South Sensation: With 3.5 million subscribers and over 500 Million views, YouTuber Madan Gowri shines a light on social issues
26-year-old Madan Gowri, who hails from Madurai, is an absolute delight in the Indian YouTube sphere.
Public speaking and performing is something that he has picked up, purely due to the fact that he wants social issues to be voiced and heard by audiences and reflected upon.
As he is constantly showcasing topics such as women’s safety, environmental issues, history, motivation, and trivia, on his channel, his fans always have something to talk about and keep the conversation flowing.
He has the ability to relate instantly to a crowd, and take complex issues and make them both understandable and entertaining.
Some of his popular videos include, ‘Never Visit These 7 Temples,’ ‘What the World Thinks About India,’
‘Sundar Pichai Inspiring Story’ ‘Noah Time Traveller’ ‘How to text your crush’ and ‘Mona Lisa Hidden Secrets,’ amongst a slew of others in the categories of Time Travel, History, Fun information, Science and Motivation.
Most recently amidst lockdown, Madan has been coming up with videos relating to the coronavirus pandemic, such as ‘This will never end’ ‘4th lock and 20 lakh crores’ and ‘It is changing now.’
YouTuber Madan Gowri
With around 3.5 million subscribers and close to 500M views on his YouTube channel, Madan is considered to be a highly influential force, and is often lauded for his well-researched content, infographics, and visuals.
He was awarded the 'Best Vlogger of the Year' title for the Black Sheep Award, and he recently collaborated on his first video song with rapper Arivu of Therukural fame.
In an exclusive interview with YS Weekender, Madan Gowri talks about his content creation process, his tryst with stardom, and his recent video collaborations.
YSW: How does it feel at the age of 26 to be one of the biggest south Indian YouTubers out there?
MG: Surreal! I never imagined this. All my life, I have always been a shy and skinny kid who was always ignored in a crowd. To think that I started as an engineer and ended up as a YouTuber is unbelievable!
YSW: Were you always interested in performing, and being in front of the camera since a young age?
MG: I had never been in front of a video camera before my first video. It is crazy that it has become my profession now. Like I said, I am an engineer and performing in front of the camera was never on the cards.
YSW: Tell us a little a bit about how you got into the content creation space.
MG: I uploaded my first video back in 2016 when I was struggling with a personal long-distance relationship and was pursuing my master's degree abroad. After that, I remember hearing about the infamous Swathi murder case, where an Infosys employee was murdered in broad daylight, which made me feel extremely helpless for not being able to respond to it in any way! I was in the US back then and that’s when I posted an emotional video on the same.
The video clocked in 50K + views in just 24 hours and that’s when YouTube was full-fledged.
After that, I left my full-time job as an engineer, came back to India and became a full-time content creator.
Madan Gowri speaks up regularly on social issues
YSW: Who were some of your early inspirations in your youth in the performing world?
MG: I have been a huge fan of two YouTubers for the past 5 years: PewDiePie (Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg) for his sheer consistency and Marques Brownlee.
My early inspiration is Steve Jobs, I am amazed at how a kid with no big family names or fancy money could put a ding in the universe.
YSW: How do you feel the COVID-19 lockdown is affecting people, and what is your motivational advice to your fans and followers.
MG: I think the best of our work comes out when you are pushed to the wall. The world is pushed to the wall right now. People have spent months inside the house! This is a first in human history. Everyone is back to zero! It is a fresh start and I think we must just start afresh, and the world is ours. This is the time to act on our dreams with full conviction, but of course innovatively!
Madan Gowri is always welcome to fans suggestions and interacts with his viewers daily.
YSW: How do you come up with the ideas for your videos, and what are some of your personal favourite segments/videos you have created on your channel?
MG: I ask my subscribers to suggest topics under my current videos. So, they are my bosses. I deliver what they ask for.
It’s a very interactive channel. My personal favourite would be any video where I talk about history! Personally, I am fascinated by humans who lived before us.
YSW: You recently collaborated with rapper Arivu of Therukural fame. What was the experience like being in your first song video?
MG: It was a huge learning experience. Arivu helped me understand so much about music and things I had never known. The closest association I had with music before this was to listen to it on headphones! Lol!
Monkeys with 5G,Varigal Video Song released last week on Madan Gowri's YouTube channel
YSW: Tell us about the song
MG: The song, according to our knowledge, is the country’s first ever Animoji video shot completely on an iPhone 11. It is about how we have evolved so much as humans yet delve into casteism and discrimination.
We have come such a long way and yet, we are still so adamant about letting go of hate!
The takeaway from it would be the final line of the song which says - It is a simple idea; Humanity is the only thing that matters. Caste, creed, religion and race are all man made. These should never be used as a measure of humans. As a society if we follow these divides, no matter how technologically advanced we are, we will remain animals.
YSW: Are you looking to collaborate with more YouTubers/Influencers in the future? Who are some of the individuals you would like to work with?
MG: Yes, I would like to work with more independent musicians, actors and content creators. Also, YouTube collaborations across languages would be fun.
I recently had a panel discussion with YouTubers Ashish Chanchlani, BeerBiceps, Be YouNick and Rickshawali and it was so much fun. I learnt so much. I will be happy to collaborate with them! If some ideas can be worked out, and with English subtitles the language barriers will be a thing of the past.
YSW: Since you discuss a wide range of topics in your YouTube videos, like women’s safety, environmental issues, current issues and motivational content, how do you explain complex issues in a simple manner?
MG: I put myself in the viewer's point of view. I know my audience is highly spread out from 3-year-olds to 80 years olds. So, I take my time to lay out the base of the topic in the first few minutes, and then I explain it in a colloquial way.
I think that’s what my audience likes about me. I can give simple explanations for complex issues with well researched infographics and visuals.
Madan believes that his ability to make complex issues understandable appeals to his audience.
YSW: What are your future plans? Are you currently working on some exciting new content? If so, what will your next video be?
MG: I am taking one day at a time currently. I plan to, of course, give my audience a lot more content going forward!
I am also working on a short film. It is about how I started my YouTube channel. And a song about travel and nature is also in the pipeline, for which I have collaborated with another independent artist.
YSW: What do you like doing most on the weekend when not creating meaningful content?
MG: I create content 365 days a year. I have a few hours to myself after I post a video for the day, during which I go for long drives with my friends. I am a very simple person.
Sometimes you can spot me at Chennai’s Marina beach late into the night, roaming with my friends or just sitting all alone and staring at the waves.