Vikal was only parodying Tamil songs. until they find a sweet spot in the Instagram reels

IT Bus debuted in March as a ‘100 day, 100 reel challenge’ to tackle a “content meltdown”.

Ninety days after they posted the first “lowest cringe” reel they could think of, three members of the now famous ‘Wickels’ tied towels around their heads like hair while the fourth was on camera. Behind laughed uncontrollably. Together, they danced to the famous Nannare song from the 2007 film Teacher,

The reel titled ’90s Annual Day Dance’ garnered nearly 25 million views on Instagram. their parody In the 1990s and early 2000s, the number of girls dancing at annual day events rocked social media.

In their search for material, ‘Vickels’—a comedy group in Chennai—found their sweet spot: they took a collective passion for the reels and branded them with popular Tamil culture. This group of Millennials and Gen Z trumpeted cult songs and movies in their footsteps, and reintroduced songs from Tamil cinema with a healthy dose of their trademark insults. The reels were an instant hit.

Starting with ‘Jolly O Gymkhana’ from Vijay-starrer beastHis parody of Tamil film music has gone viral.

within 10 minutes of posting a weird version a bow song aneganHis Instagram account was on fire: grew from 10k views to nearly three million.

Stand-up comedian and actor Vikram Arul Vidyapati says, “That day we decided that it was our identity to record the reels.” Which one? has now become a hilarious reel-churning comedy collective.

Since they launched the daily reels less than four months ago, Vikram and Hari Muniyappan—who are most visible in the clip—have seen a huge increase in their Instagram followers. Within a few weeks, Vikram climbed from 6,000 to 74,000, and Hari’s from 600 to 55,000.

Read also: How the Instagram Reel is a Mirror of Modern Racism in India

‘natural’ style

In early July, Vikas’ content migrated to Twitter for the first time through a Tamil meme page. parody The famous song ‘Nilvai Konduva’ from the 1999 film Valli It became so popular that it caught the attention of renowned Tamil director SJ Surya who retweeted it.

In Reel, the comedy group takes the sensual rendition of ‘Nilvai Konduva’ and turns it on its head. The reel shows Hari covered in a shawl, running fever, singing with a deadpan expression, while Vikram who plays female playback singer Anuradha Sriram, gives his all, music director Sibi Jayakumar as Deva is seen instructing both.

On Instagram, actor Siddharth commented on the reel using a laughing emoji. Later, music director Deva told Vikram that the reel was “very natural” and that he had seen it at least a dozen times. Actress Simran has shared the reel on her Instagram profile.

Vikals were now the talk of the town. By then the Reel Challenge of Day 100 was already behind them. Posted in the comments: “Bru, Vera level bro,” wrote one Instagram user. “God the best!!!” Said another.

Most of the reels have been shot at the dubbing studio near Vikram’s house in Saligramam. The ’90s Annual Day Dance’ also received an overwhelming response. Vikram says, “Every version of the song whether Hindi, Tamil, Telugu… Jal Jal Jal Jal and Nannare Nannare has the same parts, so the reel was relatable for everyone.”

He performs various dance moves the teachers seem to have choreographed equally in those years: Radha Krishna steps, Surya formation, and steps in and out of a circle. “Don’t you remember there’s a classical dancer student in your school who always starts the annual events?” he asks.

In the Nannare reel, Vikram claims to “dance well”, while to his left Hari is seen exercising, and Sibi pulls off a pair of black shorts. Behind the iPhone, trying so hard not to laugh out loud, is Athithya A., the editor of the reels.

Read also: A teenager from Lucknow is a force of nature on Instagram. Mithika Dwivedi packed UP’s pride, abuses

everyday joke product

On Friday afternoon, Vikas, aged 23 to 27, visits Vikram’s parents’ home in the western suburbs of Chennai. The family dog ​​’Jio’ – “yes, in the name of Ambani’s Jio” – sleeps in a corner.

Hari is given the task of turning on the air conditioner and the pranks that followed set the tone for the interview.

“But there’s no button in it,” said Hari, looking at the AC. “Hari, why don’t you climb into the other chair? Or step on the window grill?” Suggested to Vikram. “Please don’t uninstall the AC and give it to me,” he teased.

They are separated from each other and their quick return often forms the origin of a new idea. Most of their reels are products of such hangouts. “We keep listening to different songs and we all have ideas. “I don’t think we even know what works and what doesn’t, we just do what we like,” Athiya said.

The way they describe it: They’re lying on the bed of Vikram, who often appears in their videos, or chatting in their father’s office some distance away and then… bam! “I think we are always having fun as a group. We are almost always in a light mood, joking,” says Athithya.

Athiya doubles up as a filmmaker and director during the shooting days. The LC500 lighting also makes an appearance. “Sometimes boys improvise and jump around the space, and even fall down,” he laughs. Even when others turn away from the script, they say: “I have to keep the video going.”

Read also: Instagram is starting to wake up the reels. There is no place for Tiktok gang in this

explaining to the family

A series of trial and error in their personal journey led to the four developments banding together. Sibi and Vikram met through Instagram. Says Sibi, “I saw a video of Vikram and messaged him. The two started collaborating in September 2019.

Athithya used to edit Vikram’s videos remotely from Madurai, and Sibi and Hari created content for the now-failed YouTube channel in Coimbatore.

As far as Hari is concerned, he met Vikram, through Sibi, for a shoot where he imagined that he was going to become an actor. “I wasn’t even in the frame that day,” Hari says, splitting the three others. “I was made to stand in for Light Boy.”

For all his Insta fame, Vikas still seeks validation from his families about his choice to make a living. He may be loved by fans, but his parents struggle to understand this “new age” content creation that is still not seen on par with working in mainstream Tamil cinema.

“Our long-term goal will be to build a brand called Vikas that acts as our launch pad in the cinema industry.” But for now, all development agrees that “having fun with our content” is the most important thing. The rest will follow.

(edited by Prashant)