Multi-talented YouTuber, actor, singer and writer Salil Jamdar recently made his OTT debut with his series Saala Salil on Disney Plus Hotstar. The show, which had its finale in January is also streaming on his YouTube channel. The five-episode series written, created and directed by Jamdar himself, revolves around a man dealing with a multiple personality disorder who is known for being unrelatable while being challenged by his roommate to find a suitable date. It also features known personalities and content creators like Radhika Bangia, Aastha Shah, Shruti Sinha and many more.
Jamdar has been toying with the idea of playing a fictional version of himself. “The contradiction of being Salil, but still not being Salil felt like a fascinating space to be in,” he says. Jamdar couldn’t help but wonder what this guy would be like in front of women. That is how the idea of an abnormal loner going on multiple first dates came about, he says.
The biggest challenge Jamdar faced was pulling off episodes with just two people having a conversation, sitting in one place. “Moreover, I did not have the liberty to change locations or have fancy shots to break a dull moment. It was all about the script and performances,” he says. As part of the treatment, he decided to keep the moments raw, vulnerable and real—and so, didn’t resort to gimmicky sound effects and background scores. Except when Saala Salil randomly breaks into a song, which stems from his love for fairytale-like musicals.
After completing his engineering at KJ Somaya College, Mumbai, Jamdar joined film school at Whistling Woods International, Mumbai, where he trained to become an actor. Here, he also got to learn all the aspects of filmmaking, such as screenwriting and direction. After completing his course, he planned to write his own stuff and create acting work for himself till people began to sit up and take notice. Further, being trained in basic Hindustani classical music even before his film school days, music has always remained a part of whatever he wrote or created.
Being a YouTuber, however, happened purely by accident. In 2015, Jamdar was given a chance as an actor-singer-songwriter on a channel called ‘Shudh Desi Gaane’. In no time, the videos went viral. He used the momentum to start his own channel, Salil Jamdar & Company, in 2018 and continued showcasing his skills with more liberty. Jamdar believes that art is power and that audio-visual entertainment can bring about a revolution in this era. Through the content that he creates, he aims to bring something that goes beyond entertainment, touches the viewer and makes them think—whether through bold hard-hitting content, soulful music or lighthearted humour.
Currently, Jamdar has a feature film script under construction. In 2022, he also wants to give more energy to his music. “I have a bank of original songs that I want to put out this year, hopefully in collaboration with a trusted label that will do justice to them in terms of reach and exposure,” he says.
Activist at Heart
Some of Jamdar’s earlier videos have raised awareness about various social issues like corruption and farmer suicides. One of his most celebrated works is his Asli Mard Trilogy, a series that talks about the problem of porn addiction. The series tells the story of a porn addict at his lowest, and goes on to show how he finally frees himself from a dangerous mental epidemic that few people talk about, and to enhance the narrative, Jamdar makes use of dark comedy and music.