- Hello Folks! This week’s edition of Blab with Sandy has Dilkush Dheeraja, the Youtube sensation on board with me. She has gained immense followers and admirers, thanks to her quirky, funny yet thought provoking videos which are conceptualized and enacted all by herself. Let’s dive into the blab I had with her:
Sandy: Hello Dilkush Dheeraja!!
Dilkush Dheeraja: Heya!! 🙂
Sandy: Firstly, would like to know what went behind picking the tag “Dilkush” to your name?
Dheeraja: We wanted to come up with something very relatable to Telugu people and also retain my real name. So, we decided to add a tag in front of my actual name which is Dheeraja. Well, it was not me who picked the tag. My team at Chai Bisket came up with this tag, reason being Dilkush is known to be one of the most popular delicacies we all grew up eating in Hyderabad. Also I believe I can make your Dil khush with my work! You know what I mean? 🙂
Sandy: Could you tell us about your background?
Dheeraja: I am a business graduate and started my career as a radio jockey in Hyderabad. I worked for Radio Mirchi. That is where my interest grew in the line of Media and I still consider Radio as my most favorite platform. I also briefly hosted some TV shows under Maa TV banner. It was a very brief phase though. My major work while in India was Radio, hosting events, dubbing for films and so on.
Sandy: Youtube has been the home for creative people and you are one amongst the residents. When and how did it all start?
Dheeraja: It’s been a year long journey in Youtube. It was an accident! I decided to start podcasting early last year as I missed the radio work so much that I had to do something where I could talk my heart out. I did three episodes and suddenly this idea clicked where I felt, why not film / enact what I speak on my podcast.
That is how my first video started. Initially, I combined movie scenes using dubsmash app to create a topic and weave a story around it. Later I decided to create my own content. Anurag and Sharat, the founders at Chai Bisket were the ones who pushed me towards making original content and that’s how it all started.
Sandy: When did you shift base to Australia and what do you do apart from making creative videos?
Dheeraja: It’s been over 4 years since I moved to Australia. My family is here too. I work as a recruiter for an aged care company which is my Monday to Friday 9-5 kind of job I continue to do support myself. You’ve got bills to pay you see! 🙂
Sandy: What are the essential ingredients which you try to imbibe in all your videos?
Dheeraja: I am a big believer of being significant over being successful. I always wanted my videos to create an impact. Humor was only a way to subtly integrate serious and thought proving issues into my videos. To name a few where I touched topics like body shaming, self-love, being vocal about our opinions and overcoming depression. I always make sure there is something the viewer can take out of the videos. They are most than “just a comedy video” and I am very proud of that.
Quick Shot Round: (answer in one word what comes to your mind when you hear the following words)
- Acting: Life
- Hyderabad: Second home
- Favorite Film: Pursuit of Happiness
- Favorite Actor/Actress: Rajinikanth
- Tollywood: Where dreams come true
- Web Series: Fun
Sandy: You have shot around 58 videos. Which one stands out to be your favorite?
Dheeraja: Very hard to pick. My first one will always be my favorite as it was a dedication my mother and many powerful women out there.
Sandy: Can you tell us any memorable incident whilst making the videos and any memorable messages you got from anyone for your videos?
Dheeraja: I don’t have too many memories while filming coz it is just me running around doing everything. But I do have a lot of messages and comments from people, especially young girls, how some of my videos around self-love have changed the way they look at themselves and how I have inspired them in so many ways. Messages like those are truly gratifying and I can’t ask for anything more.
Sandy: According to you, what are the factors which made the viewers get connected to you and your videos?
Dheeraja: Well I guess, the nativity that I try to put in through my characters and the accents. Also I guess the topics I pick are off beat yet relatable. So I guess it works!
Sandy: Acting, Scripting and Direction. Rate them from 1 to 3 in order of preference:
Dheeraja: You got the order right there. I do enjoy acting the most and love coming up with powerful scripts. Direction, well I have no choice! Ha ha!
Sandy: How has your family supported you in your decision to move into the creative space?
Dheeraja: They are awesome! I was always a rebel and they knew I come up with ideas of doing crazy things. They know I will hold on to my values no matter what I do and they trust me. My sister Dhatrija has helped me script some amazing videos and my dad used to run around with me helping me move the lights and tripods around.
Sandy: What’s in store for Dilkush Dheeraja in the coming months?
Dheeraja: I am coming up with a second video for my channel, I Have been wanting to do this for so long. But in the next few weeks, you will see some Vlog style videos which I am very excited about. Fingers crossed, I will be able to hustle harder and still manage get two videos a week, amidst my full time work and my fitness routine I am trying to get into!
Sandy: Piece of advice for people trying their luck in making creative videos and aspiring to enter the media industry?
Dheeraja: It is a tough place to be in. You will be judged, laughed at, compared and constantly put to test. But this is what will make you tougher. Never look for overnight success or to become a viral video. That will eventually fade and you will be replaced. Find purpose and meaning in what you do and consistency is the key. Don’t let the numbers decide your move. Let passion be the driving force.
Sandy: A few words about Hyderabad Local:
Dheeraja: It is amazing how you guys are trying to bring out stories which probably inspire many others to come out and do stuff that they love. Great work and keep doing awesome work! Thanks for giving me a chance to share a piece of my journey! Love Love! 🙂
YouTube- Dilkush Dheeraja: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU2dnTvTfQxBF6fgFYdh9KA
– Interview by Sandeep Rao Kanukolanu (Sandy)
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