For viral sensation Yashraj Mukhate, abhi to party shuru hui hai

For Yashraj Mukhate, who now has almost 4.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, the journey to fulfil his musical aspirations has just begun.

YouTube and social media have come as a blessing to creators like Yashraj Mukhate who have managed to get recognition and work opportunities by sharing their talent on a public domain.

Unless you have been living in a rasoda or under a rock, it is highly unlikely that you haven’t heard off or seen a video composed by Yashraj Mukhate who cheered us up considerably last year with his dialogue mashups and musical memes. Rasode Mein Kaun Thha, Biggini Shoot, Sadda Kutta Tommy, and the latest viral video Pawri ho rahi hain have all been runaway successes, and the inspiration for thousands of memes and video clips that have flooded social media platforms.

But for Yashraj, who now has almost 4.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, the journey to fulfil his musical aspirations has just begun.

The genial looking musician and content creator grew up listening to music and learning the keyboard from his father in Aurangabad. “My father bought me my first keyboard when I was a kid, and I learnt by watching him play,” Yashraj says as he talks about how his love story with music began. Even today, his family always has good music playing when they go about doing their morning chores.

Like many youngsters who come to Mumbai to fulfil their dreams, Yashraj too journeyed to the maximum city to try his luck as a musician. But the high rents and low levels of privacy and space to compose music, meant that he returned soon to Aurangabad. But thanks to the internet and social media, he has managed to collaborate with musicians from around the world while working from his studio.

While Yashraj grew up learning music, he is a self-taught music producer. In fact, he shared his first song Yu Juda, on YouTube when he was in class 9. Though he jokes about how little he knew back then and how bad the song sounds to him today, his passion and devotion to music has remained unchanged over the years. Yashraj started singing at parties and corporate events when he was in class 10 and that’s how he earned his first paycheque of Rs 5000. Since then, there was no looking back. The Dev D album was another huge influence on a young Yashraj. “The song Nain Tarse in particular completely changed my perception of Hindi film music and got me interested in learning more about music and music production much more seriously,” he shares.

Though he did complete his engineering degree, he confesses he would attend college and then spend hours teaching himself music production using online videos and guides. Yashraj shares with great honesty that the inspiration for the dialogue mashups and musical memes originally came from Dub Sharma whose work he enjoyed. But he differentiated himself by creating original pieces of music and harmony, that would rhythmically compliment the dialogues he was working with.

Interestingly, making funny videos was never the plan. Yashraj shares that in all his most popular videos, there are actual pieces of music that can be enjoyed minus the popular dialogues in them, a fact that he says successful music composers have picked up on as well. Its only when Rasode mein kaun thha and Biggini Shoot became popular and he started getting feedback from people, did he realise that people were actually finding his videos quite creative in the humour department as well.

Yashraj shares that his process is quite simple. He looks for clips that have an inherent rhythm or musicality in them. After downloading the clip, he then loads the audio onto his software and first identifies the main hook or segment that he can start composing around. For the Rasoda video it was the line Yeh Rashi thhi, while for Biggini shoot it was the two lines of interaction, “Biggini Shoot, what shoot? “. Sometimes, like with Sada Kutta Tommy, he heard SRK playing the dhol in his head almost instantly. On other occasions, he has to jam for a couple of hours before he gets the right.

Sharing some insights about how he has differentiated his work using his music production skills, he says, “All my videos have a structure; there is an intro, a bridge and a chorus. I make sure that though I am using dialogues, it should sound like a song. Maybe that’s why people are enjoying my work”.

But what most people who love his videos, perhaps don’t appreciate, is just how well they are edited. When asked, he was thrilled that this aspect of his work had finally been acknowledged. Editing is another skill he has taught himself, and after he finishes composing the music and editing the audio of his clips, he then proceeds to work on the visuals and then shoots his own segments that feature in each video. Yashraj finds acting very stressful though and confesses that he has to film multiple takes before finally getting it right. His goofy expressions often mirror the audience’s bemused reactions to the antics of those in the video, only adding to the humour quotient of his content.

YouTube and social media have come as a blessing to creators like him who have managed to get recognition and work opportunities by sharing their talent on a public domain. Yashraj is now being approached by filmmakers and production houses to compose the background score for web series, films and digital ads. He believes that platforms like YouTube have greatly democratised the process of content creation, allowing talented youngsters a means of getting recognition.

However, he is quick to add that there is no substitute to hard work and consistency. “One has to keep working and creating content, and if you have the talent, you will eventually gain recognition” he adds while talking about what advice he gives those just starting out as creators. But inspite of all his success and popularity, Yashraj is still completely grounded and realistic. He has no qualms acknowledging that though he is at the top of his game when it comes to music production, he is going to focus on his music composition skills in 2021.

‘Viral by nature means that the popularity won’t last forever’ he quips rather philosophically and reveals that his long-term goal is to become a successful music composer. The mashups and musical memes are fun and have given him great exposure, but what his heart really beats for are collaborations with real artists like Rekha Bharadwaj with whom he recently created an acapella version of the song Insaaf from the film Talvaar. Though it has just 2 million views compared to the 45 million views for ‘pawri ho rahi hain’, eventually Yashraj wants people to see that he has a lot more to offer as an artist.

Truly for Yashraj Mukhate, abhi to pawri shuru hui hain.

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