Meet YouTube sensation Be YouNick who has 7 million followers across digital platforms and over 1.2 billion online video views
Nikunj Lotia, popularly known as ‘Be YouNick’ on his YouTube channel is a leading personality in the comedy sphere. He has over 7 million followers till date and over 1.2 billion online views on his videos and counting.
Originally from Dombivili, Maharashtra, Nikunj did a number of jobs like working at a call centre, bartending, and wedding planning to make ends meet. When the Internet boom happened in 2015 Nikunj took to the digital arena and rose to fame.
Soon his videos started to get recognition and his subscribers grew in proportion to his popularity. Some of his popular segments are, ‘When you live in Dombivli,’ ‘First Date,’ ‘Men will be Men,’ ‘If Pablo Escobar was Indian’ and ‘Job interview gone wrong’, featuring Bollywood actor Rajkummar Rao.
Nikunj Lotia is also known as 'Be YouNick'
He has collaborated with a number of stars such as cricketer Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, as well as actresses Tara Sutaria and most recently with Nargis Fakhri and Simmi Singh.
He also recently represented India as the only digital creator from the country at Vidcon 2019 US, which took place in Anaheim, California.
In an exclusive interview with YS Weekender, Nikunj Lotia talks about his channel ‘Be YouNick’, his experience at Vidcon 2019 this year, and some of the segments he has had the most fun shooting.
YSW: Were you always interested in comedy since childhood? What were some of the comedy segments/films you grew up watching?
NL: I never aimed at becoming a performer (still don’t consider myself one) but I did put up a lot of shows and mischief mostly. I grew up watching the classic Govinda-David Dhawan combo. This is what formed the basis of my entire humour quotient.
YSW: How did you come up with the channel ‘Be YouNick’?
NL: I had a thought. I filmed it. Uploaded it. Gave it a name. And that’s that. Literally nothing more to it.
YSW: Who were some of your early inspirations in the comedy sphere?
NL: Again, the classic David Dhawan-Govinda duo. It’s been years that their era has passed but nothing has made me laugh harder. Early inspirations also came from some international content creators like Rudy Mancuso and Life According to Jimmy.
Nikunj is a YouTube sensation now
YSW: Did you always see yourself doing comedy?
NL: I was always an average student during my school days. However, I was also the class clown. While others fiddled with books and pens, I kept on thinking about which trick to pull off next.
YSW: Who are some of the YouTubers you have enjoyed working with?
NL: There are so many of them. But my all-time favourites are Mostly Sane, Beer Biceps and Mumbiker Nikhil.
YSW: How do you come up with the ideas for your segments?
NL: I just look around. Interesting observations come from everywhere. All I do is add a head and a tail to it. And not to forget, a unique twist!
Nikunj Lotia with his team members.
YSW: What are some of the videos you enjoyed filming the most? A personal favourite and why?
NL: All the videos we shoot have a uniquely enjoyable element to them. But to name a few names, it would be all the collaborations; ‘If Pablo Escobar was Indian’ (The Narcos Parody) and ‘Once Upon a Time in Dombivli’. A personal favorite would probably be the first Mauka Mauka parody.
There were so many technical difficulties at the time of that shoot that I had almost canned the idea and gave up. However, as it turned out, that video gave us what we were striving for so long - a claim to fame. So, this video will always have a special position and be my personal favourite!
YSW: What was the experience like at Vidcon 2019 in the United States last year? What did you take back from the experience?
NL: So, you’re asking how it felt to be the ONLY content creator at Vidcon 2019 to represent India?! It surely was an exhilarating experience! Global exposure at its best.
Despite the obvious language barriers, Indian content attracts a lot of viewership from outside India.
Also, it’s interesting how creators from other parts of the world think and execute their ideas. So that was one fun take away from the whole event.
Nikunj Lotia believes that a comedian needs to begin with a good script
YSW: What is your advice to other aspiring YouTubers/ individuals wanting to do what you do?
NL: If you have an idea that you think might work, then shoot it and upload it. Great camera angles, kick-ass acting, cool locations can always be worked upon in later stages of the journey. But acting on it and doing the job is the key! Because groundbreaking thoughts are just thoughts if not executed.
Another thing you need is a good script. A good script, shot on a phone is always better than mediocrity shot on a high end DSLR!
YSW: What do you like doing on the weekends, when not making videos? Some of your personal hobbies.
NL: When not making videos, I’m usually thinking of which videos to make next!
Creative thinking is a process. And after a certain point, it almost becomes involuntary. Also, in our case, the concept of weekends just doesn’t exist.
But if I want to do something different, I really love spending time with my PlayStation. And I like to play football almost every Saturday. As for my remaining free time, I’m sipping on chai.
(Edited by Asha Chowdary)