15th December 2021
Digital Editor & Interview: Pankhuri Bhutani
Photo Credits: Ajey Nagar
Logo Design: Emily Curtis
Widely known through his alias ‘CarryMinati’, Ajey Nagar was merely the age of 10 when he posted his first YouTube video. Since then he has earned the title and transformed into the most subscribed YouTuber in Asia with over 30 Million subscribers. Even though Ajey’s massive popularity is mostly based through his impeccable skills of roasting, he has also extensively branched out to a diverse array of fields including music, gaming and acting. He will soon be marking his debut in Bollywood by starring in Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn starrer movie ‘MayDay’.
In our latest digital cover, we take a closer look into the life of one of the most prominent personalities of India- the sensational CarryMinati.
Hi there Ajey! Thank you for joining us on ReVamp! How are you doing these days? Is there anything that you’re currently doing in order to maintain your productivity?
In the current turbulent times, I feel maintaining your sanity has taken the front seat over a lot of things. I’ve been spending time working on creating experimental
You are the first individual creator to cross 30 million subscribers in India and Asia. How does it feel to be achieving such a pivotal stage in your life?
I am so grateful to the audience because without them I don’t think it would have been possible. I consider myself lucky and blessed to be in this position where people love 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 for all of us that an Indian is leading in Asia now.
While what I do appears to be the most fun job on the planet there are a lot of shortcomings that tag along with the responsibility of being Asia’s number 1 YouTube creator and adds up to the whole pressure. You see it’s not enough to simply generate great content. The audience expects consistency and frequency if you want to stand out in a crowd. Having said that my aim was never to ace some world record, it was always about enjoying what I did and if success came my way then it was due to the love of my fans, blessings of my family and God’s grace.
You are also a phenomenal rapper and have showcased your talent through tracks like ‘Vardaan’, ‘Yalgaar’, ‘Zindagi’, ‘Trigger’, ‘Warrior’, ‘Bye PewDiePie’ and many more. What made you realize that you wanted to extend your creative potentials from YouTube to music?
I am as passionate about music as I am about gaming. It helps me express myself better since I’m quite the introvert. Music helps me speak my soul language. The response to my music releases has always been encouraging and motivates me to work harder. I am taking my time in harnessing my skills in a more disciplined fashion so that I can drop songs more frequently.
I am not sure if I have a name for you currently . I am still trying to find my own grounds, still trying to figure out what I want to make & what I don’t. I think the next 5 years of my life would be more about experimenting & understand my body of work better. Ask me 5 years from now and I might have an answer for you.
What was the creative process like with the tracks? If you could collaborate with one artist on your songs in the future, who would you like it to be and why?
It’s a mix of all of emotions. Happy, fun, sad, emotional & then there are days that you would just struggle to progress in it but I guess that is what every artist goes through. Right now I am trying to discover more music but currently nothing makes me feel like I want to create something so the journey is still in progress.
You will also be making your highly awaited acting debut in the Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn starrer thriller-drama ‘Mayday’. Huge congratulations on that! How did this iconic opportunity come into existence?
I’m so grateful to Kumar Mangat Pathak ji who telephoned my business head and cousin Deepak Char for this project. I was never scouting for Bollywood acting projects but what made it really interesting for me to alignforces on MayDay was when I heard I am supposed to be essaying my own character (CarryMinati). I eat, breathe, sleep and live my character every single day.
Though if you ask me, my authentic acting innings will happen when I secure an opportunity to dedicate myself wholeheartedly to the art unflinchingly, everything else I do right now I consider as a special appearance. Currently I dedicate 10 hours in a day for content creation which will never take a backseat 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.
How was it like working with such talented individuals? What was the experience like on the set?
It has been quite a novel experience. I never imagined I could be a one take artist and specially when facing such legends in reality but the entire team was very encouraging and supportive.
Kindly walk us through a usual day of making your videos. How do you find the perfect idea for your YouTube channel?
I wouldn’t say there is a fixed schedule because my content is more impromptu. It takes 3–4 weeks generally to evaluate the relevance of a topic to executing the whole video if there are no skits involved. It all depends on the format of the video. If it is a consecutive action-reaction video it takes me two weeks. If it’s a rant or a current topic it can take more than a month because I have to create a base which is further modified and shot, thereafter I take feedback from my management team to gauge how much more fine tuning is required. I do make my videos from scratch. I edit, write and perform myself. I don’t have a team for content creation but I have a team that helps me with graphic work, making thumbnails, static posts, etc.
Gaming comes naturally to me, not only do I like playing games but I feel it helps me to connect with the external world. I think that’s unique to connect with strangers with the sole objective of just having pure plain hearted fun. I firmly believe gaming can be a positive and stress busting activity. Creating a roast video is like an opportunity to get yourself educated on a subject thoroughly and learn something new, to get innovative and put on your thinking cap of how to make the content piece interactive and over the top. Every video is not a ride but a journey for me as it’s a brand new learning lesson every time.
I like to experiment with my content so I can always put out something new for my viewers, with my new video I wanted to talk about social media and cancel culture in a way that would pertinent for my audience and I got a lot positive feedback for it. You see it’s not a few hours of work to generate innovative and interactive content and you can face a creative block more often than expected. I take months to put together content because there’s method to the madness. The audience expects consistency and frequency. Without these, it’s incredibly easy to slip off the radar and lose favor with the algorithm that gave you your success.
There are times when I’m looking at myself in the camera before a video upload and telling myself this will be my last video because of the mental fatigue. But then I recall the hundreds of fan correspondences that told me how my content was life altering and had helped them overcome difficult times. Sometimes it really hurts when people are critical of my art without knowing me or my back story.
My platform is a place where you can set yourself free and be your most authentic self without being judged and I think that’s biggest vantage point. My USP is relatability and authenticity. You need to speak the millennial’s soul language to be relatable. My biggest win is the love and support I get from the masses by not being biased to any character and just being myself!
You are also the first Indian YouTuber to incorporate animation in your YouTube video. What made you come upon this decision?
Yes I put out ‘Uncanny Roaches’ recently. I’ve always toyed with the idea of experimenting with animation since I’ve childhood memories associated with cartoons and my style of roast comedy is better leveraged with animation which breaks away from the limitations that comes along with live action. In 2017 I had come in contact with various illustrators but they helped create animated posters which I use as my profile picture, followed by 2018 where I hoped I’d script an animated series featuring all my reel characters, but I never got down to doing it since my performance style was more improv.
This is when I realized that I needed to hone my assimilation skills to attain that sense of presentational faultlessness. In October 2020, after a pretty upsetting week I decided I’d finally work towards compiling a top-notch animated video. The initial title that came to my mind for the video in that bleak state then was ‘A Meeting With The Devil’ but then ofcourse we improvised it to ‘Uncanny Roaches’. I began scripting for the animated video around November 2020 but was occupied with ‘Mayday’ and ‘Vardaan’ in December 2020 and January 2021 and then in February 2021 my grandmother unfortunately passed away.
I still tried working late nights on the animation scripting but was not able to focus due to the personal loss but by the first week of March 2021 the first draft of the animation was scripted. Post this, I binge watched the entire season of Big Boss for the roast video. It took me close to 2 months to perfect this entire series. I’ve also returned to my older methodology as I feel my creative evolution has taken a full circle.
It’s an upgraded version of CarryMinati and the whole goal was to present the best video of my lifetime. At the start of my career, it was pure passion play for me, quality over quantity, and I’ve adapted to that mindset with this video. Being true to my art, circumventing the pressure to deliver and letting the magic happen organically and authentically
What are the top three things in your bucket list for the year 2021?
To stay healthy and happy, to extend a helping hand to people in need and to inspire & entertain people in these tough times through my content.
Lastly, is there any message that you would like to convey to your fans reading this interview right now?
We’ve been together in this amazing journey from zero to over 30 million fans now, literally “road se crore tak ki hai yeh zindagi”. Keep supporting and loving, there’s a lot in store for you guys. Keep following your dreams and make our nation and your parents proud. Take care and stay safe!