Dissecting Tamil lyrics and creating his own music, Ashwath Mukunthan is keeping us entertained!

Smrithi Mohan
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Ashwath Mukunthan

Check out what content creator, cricketer, and musician Ashwath Mukunthan has in store for the digital audience.

Content is all around us. And the more we go looking for it, the easier it becomes for us to keep our need to be entertained in check. Some people are so creative that finding humor comes naturally to them. And the digital space is filled with creators who are willing to share this creative self with the world. Ashwath Mukunthan has found a way to share with the world his musical and hilarious anecdote. Giving us a new take on some of the classic Tamil songs while also sharing his own originals, Ashwath is an entertainment package you don't want to miss.

Someone who always loved doing creative work, he exclaims the unexplainable happiness and high he gets from creating something. "In all honesty, content creation was never on my list of things to do. I started creating music covers back in 2015 with a keyboard inside my bedroom." It took him 4-5 years for the quality of his music and video production to get better, which eventually motivated him to start his own YouTube channel. "I then diversified into cover songs, original rap songs, humor, and informative videos as well. Content creation involves a lot of effort and thinking. Slowly I shifted my focus from YouTube videos to making Instagram Reels."ย 

He finds the last 2-3 months to be surreal considering how well his videos have been doing. He recalled how one of his videos went viral led to his follower count starting to tick like wildfire! "To put it in a nutshell, content creation was never planned, but Iโ€™m glad I have ventured into this."

A thing that also puts him in the limelight is his name. One would wonder what made him choose 'Bobo' as something that he wants to be known as, but considering the number of times, he has to answer that question he has a good explanation for that. The name Bobo actually has no particular meaning. It was something that his grandma used to call him by at home. Like it happens among friends, it slowly started spreading among his school and cricket circles. He is gotten so used to being called Bobo that he finds it weird when people call him by his own name. "I know for a fact that all my close ones and even a few people who donโ€™t know me personally call me by my nickname. My social media handles have always been โ€˜Ashwath Boboโ€™. In fact, the few credits I have in movies/seriesโ€™ says Ashwath Bobo and I intend to keep this as my industry name going forward since I believe it has a swag to it!"

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There are a bunch of hats that Ashwath wears. He is a digital content creator, national cricketer, rapper, and lyricist. But among them all, sport holds a special place in his heart. "I started playing cricket at the age of 8 and I can proudly vouch for the fact that all that I am today is because of sport. More than the achievements in my professional cricketing career of almost 15+ years, the learnings I gained from it are what I would cherish and keep to myself all through my life."

He has always been fascinated and equally excited about the media and entertainment industry. Most of the content that Ashwanth creates revolves majorly around music and songs. Music is something any human being canโ€™t live without. The impact that it has had on his life has also been special. "Iโ€™m not surprised at all that I end up creating content where music indirectly becomes the hero!" Creating something from scratch, and witnessing people enjoy it is the ultimatum for any creator or artist and Ashwath realized it soon in his life. "Every time I hold the mic to sing a song or rap in front of people, or even post a video on social media, it gives me a special high which cannot be truly expressed in words. I love singing." He started writing his own song only a few years back and has written over 10-15 songs. He instantly found creating and performing songs liberating. "Itโ€™s really difficult to compare everything, but I love multitasking and trying out new stuff!"

The first piece of writing that he ever did was the first 16 lines of his independent rap song โ€˜Ellam Mayeiโ€™. He mentioned how he was always clear that this would be his first independent song and that it would go up only on his YouTube channel. "The journey of the song was very special. 30 people crowdfunded the song and made this dream possible! Indian cricketer R.Ashwin was extremely kind enough to release the song on social media. More than the number of views the song got, the impact it had on numerous people moved me and still feels unreal. It got my name up on platforms like Spotify, JioSaavn, Apple Music, and others which felt like a dream." The journey of creating Ellam Mayei also made him realize how difficult it is for an independent artist to climb up the ladder and be visible in India. "There is no established route or a secured plan for smaller artists in our country. There are umpteen super-talented artists in India, and I only wish they get more opportunities to show what they offer!"


How did this idea of โ€œDecoding double-meaning Tamil songs'' come into play?

Trust me it was never on my list of ideas! I've always thought of creating content with music. After a point in my life, I started giving a lot of importance to lyrics in songs. All this while Iโ€™ve always been the first person in my group to appreciate good lyrics and find out quirky double-meaning puns in songs too! I think it was just a matter of time before it came out in the form of content. But honestly, I never expected this content to explode as it has and for people to enjoy my reactions on this scale! People enjoy the videos so much even though Iโ€™m ruining the songs for them indirectly! Iโ€™ve gotten my share of slack too for this content on social media. People end up scolding me for doing these videos for no reason. But looking at it from a managerial point of view, Iโ€™m learning a lot about my subscribers from their feedback!

You collaborated with Raftaar and Shakti Mohan for the song โ€˜Raskala,โ€™ which also ended up becoming a sensation of its own. Can you talk about this collaboration and how it happened?

It was an unbelievable experience for me! The opportunity to work on โ€˜Raskalaโ€™ came my way through a big chain of contacts! I must thank my friends Ko Sesha (lyricist in Kollywood) & Melvin (Music producer in the Tamil industry) through whom I first got to work under Krishna Kishor (percussionist and music composer) as a chorus singer and also wrote a few lines for the re-recording of the film โ€˜Annabelle Sethupathiโ€™ starring Vijay Sethupathi & Tapsee Pannu. I must thank Kishor through whom I got this opportunity as he liked my work and suggested my name to Umang and Darshan Joshi when they were looking for a Tamil lyricist for the song. I still remember, I got a call from Umang when I was down with Covid, but I had no doubts about taking this opportunity with both my hands. It was an exhilarating experience for me to write a song for a star like Raftaar who I look up to in the rapping scene. The best moment was when I got a call from Raftaar and we discussed the lyrics at 1 AM! He loved the lines and appreciated my efforts which were highly satisfying for me! Adding on to this it was extremely pleasing to see a star like Shakti Mohan dance for your lines. Indebted to Darshan-Umang and Hotstar for this opportunity!

Has creating content in your regional language have an impact on the audience that you reach? Do you think it has helped you grow as a content creator?

Definitely! Whatever is said and done I feel at ease in my regional language - Tamil, irrespective of whether it is conversing or creating content. The Tamil Community is often underestimated. Tamil is said to be the first language in the world and expands outside India to places like Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Canada, the US, etc. It is fulfilling to notice that people from all these countries vividly follow my content and show unconditional love! On the contrary, the โ€˜Double Meaning Decodingโ€™ was very well welcomed by Non-Tamil people too! Since I add subtitles in English, those who donโ€™t understand Tamil also enjoy and share my videos. After humongous growth over the last 2 months, it is highly satisfying to notice that my previous content and the ones I create now are being watched closely. This also adds a lot of responsibility on my shoulders as young children also follow my videos.ย 

Going forward I aim to maintain a good balance between reaching new audiences with English content and catering to the regional people who already follow me in an equal manner.

What are your hopes for the future?

Moving on from professional cricket was a hard decision, but indeed a practical one too. I look forward to entering the media industry in a couple of years alongside growing my social media pages efficiently. Collaborating with brands is something I look forward to as it is very new to me and excites me. I also have plans of bringing out my original independent songs one by one soon. Iโ€™m sure it will open up an array of opportunities for me in that field! Having been a TEDx Speaker, I also want to venture into public speaking in the future. One thing I will never do is restrict myself. I would love to experiment with something and fail, rather than being afraid and not trying something at all! That is what life is to me. Learning never stops, as I look at the future which has a sea of beautiful opportunities awaiting.

Don't forget to follow Ashwanth if you are up for some hilarious take on classic songs.

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