7 February 2017
Hanee Chavan speaks about being one of the youngest YouTube sensations, chatting with Bollywood celebs and more
She is 17-year-old and is the latest addition to the Youtube sensation wagon. Hanee Chavan, in her Youtube chat show, has managed to bring stars like Ranveer Singh, Sonam Kapoor, Sunny Leone, Malaika Arora Khan and others to speak on issues related to the teens, right from college fights to body shaming. In a candid conversation, she reveals more. Excerpts from the interview…
How does it feel to be one of the most popular YouTube sensations at such a young age?
I didn’t really expect it to catch on so quickly and so fast. It is something that I enjoy and have enjoyed doing since I was a young child so this process was a natural process. Wherever I have reached today is because of my hard work and is a stepping-stone for me as I’m only 17 right now and I have a long way to go ahead.
From where did it all started? How did you come up with the idea of starting your own channel?
I wasn’t the most open kid when I was younger and was not very social either, but I was a dancer and the liberation that the spotlight or stage gave me was unmatched.
As I grew up, I started taking part in elocution competitions and public speaking that made me more open and I started to be social, however I have always been observant of people and their characteristics. So in the Indian media there isn’t any teenager who I can connect to and really wish that there were more people to address teen issues and things that are and were relevant to me. So I decided to start my channel to voice my opinions and to bring forth a teen perspective from an Indian. It was a natural process and I just decided to start a channel, as YouTube has been something I have been watching since I was a small child.
What is the basic concept of your chat show that makes it different from the other such shows?
This show is based to address teen issues in a fun and interesting ways. This channel is not about movie promotions or to talk about gossip. I decided to get celebrities as they are truly someone who the Indian teens look up to and follow and hence when they come and talk about their teens and their life it seems normal to go through problems and brings a ray of optimism.
How do you manage to get the celebrities on board?
I just write to celebrities and have been fortunate to get a response from their managers. This is something new and unusual and hence I have always got support and love from them.
Did you have any kind of inhibitions hosting and chatting with celebrities of such stature?
Of course, there is inhibition, they are after all people who have achieved great heights in their life, but then I have always been a confident individual. After talking to them for while before the shoot, I ease out and then just am myself. So after seeing me that I am comfortable and confident they too feel comfortable and then we just shoot.
Amongst the ones you have interviewed so far, with whom did you have the most fun chatting?
I loved every interaction as everything is so versatile and every person is so different. And every chat is equally special and fun so there’s no particular chat.
Who are you looking forward to bringing on your show next?
Mr Amitabh Bachchan as he is truly a legend and one of the biggest stars and I hope someday I get to interview him.
What is your family’s reaction like? Are they supportive? Do they give in some inputs or advice from time to time?
My family is really supportive of me and my parents are my biggest strength and inspiration. My mom is my confidante whereas my father pushes me to achieve my dreams and harness my creativity in the best way possible. My parents however always believe in me making mistakes and learning from them and truly believe in retrospection and never give inputs as they might just have biased opinions and always push me. My younger brother is my biggest critic and is someone who gives me advice from time to time. He is 14 and considering he is a teen himself his inputs are very helpful.
What about your studies? Does it get affected in any way because of your channel’s work?
I won’t deny the fact that it is quite hard to manage studies as well as this and I do live a dual life, but both are things that I love doing. I have been a studious kid since I was young and have always had a quest for knowledge and hence strive to study and gain more of it. Whereas YouTubing is a passion and something I truly enjoy so time management is key in bringing the right balance. In fact, even though I am in the 12th grade studying one of the most challenging courses IBDP that exist for my age, I find time for YouTube and also pursuing my hobbies such as dancing and get time to chill with my friends.
You must be a popular student in your class. Tell us about the reaction of your classmates and teachers?
Popular is a rather subjective word, however yes; I do have a lot of friends in school.
My classmates are very supportive and always help me whenever I need help in covering for studies. My teachers are also proud of me and very supportive and always help me with concepts in case I missed them or have difficulty in understanding. They also help me with my assignments and guide me to better employ my potential and channelize my intelligence to study smart.
Where do you set up the interviews? Do you have a particular office or studio like set up?
Most of the chats are at the offices of the actors or celebrities and some even have opened their homes to me for shooting. Otherwise, I shoot at hotels who give us permission and we give them courtesy in the videos, but I have no office or studio particularly.
Do you manage to interview, shoot and edit all by yourself or do you have someone to help you out with it?
I edit my videos as it is important for my voice to be shown and obviously all the content and ideas as well as interview are mine. However, I cannot shoot everything as I am on camera and I am a signed Content Creator and You Tuber with an agency called One Digital Entertainment who helps me with logistics and shooting the video.
What do you think is the scope of digital media?
Digital media is the media of tomorrow; it is relevant, resourceful and boundless.
From watching television shows to chat shows to news and even motion pictures everything is available on a digital platform and the reach it has is not even comprehensible. There are innumerable people you can connect to and there is so much scope for creativity, which is why I chose this form myself, and really enjoy it.
Do you follow or watch any other YouTube channel? If yes, which is your favorite channel?
Yes, I do watch YouTube and watch a lot of channels, I get inspired by YouTubers to be myself and really love it. I don’t have a particular favorite Youtuber however I do like a few such as Michelle Phan, Lilly Singh, Pewdiepie, Tyler Oakley, Bethany Mota, and Casper Lee, are my few favorites.
You are a trained classical dancer, you have your own YouTube channel and you are also studying. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years down the line?
At least for the next 3 years I intend on studying and pursuing a literature degree as I am really passionate about it and also intend to continue YouTubing. However I have no particular plan, as I am open to opportunities that will liberate me creatively and would love to do some fun exciting things. I’m only 17 and I believe there is a lot out there that I probably don’t even know aboutand I will change with moving time. But as of today, YouTubing is truly something I love doing and will continue.