By: ASJAD NAZIR
SOME of the most exciting young creative talent emerging in India are not from the worlds of film, music or television, but Gen Z digital content creators like Naveen Singh, who is carving out his own path online.
The 20-year-old from Delhi, popularly known as ‘Bihari Ladka’, has drawn in more than 5.39 million followers across all platforms, including 1.6 million on Instagram, with his short comedy videos.
The relatable reels filled with humour, including ones with his grandmother, have not only entertained the online community, but also shown off his impressive talent as a writer, actor and director. Hailing from a middle-class family in the north Indian city of Ghaziabad, he has raised awareness on issues including discrimination, and worked with celebrities. In addition, he is inspiring a new generation to believe they can also blaze their own trail.
Eastern Eye caught up with the young content creator to talk about his journey, inspirations, and key advice for those wanting to follow in his footsteps.
What would you say made you want to become a content creator?
Since I was a kid, I’ve been interested in dance. I performed in schools, competitions, and other events before beginning to upload my dance videos on YouTube. Following that, I began creating short sketches about daily life, and people began to enjoy and relate to them.
What inspired your Bihari Ladka persona?
I chose this name because I am from Bihar and very proud to be a Bihari. It just felt natural. Also, most of my content is in Hindi, hence the name ‘Bihari Ladka’ (boy from Bihar).
Did you ever imagine you would become so successful and popular?
I still can’t believe this is happening. It’s as if I’m dreaming because it’s all so surreal. All the love I’ve received has been incredible. I never imagined this would happen. I need to grow even more and continue to entertain my audience in any way possible.
What drew you towards comedy and where do you get your ideas from?
What’s better than making someone laugh when they are having a bad day? Just looking around inspires me, as does the humour in everyone’s daily lives. I just take a funny situation and try and make it even funnier. I get great ideas from people around me, including my friends and family. Also, quirky people I’ve met, observed and known. I use all the fun and drama we have in our lives as material.
Does being so popular put pressure on you when thinking of new ideas?
Yes, on occasion. We have a lot on our minds when we write scripts, including the fact that we cannot offend any religion, caste or political party. I also need to be careful not to say the same thing twice. Many factors constrain your creativity and thoughts.
What has been the most memorable moment from this journey so far?
When I went to Australia for the first time to watch India play Pakistan in the cricket World Cup. I was one of the first regional creators from India to represent the country there. That was a very special moment for me.
What is the experience of creating videos with your grandmother like?
Making videos with my dadi (paternal grandmother) is incredible. She is very supportive and helpful during my brainstorming or creative process. I had to explain the process to her at first, but she quickly picked it up and now does it better than me, I guess. She never worried about what others would say or whether this was right. She is always encouraging and loving.
What is the plan going forward?
I have big future plans. I would like to work in movies and web series, and hopefully, I’ll be able to do that soon. I’m determined to work hard for my fans and entertain them in any way I can.
You are a favourite of many, but which content creator do you admire?
I am inspired by people who are doing good things. Seeing them motivates you. Being with them in the same space forces me to learn and explore new things. I don’t have a favourite, I like many of them. So all of my people are my favourites.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
My dream is to work with Shah Rukh Khan. I love him so much. He has been my favourite actor for a long time and working with him would be like a dream come true for me.
What advice would you give any aspiring content creators out there?
My advice to all the aspiring content creators would be to work hard, be true to yourself and your work, and never give up. Once you are into something, try and complete it.
Who is your hero?
My hero is my father. He has always been my idol and inspired me in so many ways.
What inspires you?
I get inspired when I see people who work hard and create new things. People who work hard to achieve their objectives. Someone who makes their parents proud. Someone who is not envious of other people’s success. I think that it is preferable to be inspired by others rather than being jealous of and competing with them.
Finally, why do you like being an online content creator?
I love to make content. I love making people smile and when people relate to my content, it feels good. I get to learn so many new things every day, which I think is the best part of connecting with people and making content.
Instagram and YouTube: @bihariladka