Tik Tok was behind the rise in popularity of ‘Bam Bhole’, a track that landed its singer Viruss at the gates of Bollywood via Akshay Kumar’s ‘Laxmii’
At 21, when Devansh Sharma, then a fresh college graduate out of Dehradun, adopted the stage name Viruss, little did he realise that five years later most questions put forth to him would start with a ‘why’ and it would be about his name.
Now 26, and having been introduced to mainstream Bollywood fame due to the ‘Bam Bholle’ song in Akshay Kumar’s Laxmii, Viruss says that he “didn’t invest a lot of thought” whilst choosing his stage name.
“Everybody asks me why I named myself Viruss, and I honestly never thought that a pandemic would happen and that the name would get these negative vibes,” he says, over phone from Mumbai.
Having been a part of student politics in college days, the singer opted out of that life to choose a career as a musician, and headed to Mumbai to make it big.
“I worked for other singers like Aditya Narayan, and wrote tracks for them. I was there for about a year-and-a-half when I met Anup Kumar paaji (of Ullumanati). He told me that we would head back to Chandigarh, create something big and then return to Mumbai,” says Viruss.
Except the duo did not realise until much later that they had stumbled upon something big when they came up with the EDM-inspired track ‘Bam Bhole’ in 2017. They did not shoot a music video. All that the song had was a modest lyrical video featuring computer generated likeness of the Hindu deity Shiva. “We had no commercial motive when we released the track,” says Viruss.
For the first few months, it had a lukewarm response. Then, Tik Tok happened and ‘Bam Bhole’ became a sensation. More than two million Tik Tok videos, Viruss says, utilised his track; the result was that the YouTube track too gained traction and gained over 200 million views.
Eventually, it reached Akshay Kumar and the producers of Laxmii, who thought they wanted to feature the song in the film.
“Akshay paaji told me he had heard the original version and loved it. He said the song had energy and a positive vibe. But for the movie he wanted to add more energy to the song, and so we added a few extra lyrics and drum beats to make it possible,” he says.
Having made his grand entry with the film of a top actor, Viruss is now busy with a few Bollywood projects and says all of them will be announced in due course of time. He intends to take trance and EDM music to the mainstream audience in Bollywood.
“Trance is missing in mainstream music here. However, it is also important to not just stick to one genre of music, so I will try to experiment and create different tracks,” he adds.