If you are a regular on social media and familiar with the trends and memes going around, you must have heard about Yashraj Mukhate. The engineer-turned-composer has made a name for himself and found his niche in creating songs by turning pop culture moments into zany and hummable music.
Creating songs from viral content that sounds hilarious has been behind his meteoric rise and fame, which has garnered him more than 7.7 million followers across social media platforms.
The song featured a dialogue from the hit TV show Saath Nibhaana Saathiya by the popular character Kokilaben, who was played by Rupal Patel.
The song captured the attention of netizens and went instantly viral at a time when people were locked in their homes because of Covid in August 2020.
However, it was not the first song that Mukhate had composed hoping to go viral. Two years before the pandemic, Mukhate began composing funny songs and experimented with different kinds of sounds using a broom and a spoon in his videos.
“I was inclined towards music right from childhood. In 2020, I saw this one meme going viral on the internet and I thought what if I just add beats and make music around this video. Somehow it became very interesting and when I put it out, people also liked it,” he said.
As music is a pretty unconventional career and hard to break into, his parents wanted him to complete his engineering education before following his musical dreams.
“My parents, especially my mother, asked me to complete my engineering education before going into music. I was producing music as a side gig along with studying engineering at a polytechnic college in Aurangabad. Then I went to Pune to finish my engineering education. So, I am an electronics and telecommunication engineer by education,” he said.
After finishing his engineering diploma in 2016, he came back to Aurangabad and started his own studio. He began freelancing for various kinds of projects.
“People used to watch my videos on the internet and they used to contact me through Facebook. I used to produce music for their cover videos or original songs and background music for short films,” Mukhate said.
Talking about the impact of social media for content creators, Mukhate said it had brought about a radical change. Social media has given individual and independent artists their own distribution system, he said.
Mukhate talked about how he was able to release his original song on his own YouTube channel under his own label. “It would have been very difficult for me to go to a label and pitch my song. And if they liked it, how would they produce it? It would depend on how they distribute it and revenue also goes to them,” he said. “I find it very empowering that individual creators like me have the power of the internet where we can distribute our own content and get the revenue ourselves.”
After his sustained success with the kind of content that resonates with the audience, even leading music directors and singers have noticed his work.
Mukhate said he had received positive feedback from people whom he had looked up to. Anu Malik liked his compositions and said his music sense was good. From Vishal Bhardwaj, Sonu Nigam, Amit Trivedi to even A R Rahman, they all listened to the songs and were appreciative of his talent, according to him.
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Asked how much time it takes for him to compose a song from viral content, Mukhate said it depended on the quality of the audio. “If the sound is messy and unclear, it takes a while to clean it up. If the main dialogue is crisp and clear, then I don’t have to do much. A lot skill goes into making a rhythm and finding out which part will resonate with people,” he said.
“Sometimes I compose a track in a week, like I did on a meme on the character Bulla from the film Gunda but it didn’t go as viral. However, the song Pawri Ho Rahi Hai took only four hours to complete and it went insanely viral,” he explained.
Mukhate recently released a four-minute song titled Rasmalai on major music streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. The song, written by Alok Ranjan Srivastava, was composed and sung by Mukhate.
Talking about his love for desserts and having a sweet tooth, Mukhate revealed how he came up with the idea for the song. Through this song, he wanted to convey the joy of having rasmalai. He came up with the tune of the song a year ago but was not confident to put it out.“I wanted the song to sound a certain way. When you hear the song, you feel it is soothing and it feels exactly like the way you are having rasmalai. There were not many songs which had the name Rasmalai, so it was unique,” he said.
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Asked about his future plans, Mukhate said he had recently finished a song and some theme music for a Marathi film. While he wants to produce more original songs now, Mukhate does not want to stop producing songs on viral content as that is what got people hooked to him.
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