Ashwin Bhaskar started his YouTube channel in 2012. It was just another channel with original songs, covers and mash-ups until two weeks ago. But, now, Ashwin, an audio engineer, composer, singer, songwriter and music producer, is in the news because of ‘Perfect OK’, “a dialogue with beat” video. The video has cross 4.7 million views so far.
He has mixed beats with the dialogues from a video by KP Naisal, an autorickshaw driver in Kozhikode. In October 2020, when Naisal’s friend was down with COVID-19, Naisal had sent him a video via WhatsApp to cheer him up. Naisal tells him about the facilities, especially the food, provided for COVID-19 patients at quarantine centre. The hilarious clip went viral after Naisal inadvertently forwarded it to a WhatsApp group. The highlight of the video were some English words he used to pep up his conversation —‘Perfect ok…and it is… two and the tan and the con and the back….’ Ashwin mixed beats with this part of the video.
“There are a few ‘dialogue with beat’ videos on my channel and some subscribers suggested to take up Naisal’s dialogues for a number. I gave it a try, but never expected it to become so popular,” says Ashwin, a resident of Thenhipalam in Malappuram.
Videos of musician Mayur Jumani had inspired him to do the ‘dialogue-with-beat’ series of videos. The first video he did has a scene from Chronic Bachelor with Innocent and Harisree Ashokan. Other videos have Innocent’s dialogues from Vietnam Colony, Kilukkam and Kalyanaraman. “It was not a conscious decision. I make a beat and look for dialogues that would fit into it. It was a coincidence that his dialogues turned out to be perfect for this particular one. I have a lot of fun doing these videos,” says Ashwin.
Among other similar videos are those with dialogues by Tik-Tok/YouTube stars such as Pala Saji and Dasettan Kozhikode. “People who follow my videos come up with suggestions. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known about them,” he says. Ashwin uses Logic Pro software to make these videos.
Ashwin met Naisal in person for a channel’s interview after the video went viral. “He is full of life and is positive. Our lives have changed after the video was uploaded. People are checking out my previous works and that is encouraging,” he adds.
Ashwin stresses that dialogue videos are something he does “to entertain people” and his aim is to create original songs. He has already composed three songs —‘Story of my life’, ‘Reality’, and ‘Let me be alone’ and has also collaborated with a couple of indie musicians from outside Kerala whom he had met on YouTube.
A fan of Ed Sheeran, Myles Kennedy, Lauv and Post Malone, Ashwin aims at becoming an independent artist of international repute some day. A self-taught musician with no background in music, Ashwin says that he started taking music seriously when he was in school. “A friend introduced me to audio engineering. I began listening to English songs, started making beats, launched my channel and even composed a song.”
After finishing his Engineering, he did a diploma in Audio Engineering from AR Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory in Chennai. “Subsequently, I decided to dedicate more time to my YouTube channel (Ashwin Bhaskar) expecting I can build a huge subscriber base in a few months. But that didn’t happen. I had almost decided to give it up. That’s when I posted a cover of American pop rock band Maroon 5’s song, ‘Memories’ on my channel. They noticed my version and uploaded a portion of it on their official channel. That was a huge boost for me and I decided to keep going. Now ‘Perfect OK’ has given my career a new lease of life,” says Ashwin.
At the moment, life seems to be perfect ok for Ashwin!