When and how did you get bitten by the music bug?
It was at the age of three when my dad got me a small keyboard.
Have you professionally learnt music from someone?
No, not really. However, I had always seen my dad performing and playing the keyboard so I just picked it up from there.
You burst into the social media scene overnight with the ‘Rasode Mein Kaun Tha’ remix video. Did you anticipate it?
Absolutely not! Nobody anticipates that they would put a 40-second video that would change their life. It was unbelievable for me. At one point, I thought that it was some glitch in Instagram and it will all go away once I update the app.
How did your parents react?
They were the happiest and also so amazed by the internet in general. It was an absolute joy to see them read out comments by celebrities on my post.
Amidst all the love and popularity, did you also feel the pressure to keep up with it?
Yes. It was a streak of videos that did great in terms of the number of views. But before putting every piece I had this pressure in my mind of doing it better than the last one. I still have it. And the pressure is good as it helps me innovate.
You also bagged an opportunity to collaborate with Vishal and Rekha Bhardwaj on the acapella track, ‘Insaaf’. How was your experience?
I always wanted to make a cover of that song. The tune is just so beautiful. I was extremely happy when Vishal sir agreed to do this collaboration. ‘Ye toh mera bhi bada favourite gaana hai’, he had said. And he was the one who suggested that Rekha ma’am could sing the main part. And she added so much soul to the track that it elevated everything. This is one of the content pieces I am most proud of.
Is there anyone from the Hindi film music industry who you look up to?
I am most inspired by Amit Trivedi sir and AR Rahman sir.
AR Rahman lauded you for breaking the rules of conventionality and creating space for your art. How did it feel?
For me, that was the peak point of getting validation. It came right from the legend himself. It was enough motivation for a lifetime.
From amongst all the rap videos created by you, which once remains your favourite and why?
I love ‘Biggini Shoot’ as I had made that tune for a proper sad/breakup song. So if you remove the dialogue from it, it is a tune that can be turned into a song anytime. That is one track that I still go back and listen to without the dialogue also.
Recently, Vishal Dadlani reacted to your ‘Jhoome Jo Pathaan’ video. What was your fans’ and your reaction to it?
After watching ‘Pathaan’, I started enjoying the song even more. And I just spontaneously added another melody to the track and it turned out really well. I was very sure that the composers would like it too. And they did! I was extremely happy to see Vishal sir’s comment. Direct validation from the makers is always encouraging.
You mentioned in one of your earlier interviews that you don’t want to be known as the guy who just makes catchy tunes. Do you have aspirations to become a full-time music composer for films?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, I’ve spent the last entire month understanding how composition works. I have already been working on a few original songs so that people don’t know me just as the short rap videos guy but also as someone who can make good full-length songs.
From amongst all the Bollywood celebrities who have praised your work, what was the best compliment you received and from whom?
There are so many. But the best one has to be by AR Rahman sir which I mentioned above- it was an ultimate validation.
Is there any recent original composition in Bollywood that you absolutely loved?
I just loved the entire album of ‘Qala’. It is just so beautiful!
What does 2023 have in store for Yashraj Mukhate?
I will be coming up with some original, full-length singles for sure. There will also be some very interesting collaborations with artists that I have always admired.