Virsa Arts – The Storytellers
Posted by Navleen on November 27, 2014 | No Comments
This group of four friends in their early 20s who are smart as a whip has everything to make their contemporaries easily envy off. A self-made career in video direction with skills that are again self learnt and embedded, a body of happening work that’s far better than what Punjab’s youth had so far seen in the name of video direction and the spunk to do experiments that enthralled the music lovers for the few minutes stories they weaved in all their music videos; and then there was just one thing that each one wanted to know—-
What is Virsa Arts?
Virsa Arts is a gang including two video directors — Arvinder Khaira (25), Navjit Buttar (24) and two co-coordinators cum arrangers —- Enn Syan (24) and Varinderpal Bains (24) who have charmed their way to hearts of many youngsters by bringing the much wanted change in Punjab’s music industry. Their popularity in the certain group of Punjabis is to an extent that besides the female fans falling all over them, for obvious reasons, even the Punjabi munde adore their Virsa Arts veeras a lot. So then it hardly matters whether or if they make anything related to Virsa that can also help in complementing the name of their group. That’s something that can’t even be expect as the content of most Punjabi songs also doesn’t really aim at promoting the culture? But what still sets them apart is the change these boys have brought in terms of—concepts and technology which seems like a whiff of fresh air.
While they were doing their schooling, engineering and then MBA they didn’t realize when the bonhomie between them turned into a never ending camaraderie. This also led the foundation of their company Virsa Arts during their college days. “From school to college, at times we enrolled into different institutions but eventually we landed up being together. It was during the time when Navjit, Amaninder (original name of Enn) and I were doing their MBA together at RIMT, we developed a passion for clicking pictures on a digital camera for gaining some appreciation on Orkut.” shares Arvinder.
Virsa Arts was initially created as photography venture with an aim to do many things under it. And video direction turned out to be one of those many things. “There was an underground singer whose song Paisa Bolda released and we made a cover-up video of it to upload on Orkut. When that singer saw the song’s reaction he approached us to make the original video for it.”
Though they had a creative bend of mine, one wonders that what made them do management degrees? They answer saying, “We were doing our studies only for our parents. But we knew the field we are eventually going to work in. You’ll be surprised to know that we had never even assisted anyone and had no idea how professional shoots take place. When we did one of the earlier tracks in 2011 for singer M Safi called Nishaniyaan we were a bit nervous but at the same time we didn’t want anyone to know that we are newcomers. You know! Initially people who had fewer budgets came to us for getting their videos made. Neither during the earlier days we never went to anyone and asked to hire us for directing their video nor do we approach anyone even today.”
Their parents, who wanted them to have some substantial degree in hand, realized their potential slowly. “When we stopped taking money from home, gave fees of our MBA degree ourselves and when neighbors or others started praising us for our work, our families realized that we must be doing good work.” tells Navjit.
Then came Jassi Gill’s track Churiya in January 2012 which brought a welcome change to the industry as well as a ray of hope for these upcoming young turks. Enn recalls, “We wanted to leave a mark at the audience so we shared a totally western concept with Jassi Gill. We shot a video in which he just singing while sitting in a room which only had things such as a cycle, speakers etc. At first place, this sounded a bit bizarre to him but when the video came out, Jassi Gill’s image changed completely. This song created a buzz in the industry about who we are?”
Since then till now, every song they directed turned into a hit. Their list of projects include Jassi Gill’s Vigre Sharabi, Naina Nu Ki Ho Geya & Teri ji na hoyi, Vinaypal Buttar’s Maufinama, Ammy Virk’s Date, Vehem, Bullet vs Chammak Challo & Khet, Maninder Buttar’s Yaari, Roshan Prince’s Veham, Hardy Sandhu’sSoch, Kulbir Jhinjer’s Raakhma Kota, Ranjit Bawa’s Jatt Di Akal, Girik Aman’sSaree Wali Girl, Jassi Gill’s Vich Pardesan, Classmate (Remix) from movie Daddy Cool Munde Fool and Bikkar Bani from movie Bikkar Bai Sentimental. For songs such as Saree Wali Girl and Vich Pardesan, they roped in biggies like Sunny Leone and Neeru Bajwa.
Their earlier tracks made them popular within the music industry but it was a track called Soch by singer Hardy Sandhu (2013) that became their claim to fame and established them completely among youngsters. And all we know is that a trend which earlier used to make only the singers famous was ready to shatter into pieces. In their case, the team behind the video of the track got the equal credit and recognition. The track’s USP was it’s unique story-line, characterization and concept. And that’s exactly what their USP is as well. They share, “We give lot of importance to the story-line in the video and also the characterization. We try to come up with an out of the box ideas unlike the regular concept that everyone will think of. And this only gets possible with lot of brainstorming. When a track comes to us, four of us share are ideas about it and then either merge them or flourish the one we have really liked. This process can take 15 minutes or at times even 15 days as well.”
24×7, they are looking for stories, stories and stories. Telling about it, they say, “Even while watching a movie, there are many concepts related to the same flick that comes in mind. We are mostly observing life very closely which reflects in our work through our characters.”
Post their track Soch, a huge amount of work came their way. “Due to time constraints, a lot of projects were taken up by us. Everyone was in a hurry to get their tracks made and when we couldn’t provide dates there were many who got annoyed with us. But we focus on our work. If our work speaks for us, people will understand us and return back for another project.”
According to these boys quality has always mattered. “Other video directors might do five or even more videos in a month. But we don’t work like that. We believe in quality.” they grin.
In this journey, where most of the things they have learnt on field, the experience they witnessed was quite fruitful. They state, “Nothing was difficult. Although we did good amount of hard work but never really felt any kind of burden or hurdles. Things started happening on it’s own. People also ask us how we marketed ourselves. Believe us we never did anything special. Perhaps at the same time we didn’t even sit ideal. We kept doing something or the other.”
Also the social media’s strong presence has played a vital role in shaping their career. “Had we launched ourselves in 90s we would have done the same amount of work but our recognition would have remained only till the industry. The audience wouldn’t have got to know us better.”