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Niharika NM gets candid on her content, ideas and more

The 23-year-old content creator who shot to fame overnight
Niharina NM's reel about letting go of the person you love reached close to 15.4 million views and were shared by many.

Urvashi Bhattacharya   |     |   Published 16.02.21, 10:31 PM

If you’re a night owl who likes to scroll through your Instagram feed past your bedtime, you sure have stumbled across some of Niharika NM’s reels. The student from Chapman University in California suddenly rose to fame during the pandemic last year as she released reels of her ranting in a thick South Indian accent about day-to-day issues. The influencer also takes the role of a mother to,... well reprimand herself for pulling off different TikTok trends. A chat with the 23-year-old.

Congratulations on crossing a million followers on Instagram! How does it feel to know that all these followers are entertained by your content?
Thank you so much! Honestly, it’s an incredible feeling and I’m extremely overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that I get from my audience. I’m so grateful to them for being so kind to me and I’m honestly going to try to make it worth their while for following me.

It is through your mini ranting videos on Instagram that more people were discovering you last year. How do you come up with the different topics in the videos?
Oh yes, it was definitely the mini Instagram rants that opened up this whole new stream of audience for me and I genuinely haven’t been able to fully wrap my head around how it happened or how it is happening. I honestly just pick up simple everyday situations or experiences that most of us experience and package them in my own style, which the audience seems to connect with.

The South Indian accent you put up is also hilarious. What made you add that touch?
Most of the people in my family have a similar accent and it’s also been an accent that my friends and I often took to whenever we were extremely excited to tell a story or crack a stupid joke so it mostly comes naturally to me. I don’t even really “put on” an accent at this point, it’s just how I talk now I guess (laughs).

Is it easy for you to switch between accents or you need to prepare and get into character?
Oh yes, (laughs) I love switching between accents and languages in the span of a couple of seconds and I feel like I sometimes do it unconsciously as well when I’m having a regular conversation, which usually confuses people sometimes but I love messing around like that. As far as getting into a character is concerned, whenever I dress up like a particular character I just start talking and behaving like them, so I feel like my brain does that switch for me automatically.

In some of the videos you also play the role of a mother reprimanding her child. What does your family have to say to you when you play such roles?
My family knows how to take a joke so they absolutely enjoy it and usually love it when I play the mom character because the dialogues are usually inspired by what my mom actually says to me. I obviously exaggerate and add my own spin to it when I incorporate it in a video. So they’re usually excited to see me play characters.

You’ve became one of the fastest growing content creators. Do you feel a pressure to come up with content that is regular, fresh and funny at the same time?
I definitely do sometimes but I make sure to remind myself why I started making videos in the first place. Making videos has always been a creative outlet for me and I constantly remind myself that it should always feel that way when I make a video instead of letting it become something that adds more stress. I honestly just focus on making videos that I personally enjoy.

During the pandemic a lot of your content kept the viewers in a happy mood. Do you get messages and DMs from your fans about the same? Is there any particular message that you remember?
I definitely do get them all the time and I also definitely get super emotional and sometimes even cry when I get long paragraphs from people telling me how much of an impact my videos have had on their day or how my videos turned their bad day around. I also absolutely love it when people send me videos of their kids saying my dialogues or acting like me. It’s literally the cutest thing ever.

Is it true that your almost overnight rise to fame is a case study at your current university, Chapman University?
It’s not exactly a case study but a professor did use my audience insights and my growth on Instagram as an example to explain a particular topic as a part of a marketing class.

So we have your reels, you made a guest experience in Behensplaining. Where can we see Niharika NM next? Any projects coming up?
In the foreseeable future I guess I just want to revive my YouTube game along with what I’m already doing on Instagram. I’m also looking forward to dabbling in vlog-style content to see what I can do with that as well. But as of now, in this moment, I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and enjoy what I’m doing.

Fast five

A funny one-liner: What would you call a person that can shake the moon? Chandrashekar.

If life gives you lemons: Just don’t make lemon rice with it.

A character you would love to play in a film: A superhero

Your comfort food: Dal, rice and Sambhar.

A celebrity you wish will share your content one day: Micheal B Jordan but he probably won’t understand any of my videos (laughs)


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