An engineer turned music composer, Yashraj Mukhate rose to social media fame in August 2020, when he uploaded a spoof of a scene from the soap opera Saath Nibhaana Saathiya, where mother-in-law Kokilaben (Rupal Patel) is chiding her bahus. Then came a mashup of Bigg Boss participant Shehnaaz Gill’s dialogue, which came to be known as ‘Sadda Kutta Tommy’, followed by the jingle ‘Pawri Ho Rahi Hai,’ inspired by Pakistani content creator Dananeer Mobeen’s video. Film Companion spoke to Mukhate about the milestones he’s crossed since, the people who’ve made an impression, and the films that are intrinsically connected to the music he loves.
Here are edited excerpts from the interview:
When did you join Instagram?
6th April 2014
What’s your favourite film-related meme?
The Anurag Kashyap meme which reads, “Haa maalum hai apne baap ko mat sikha chal.”
What’s your favourite film by him?
Gangs of Wasseypur series and I also like Black Friday (2004).
What has been the most memorable DM (direct message) you have received so far?
Anurag Kashyap DM’ed me and said, “Yashraj kaam karte hai sath mein... been going through all your songs and everything you've put out... kahan rehte ho tum.”
Who are the people you want to work with and would DM for the same?
I have already DM’ed other artists. I like working with people who are not conventional singers…someone you would not expect. I would really like to collaborate with a Dhinchak Pooja and make her sing a very melodious song.
Filters or no filters?
No (Team Transparency)
When it comes to audio, is autotune the equivalent of applying a filter?
Autotune is something that people somewhat use as a derogatory term on the internet. But autotune is part of the vocal processing system which is used on everybody, all the singers that you know today. And there is nothing wrong with it. If using autotune is making my song better, I will definitely use it.
If you could frame one post from your social media, which would it be?
The picture with AR Rahman.
Which is your favourite Rahman album?
I’ll go with Saathiya (2002).
Which movie is your guilty pleasure?
Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam (2002).
Name the films that have deeply influenced you.
Johnny Gaddaar (2007) has been my all-time favourite. There’s Wake Up Sid (2009), I started wearing t-shirts like Ranbir Kapoor after watching that film and suddenly got interested in photography. The Dark Knight (2008) is another film which really influenced me. After watching it, I started trying to walk like the Joker. And the Hangover series…it’s one of the best comedies I’ve seen. I really love Inside Out (2015).
How long can you go without checking your phone?
Depends on how much you'll pay me to not check my phone.
Sharing a meal with who will keep you from looking at your phone?
I had that conversation when I met Amit Trivedi sir. That was a one-hour conversation, it was the first time I was meeting him after years and years of admiring him. We were standing on the footpath outside a Starbucks.
What’s a rabbit hole you went down recently?
Horror films and AI-related reels where they explain how we are living in a simulation.
What would your ideal simulation look like?
I would not have to travel at all. There’s teleportation and I can move in the snap of a second.
What’s the most unusual gift you’ve received?
All these gifts they give me at events…just so random. They'll give candles and soaps. Why would you gift soap to someone? Give me an iPhone.
What does your perfect day look like?
A perfect day is knowing that the previous (one) has been super productive and today, the gym is closed, so no workout. Then it’s me, my couch and the tv remote sitting and watching films back to back for the entire day.
What’s the worst day you’ve had recently?
Last week, I had to get to Chennai then come to Mumbai then back to Aurangabad in twenty-four hours. The absolutely boring thing is traveling. I just hate getting out of the house.
Whose content do you admire?
There is a new creator called Dharna (Durga), very funny. She’s from Delhi. I like Kusha Kapila’s comedy. I think she has been the most consistently funny person on the internet for a very long time. There is Tanmay Bhat, a very funny and smart guy.
Describe your social media in one word.