
In the scene, the character of Kokilaben is seen scolding her daughters-in-law Gopi Bahu and Rashi for putting a “khaali” or empty cooker on the gas.
“so I worked on the dialogue for a day and posted it online the next morning,” says Mr Mukhate. “When I switched on my phone in the evening, it was ringing off the hook.”
In the space of a few hours, Yashraj Mukhate’s catchy rap song had gone massively viral on social media. Till date, it has garnered nearly 14 million views on Instagram along – along with several millions more on other social media platforms.
Speaking about the aftermath of the viral fame he received, Mr Mukhate says it was “a lot to process”. “The rasoda video went viral because of the characters in the video,” he tells NDTV
“There were comments from my favourite celebrities. Smriti Ma’am shared my video,” he says, referring to Union Minister Smriti Irani. “Anurag Kashyap sir DM’d me saying, ‘Good work,’ and shared his number with me.”
As his phone rang off the hook and compliments poured in along with job offers, Mr Mukhate says he didn’t sleep properly for a week. “And finally Aai-Baba saw my work!” he adds.
“A year back, I was struggling to reach 10k followers for the swipe up feature, but just a day before, I crossed 2 million!”
Since finding success with the viral track, Yashraj Mukhate has worked on a song with Vishal Bharadwaj and been invited as a guest to talent hunt show L’il Champs, among other collaborations.
He has also created other music videos set to viral dialogues, and each of them has racked up millions of views on social media. His most recent compistion using the viral ‘Pawri ho rahi hai’ video by Pakistani influencer Dananeer Mobeen helped amplify the ‘pawri’ craze in India and crossed 7 million views on Instagram.
“Honestly, I was expecting the buzz around me to die down; we all know how social media works, but the small surprises I keep getting in the form of Tapsee Pannu recreating Biggini Shoot or Raveena Tandon Ma’am making a reel on ‘Tommy’ keep me going!” he says.
The music artiste concluded his interview by saying that people earlier referred to him as an engineer, but that has now changed to “Yashraj Mukhate, the artist.”
“Let’s see how life surprises me next, but abhi toh pawri ho rahi hai!” he says.
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