SMZ – THE BORO
With people all over the world using it as a platform to showcase anything they desire YouTube has become a basic means of mass communication in our life. We are familiar with names like PewDiePie, Smosh, Ryan Higa, KSI, who all have gained popularity in this platform. And following the footsteps of those great names is this one guy who is passionate about bikes. Not only has he succeeded in making a name as one of the top YouTubers in Nepal, he also has been an influential character for others. SMZ has been on the scene for the past 3 years now and his channel is still growing. With that, here’s the story of how Sushan Maharjan came to be 6known as SMZ.
HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY AS A YOUTUBER START?
I always had a thing for bikes and rides. They had always fascinated me. And thus, I was always keen on recording my journeys or rides, where ever I went. That’s basically how the vlog began on January 3rd. I didn’t start with knowing all the quirks, all the facts on what or how to do it. But I have a habit of getting myself in something really quickly if I am interested in it. The idea of making a video always intrigued me. So, I quickly got into the vlogging frame.
However, the one who motivated me to create a YouTube channel was Casey Neistat. He’s huge YouTuber that got hyped up a few years ago back in the day that was really famous and I was a huge fan of his videos. I got the push I needed to follow what I love doing watching his videos.
SO WHEN YOU STARTED OUT WITH MOTO VLOGGING, WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU FACED?
I had a hard time during the early stages, but it wasn’t all that bad. I started without the knowledge of the requirements. I didn’t know the proper equipment and I didn’t have a clue about video editing. I was someone who got interested in a particular thing way to fast but got over it quickly too. That’s why when I asked my parents to buy me a GoPro camera they had their doubts about it. They feared I would do what I usually do and lose interest in it quickly.
So, to start my YouTube journey, me and my friend went to buy a camera. As I didn’t have money to get myself a GoPro, I opted to buy a cheap Chinese camera. It didn’t have the quality the GoPro provided but did the job none-the-less. As I grew, my parents recognized my drive and bought me the high-quality GoPro I had desired. And I’m thankful for my parents for getting around to believing in me.
Also, with no prior knowledge on how to edit videos, I struggled with quite a bit. But as time passed and as I putting more effort on them, I gradually improved my editing skills.
YOU DID MENTION THAT YOUR FAMILY CAME AROUND TO SUPPORTING YOU. BUT WHAT SORT OF REACTIONS DID YOU RECEIVE FROM THEM AND YOUR FRIENDS?
Like I said, when I first started on YouTube, my parents and my family had their doubts. They were not familiar with the world of vlogs and creating content on YouTube. They were confused about what I was actually doing. To them, I was a manic with a camera strapped on where ever I went. Even my friends started calling me mad as I was always with the camera either recording or watching what I had recorded. These made it very hard at the early stages of the YouTube journey.
At that time, I was still in college. Nothing seemed to have changed in terms of my friends’ or classmates’ behavior when I started vlogging. But as I started gaining subscribers, I had my classmates come up to me and compliment on my videos. The college as well got lenient with me juggling my motto-vlogs and my classes. I got in trouble a lot because of my hair though.
But now my parents have a basic idea of what I do and what I create, as with my friends, and they have been supportive of the choices I have made.
FOR YOU WHAT DOES BEING A YOUTUBER MEAN? IS THIS JUST A HOBBY OR SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY?
Up until now this has been my hobby. But as of this year I am planning to get more serious into my vlogs. Before I had college to worry about and was not able to fully commit to it. It was really hard finding a balance between my college works and YouTube. Now that I have finished my bachelors, I can finally concentrate my full attention to my channel. I can have my full focus on taking my channel even further than it is now. And I am intrigued to see where this will take me.
“My parents recognized my drive and bought me the high-quality GoPro I had desired. And I’m thankful for my parents for getting around to believing in me.”
WHEN IT COMES TO EDITING VIDEOS, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT THEM?
I really love editing videos. To be exact, my opinion on it grew drastically the more I dabbled with it. When I first started, I didn’t know anything about video editing and what goes into making a good content. The first ever video that I had uploaded to the YouTube was me getting back home with the camera attached to my helmet. As I didn’t know how to edit a video I used the common video editing app you could find in Playstores. But that video got a copyright strike and I had to take it down. After that I put hours and hours just to learn video editing. I would lose track of time whenever I sat down to edit my videos. I used to sit 9-10 hours thinking how to edit the videos. I had a burning desire to improve my editing skills, as I would end up using every effect I could think of and then choosing which one would be suitable.
I always used to brainstorm on how to make my videos better. When I got an idea, I would start working on it. And when didn’t know how to do it, I would turn to YouTube and learn what I wanted to do by watching the tutorial videos. The more I got into video editing the more I grew to love it.
SO HOW IS YOUR PERSONAL LIFE COMPARED TO YOUR VLOGS? AND HAS MOTO-VLOGGING CHANGED IT?
My personal life and what you see on the vlogs are not different at all. In fact, 90% of what you see on my videos is how I am in my day to day life. Of course, you do need to have some sort of filter between your personal and work life. They both go hand in hand. If I learn a lesson through my vlogs that lesson is going to be implemented in my personality as well. You can say I have grown much more confident both in my vlogs and in my personal life as both have developed together. Actually, I don’t think motovlogging has had a drastic change in my life, but it has surely changed people’s perception about me.
TO YOU, WHAT COUNTS AS MAJOR MILESTONES IN YOUR MOTO-VLOGGING?
I had a hard time to reach 100 subscribers when I first started. And when I did, it was a pretty big achievement and a huge milestone in my book. I felt like I had done something meaningful in life.
Another major milestone would be receiving the YouTube Play Button and having 200k views on one of my videos. After receiving it from a network of YouTubers here in Nepal I was even more motivated to put out even better contents. I like to believe the end of 2017 was a turning point for me. At that time, I had started putting videos out on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I got into an accident on a bike I was not properly accustomed to. While I was in recovery all I could think of was what can be done in future to make my videos even better than before. This drove me to do better.
As I had started pumping out videos daily, my subscribers grew by the thousands every day. This was a really big deal for me and I would count this as other milestones of my YouTube journey.
WHAT KIND OF FUTURE HAVE YOU PLANNED FOR YOUR VLOGS AND YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL?
To be honest, I haven’t given a thought about what is going to happen in the future. Although, I do want to go on this bug off-road trip and make a vlog out of it. As of now, I am curious to see where this will take me in my life.
Words by Baibhav Shrestha
Photographed by Gaurav Xhompate Sunuwar