Remember the video song “I’m a Barbie girl…” by pop group Aqua, back in the late 1990s? That was when there was no social media.
Cut to the year 2023, an entirely new version of the same video song in Kannada version titled “Naanu Nandini” went viral with millions of views and counting on social media.
Meet Vikas Sangam, popularly known after his social media avatar as Vickypedia, who is the man along with his team behind the creation of “Naanu Nandini“.
In an exclusive interview with South First, he talks about his journey from Vikas to Vickypedia, and especially about his recent video song “Naanu Nandini” which caught the attention of social media users in Karnataka and beyond.
Vikas pursued his engineering and later joined an IT firm where he worked for about a year.
“I quit my IT job a decade ago since I did not see myself working in the IT sector in the coming days. Also, I took up theatre to give myself enough time to learn and excel in the field I desired to be in rather than be a part of the routine 9 to 6 job,” says the youngster.
Though he started performing live shows as a member of “Indian Improv Tribe”, the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the globe changed the direction of his career once and for all.
“During the lockdowns, we were denied opportunities to perform live shows. Though we did it online for some time, we never enjoyed it and started worrying as to whether normal lifestyle would ever return due to coronavirus,” he shares.
Vikas to Vickypedia
A professional table tennis player, Vikas captained his college at Ashoka University in Delhi.
“I even coach table tennis for newcomers. But during lockdowns, I thought of exploring social media space. Only two years ago, I started it seriously. One of the early videos made on ‘dolo 651‘ tablets went viral and things changed thereafter,” he recalls.
About his unique name “Vickypedia”, by which his social media accounts are named, the content creator shares that one of his college friends used to refer to him by the name, and he used the same for its catchy phrase and its uniqueness.
Unlike a majority of content creators on social media, Vikas treads a different path by emphasising a lot on socially relevant subjects rather than just merely concentrating on entertaining aspects.
“One may have observed that sometimes a dance or song would have millions of views on social media, but the creator would not be known. It is only when content has some weightage (substance), people/viewers make attempts to know about the content creator, and eventually, they start following for similar content,” he points out.
One of his most popular content talks about the ill effects of online gambling games. His avatar as “Muddukumar” on online rummy was much appreciated on social media.
Source of income
Many assume that almost all content creators on social media earn five-number figures and more. But in reality, it is altogether a different scenario.
Vikas explains, “Not all creators earn a good source of income, especially in India where Instagram is yet to monetise the content. But they provide detailed insights which help in collaborating with brands for promotion.”
He further adds, “Apart from live show performance and coaching table tennis, my source of income is from YouTube, Facebook, and various brand collaborations which helps me sustain financially to some extent.”
Vikas also directs videos of other content creators at times and has even acted in a couple of movies portraying minor roles.
Vikas says that the “Naanu Nandidni” video song went viral because the viewers could relate to it.
“Anyone who has come to Bengaluru to work in an IT firm and stayed in PG would have experienced almost everything which we have showcased in the video,” he quips.
The content creator hastens to add, “Like for instance the quality of food in PG and the difficulty of speaking in English for non-English speaking ones and so on.”
Sachith has worked on the music of the video song, while Amit and Shayan usually work on the music for his other regular videos.
Of the many such videos, Vikas aka Vickypedia is often seen portraying “female characters” along with his usual avatars. His popular female characters are Ambika, Malathi, and now Nandini.
“It was an operational challenge for me to have a lady portray a female character since we would shoot videos as and when an idea or thought struck our mind. Initially, I was trolled, but eventually, viewers started appreciating it after realising the content and substance in it,” Vikas signs off.
He was awarded the Best Social Media Entertainer by the Chandanavana Films Critics Academy Award for the year 2022.
Best Social Media Entertainer of the Year: @Vickypedia_007
ಚಂದನವನ ಫಿಲ್ಮ್ ಕ್ರಿಟಿಕ್ಸ್ ಅಕಾಡೆಮಿ ಅವಾರ್ಡ್ಸ್ 2023
Chandanavana Film Critics Academy Awards 2023https://t.co/OublrFDmnA@AcademyCFC pic.twitter.com/EgqbAiWxTy
— S Shyam Prasad (@ShyamSPrasad) March 6, 2023