HT Brunch Cover Story: The new stars of Clubhouse



Display screen fatigue, please take a break. For the most well liked new social media app on our telephones doesn’t want us to look into our screens in any respect.

Audio-based networking app Clubhouse was launched in 2020 on iOS solely within the US, and expanded its footprint world wide slowly through the pandemic. The truth that it may very well be used solely on iPhones and that it was “by invitation solely” added to the exclusivity.

The recognition grew exponentially when Elon Musk turned up in one of many rooms, and Fb founder Mark Zuckerberg confirmed as much as chat in one other.

The audio solely format took away the strain of trying good and gave customers the sensation like they had been speaking to a good friend (or a bunch of buddies), so what if they’d a couple of hundred individuals listening in.

When CH went to Android earlier this yr, after which dropped the “invitation requirement”, subscribers grew exponentially all around the world.

In India, you’ll discover rooms as various as Shoot The Shot (a millennial flirting room) to these discussing politics. We select six CH hosts whose work it is best to observe to find a brand new method of social networking that you could be simply start to get pleasure from.

Starry eyed

Janice Sequeira, 35, impartial journalist

Host of: Movie star chats underneath The Bollywood Movie Membership (25.9k members) and creator-relevant rooms with social media star Scherezade Shroff

CH followers: 37k @janiceseq85

When Janice Sequeira determined she’d go impartial along with her life-style journalism and publish her tales on social media, she couldn’t have been satisfied she’ll be a hit, depart alone generate income off it. But, whereas many struggled to make ends meet through the pandemic final yr, Janice’s YouTube present Social Media Star with Janice, which introduced collectively celebrities from the world of Bollywood and digital media collectively, grew to become a giant hit. Presently, a self-produced Season 2 is already being talked about.

“Being a video creator, the audio-only-space went over my head at first,” Janice admits. “However I used to be hooked after I hosted a session concerning the actuality present The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives, and Bhavna Pandey made an look.”

CH conversations aren’t scripted, she says, and hopes that “there will probably be an choice to pre-record periods sooner or later.”

Janice (left) hosts movie star chats underneath The Bollywood Movie Membership on CH; Santu (proper) joined the app in December 2020, however it wasn’t till the second wave of the pandemic this yr that he bought lively on it; On Santu: T-shirt, Bowerbird; denims, Sabya x HM (Subi Samuel)

Is CH actually a secure area? Any platform the place opinions are being shared freely is sure to be a sitting duck for these trying to push a sure agenda.

A giant no on CH? Speaking over one another. If everybody’s speaking and nobody’s listening, it’s simply noise, proper?

All that’s unsaid

Santu Misra, 30, artistic director

Host of: The Darkish Room India (32.4k members) on Thursdays and Sundays and TWOT (This Week On Tinder) on Saturday evenings

CH followers: 22.7k @santumisra

Even at 30, Santu Misra is a social media veteran. He’s the artistic director who has impressed a thousand viral memes, mentored millennials on methods to change into stars on-line, and is famously the creator of South Delhi Ladies, starring Dolly Singh and Kusha Kapila.

Santu joined CH in December 2020, however it wasn’t till the second wave of the pandemic in April/Could this yr that he bought lively on it.

The Darkish Room, a no-holds-barred membership that he co-hosts with Aishwarya Subramanyam, known as “the secure area” by the a whole lot who tune in to speak overtly about taboo topics. (An notorious room on the act of anilingus—look it up in the event you don’t know what it’s—drew controversy and appreciation. “It’s change into desk speak ever since,” chuckles Santu.)

Santu’s wry sense of humour and powerful opinions have made the membership host “sponsored rooms” by manufacturers like Tinder and Skore, indicating an indication of occasions to come back.

Is CH actually a secure area? No social media platform is totally secure. Social media itself is a really voyeuristic area.

A giant no on CH? Simply know when to close up! That’s it. That’s the tea.

The write take

Aniruddha Guha, 35, Bollywood scriptwriter

Host of: Contained in the Writers’ Room, the place he will get screenwriters to open up about their scripting course of, and Within the membership, with spouse and co-host Janice Sequeira, the place they interview celebs with The Bollywood Movie Membership (25k+ members).

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Aniruddha, Janice and Anirudh all agree that the no video side of Clubhouse takes away filters that will maintain somebody again, permitting them to be extra genuine and candid, together with celebrities; On Aniruddha: Shirt, H&M; denims, Jack & Jones; footwear, Nike; On Janice: Denims and white shirt, her personal; jewelry, Janpath On-line; On Anirudh: Shirt, Levi’s; denim, U.S. Polo ASSN; jacket, Zara; watch, Fossil; sneakers, Nike Air Pressure 1 (Subi Samuel)

CH followers: 11.3k @aniguha

The Mumbai-based screenwriter screenwriter of movies just like the upcoming Rashmi Rocket and Malang (2020) introduced Karan Johar on Clubhouse when the app was “by invitation solely.” He signed up in February 2021, however solely bought lively a few months later. The primary room he hosted on The Bollywood Movie Membership was about ‘90s Hindi cinema, which noticed a good turnout of movie geeks.

“In contrast to video content material that requires a good quantity of pre- and post-production, the time devoted on Clubhouse is restricted to the period of the session. All you want is a telephone and an Web connection. It will be good, although, if we might archive conversations on the app for perpetuity,” Aniruddha says.

Is CH actually a secure area? Each social media app is equally secure or unsafe. With Clubhouse, individuals can discover methods to file conversations on the app and edit/sew them to create the narrative they want. But it surely’s an off-shoot of dwelling in 2021, and one thing we’ll need to study to take care of.

A giant no on CH? Sharing particulars of trauma, sexual experiences with out a warning first. You by no means know who’s listening—underage children or individuals battling psychological well being points. A set off warning is a should.

Midnight jam

Anirudh Deshmukh, 29, musician

Host of: Late Evening Jam underneath the membership Anirudh (66.2k members)

CH followers: 37k @anirudhdeshmukh

There’s a set of rooms on CH that may be any music lovers’ dependancy. Musician Anirudh Deshmukh’s room is a kind of.

Buddying singers, poets, instrumentalists come collectively over theme nights or temper nights to sing their favorite numbers. Whereas Anirudh’s room occurs each night, of notice are the classical musicians from the West Coast of the US and Canada, who play out tunes within the early hours of Indian Time, when it’s night for them.

The USP of such rooms is that they’re most frequently essentially the most nice of all of them, with individuals encouraging the opposite to sing, apologising in the event that they’ve taken up an excessive amount of time.

“For musicians, Clubhouse is among the solely apps the place the audio high quality is crisp and there are hardly any latency points,” he explains.

The Late Evening Jam isn’t a structured room. Anirudh begins the room, and day by day it takes its personal form. “Musicians, instrumentalists, poets, spoken phrase artists and the listeners come collectively each night time for his or her love of those artwork kinds,” he explains.

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(From left) Kevin, Santu and Dhruvin assume that massive nos on the app embrace being disrespectful, not realizing when to close up and sexually charged rooms, respectively (Subi Samuel)

Is CH actually a secure area? No app may be known as a secure or a poisonous area. It’s us, the customers who decide whether or not an app will probably be helpful or in any other case based mostly on how we select to work together with it. I consciously remind those that regardless that the room will at all times be round for them to assist in any method via music, poetry and artwork, we wouldn’t name ourselves a ‘secure area’.

A giant no on CH? To not discover the width the app offers; disrespecting somebody over variations in opinions; making somebody really feel small.

Talking of spooks

Kevin Zingkhai, 23, Flight attendant

Host of: Paranormal Actions (22k members) and Chill vibes Lo-fi Music (9k members)

CH followers: 10.1k followers @thecrewlife

A flight attendant by occupation and YouTuber with a channel on aviation humour, Kevin bought a style of internet hosting a room when he needed to take over for a good friend with Web points. His speciality of internet hosting rooms on Paranormal Actions, with individuals latching on to each phrase, his bi-weekly rooms happening for six to eight hours late into the night time, has made him immensely fashionable. “You by no means actually know who you’ll be speaking to—a billionaire, Nobel prize winner, actor, influencer or a daily flight attendant like me,” he smiles.  

He hopes there will probably be of verification for individuals becoming a member of the app. “Unfavorable issues can get to you as this occurs whenever you’re in a dialog,” says Kevin, who’s presently off CH and again to work in Doha.

Is CH actually a secure area? Folks use CH for trauma dumping and begin ranting about their lives. Please deal with CH similar to every other social media software.

A giant no on CH? Being disrespectful.

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A nonetheless from Janice’s YouTube present Social Media Star with Janice with company Kusha Kapila and Janhvi Kapoor

Simply kidding, ya

Dhruvin Manish Busa, 21, pupil

Host of: Rooms underneath Younger, Wild & Free (54.2k members)

CH followers: 30.1k @dhruvinbusa

Dhruvin Manish Busa confesses that he was compelled to obtain the app in Could by a good friend and requested to affix a speed-dating room. “I used to be requested to drop a few pick-up traces and jokes to entertain individuals within the room. I initially discovered the app intimidating as I couldn’t determine the interface out.” However earlier than he knew it, Dhruvin had the repute of being a humorous man on the app, even beginning a live-roast membership session known as Cum And Roast, recognized for its witty banter.

Apart from a recording function, Dhruvin additionally hopes to see an enchancment within the app’s desktop interface. “My favorite room was the primary one about outer area, Interstellar, the place we went from debating the likelihood that we’re all really dwelling in a black gap to exploring the concept maybe we’re simply characters dwelling in a simulation,” he says.

Is CH actually a secure area? No remark.

A giant no on CH? A giant no to individuals who host sexually charged pink rooms. Please don’t flip Clubhouse right into a porn web site. LOL.

jamal.shaikh@hindustantimes.com

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