From YouTube to the Movies… An Inspiring Story!
Raza Samo has been effectively creating content that resonates with people and allows them to enjoy authentic stories. Putting his heart and soul into his work, it was a matter of time before he would be discovered for the big screen, and with his debut as Fazal in the recently released film ‘John’, it has been proven that there is no stopping this dynamic actor! In this exclusive conversation with Social Diary, he shared more about how his journey began, the setbacks he had to face and how he continues to follow his fiery spark to create what he knows the audience would love and relate to. Read On:
SD: Share with us a little about your childhood and what it was like growing up in your household.
Raza: I had a fun childhood. I am from a family of seven siblings which is why our house was always super active. There is so much fiery energy. There was so much noise. I had a fascination with recording things. I would record when my siblings would fight and would show it to my father. Also, it was the era of WWE, where we would not just watch wrestling matches but me and my brothers would often wrestle ourselves.
SD: When was the first time you felt you wanted to go into the entertainment field?
Raza: I had no plans as such to go into the field of entertainment. I had just made a video for YouTube at the suggestion of a friend. It went well and got plenty of views. It gave me the nudge to make another and so began my new journey. However, when it comes to mainstream entertainment, I was determined to make a mark and was figuring out ways to showcase my acting chops through my YouTube channel.
SD: What were the major setbacks you faced in the process?
Raza: I would have to say it was the response from my parents and my extended family which was creating a hindrance to my work. They weren’t able to understand how I will attain financial stability from my YouTube platform. To convince them and make them understand was a huge obstacle for me. Whatever stress I got from my work, I was able to manage and handle it; it was the external factors that were really pulling me down.
SD: As a YouTuber, what is the one rule you follow when creating your content?
Raza: I always work on my content with one vision- if I am watching my video with a neutral attitude, am I getting entertained with the content that I am making? Does it come to a level of perfection? Then I know my audience is also enjoying it. I focus on the quality rather than quantity of the content.
SD: Your work is described as being relatable and light-hearted, how much effort is taken to bring forth fresh videos for your huge following?
Raza: It basically depends on the video and the content. Sometimes it takes more than a week or more than a month. And there are days when I am providing reviews on anything trending or what just happened, like a cricket match for which I need to provide my content right away.
SD: What about your podcasts, what kind of guests do you aim at inviting?
Raza: My podcast platform is a universe of possibilities. There is no discrimination on who is invited. I began this project to learn from people who are experts in their fields. There’s just so much to talk about and learn from them. Anybody who inspires me will be invited to my podcast.
SD: Do you feel there is unnecessary competition in the field of content creation?
Raza: Personally, I don’t think there is any competition on YouTube. It is foolish to compare. Everyone has their own audience. Every person has their own niche in the market and they are committed to growing their audience. I haven’t experienced any jealousy or ill intentions to date so it’s all good.
SD: How do you handle the trolls and the negative comments?
Raza: Trust me when I say, I may be the only guy who wishes to be trolled. I strongly believe when you are being bullied by a troll, create a wall around you that doesn’t allow you to be affected. Don’t let them break into you and make you show your weaknesses. Adapt thick skin. Just remember their trolling means you are relevant but don’t take their negativity to consume your energy.
SD: As an actor, how do you aim to pick projects?
Raza: My actual goal is to learn from the characters I take on. I want to broaden my range and don’t want to be typecast. Obviously, I want to play the protagonist, however, it needs to come in variations. I wish to take on challenging roles; I want to take on roles that represent me differently from how I am in real life. That is what drives me.
SD: How do you create a balance between your personal and professional life?
Razo: That is something I am not really good at. I get involved in one so much that it impacts the other. So I need to learn how to draw lines and make sure I am committing to both in a balanced way. But I don’t have a formula to follow or advice.
SD: John has been creating major hype- how did that role come about?
Razo: I always knew John would be something big. I was hopeful from the start that it will create waves which it is doing. I am happy it came to the expectations of the audience as we witnessed a house full while a big Hollywood release was playing in cinemas at the same time. Babar Ali directed the film exceptionally well. Also, I gave my heart and soul to the role of Fazal.
SD: What has been the most memorable aspect of working on this film?
Razo: A day before officially starting the shoot of the film, I had gone to fix my beard and overall look. The salon that I went to was taken aback by my rugged look and even said “I look so much like the YouTuber Raza Samo.’ That was a major win for me as I wanted people to embrace Fazal and not Razo anymore.
SD: Will you ever consider venturing into dramas anytime soon?
Razo: I would love to work in dramas for commercial aspects. I have signed a drama and I am excited to see how the audience responds.
SD: Are there any other film projects you are considering?
Razo: I have signed up for another feature film already and I hope the industry treats me well as the journey has just begun.
IN A GLANCE
What is your absolute superpower?
I don’t give up
Your favorite digital personality?
A director you wish to work with?
Nabeel Qureshi and Sarmad Khoosat
The one thing that is a mood killer?
Not being punctual
Three things you have with you all the time?
Which season is the best style statement?
Morning Person or Late Nights Enthusiast
Late Nights Enthusiast
Desi Wear or Western
Losing loved ones
Most Prized Possession
My YouTube Gold Play Button
Being a dreamer
Someone you wish to meet
Top things on your bucket list
Holding an Oscar
Traveling around the world
The best thing about your work
Allows me to explore my creative potential
The worst thing about your work
Your favorite movie
Gangs of Wasseypur