Published: 07th July 2017
I am willing to perform with Ed Sheeran, but he has to call me first: India's Rebecca Black, Dhinchak Pooja talks about taking music classes
You've heard her songs and you’ve laughed at them. But believe it or not, Dhinchak Pooja is actually learning to sing. She's also probably going on Bigg Boss and is going to sing her butt off
Most people think that Dhinchak Pooja's music is a joke. Something to go LOL over and share with friends and colleagues to get a laugh out of them. And just like that, Selfie Maine Leli Aaj racked up a more-than-viral 20,379,242 hits on YouTube. Fancy enough to land her a spot on Bigg Boss 11.
Sure, her voice isn't the kind that would launch a thousand ships. Heck, music teachers and Carnatic gurus would have prayed for an act of god to save them if tasked with getting her to maintain her pitch. But here's the thing, it takes a lot of gumption to know your voice is not-quite-studio-quality and still make videos and put them out there.
That's Dhinchak Pooja aka Pooja Jain for you. Your average selfie-taking, swag-loving, bling, wannabe hipster girl around town whose alter ego on Youtube is something her college mates are blissfully unaware of. Would you believe it?
Sounds a lot like a certain Rebecca Black, doesn't it? (Oh god, now Friday... is playing on loop in our heads again)
Unafraid to admit that she isn't a good singer, this Delhi-based YouTube singing sensations learn to sing and then upload their videos, Pooja is doing it the other way around. She’s now started taking music lessons to impress her fans aka Dhinchuks. While she was busy shooting her next music video (Oh yes! There's another one coming up next month), we caught up with her for a brief chat. Excerpts:
Whose idea was it to make a video of your songs and post it online?
Right from childhood, I wanted to do something different. I used to sing all the time. I'd always listen to Bollywood songs and watch videos. Later, I thought I’d give penning lyrics a try. One day, a friend suggested that since I write songs and sing pretty okay, why not make a music video and upload it on YouTube. So then I shot my first music video, Swag Wali Topi.
When we asked Pooja if she'd like to perform with Ed Sheeran when he comes to India, she said that she'd love to if Sheeran calls her. For someone who listens to all his songs, she would even love to sing his songs
There are a lot of people who say 'uncomplimentary' things about your singing. Is there anything you’d like to say to your haters?
I agree that I can't sing well, but at least I'm following my passion and working hard. I’ve even joined classical music classes to improve myself.
How would you rate yourself as a singer?
I don't judge myself. But, to me, I'm perfect. I always give my 100 per cent.
Who helps you shoot your videos?
My friends, cousins, and relatives. They are behind the lens. I surely can't manage everything alone. But the people you see in my videos are paid professionals. My friends refuse to come on-screen.
‘Dhinchak’ means fun and I'm a very fun-loving person. Plus, I think Dhinchak Pooja has a ring to it. I feel that the name compliments my songs as well as my personality.
Dhinchak Pooja, Viral Youtuber
What did your friends say after watching your first video?
I honestly didn't bother to check YouTube after uploading the first video. My friends were the ones who went around promoting it. One day, a friend told me that the video had gone viral. I was quite surprised. I never expected so many people to watch it. That motivated me to make another video. Daaru was the next one, followed by Selfie Maine Leli Aaj.
Why do you think your videos go viral?
Many people like my videos. Others watch them because they find them funny. Some are supportive because I'm a girl and I did something big. But I don't know the exact reason. I haven't interacted with the public yet. Right now, I'm concentrating on my work.
Ed Sheeran is coming to India. Would you like to collaborate with him?
He is a big shot. He sings in English and I sing in Hindi.
But it happens all the time with international acts
If Ed Sheeran calls me, then surely I'll perform. In fact, I will sing Ed Sheeran's songs too. I listen to all of his songs. But let him call me.
Selfie game: A screenshot from Pooja's Selfie Maine Le Li Aaj
By the way, what is a ‘Dhinchuk’? We see that hashtag in all your videos.
That the name of my fan following. Just like Justin Bieber's fans are called Beliebers, Dhinchak Pooja's fans are called Dhinchuks. I came up with that name.
So you think all those negative comments are going to bring down Pooja's spirit? You're wrong. She doesn't bother to look at the comments and believes that her work ends when she uploads a video. She has somebody employed who sifts through the comments and tells her if there's something important
What is the best compliment that you've received?
People have told me that I'm a YouTube sensation.
And the worst comment?
I don't remember. I think of my haters as my ‘double’ fans. Haters are more attached to me than my actual fans. But until now, everyone has spoken to me pretty well.
Dhinchak SWAG: Pooja with her Swag wali topi
How did your college mates react to your internet fame?
Oh! They don't know that I'm Dhinchak Pooja.
I have my own jugaad for that. You'll get to know that soon. You need to have a plan once you become popular. I can't leave college without finishing my studies.
There are rumours that you're going to be performing live. Are they true?
I'm not performing anywhere. I also wrote a post stating the same on my Facebook page. I'll inform everyone if and when I actually perform. Please don't buy tickets for fake events.
UPDATE: Pooja's videos, including Selfie Maine Le Li Aaj was taken off her channel on July 11 2017. The cringepop star was unavailable for a comment on the same.