With the kind of popularity The Cartoonz Crew enjoys, it might look like everything is going great with the dance crew and all of its members are super happy and satisfied; but the truth is something else.
In a candid interview with Ramailo Chha, the crew members talked about a lot of stuff — from Sabin Karki Beest’s exit from the crew to the income and the abusive YouTube comments — they spoke their hearts out.
Started in late 2009, the six-member crew consists of Saroj Adhikari aka Pwale, Aashma BK aka Sky, Bikash Rai aka Virzil, Ram Gurung aka Hulk, Lakpa Lama aka Spidey and Subin Chauhan aka Bat.
“We were like brothers. We used to motivate each other. Many people think he left the crew because of us but we never asked him to leave. It was his wish to leave”, said Saroj about Sabin’s exit. He was last seen with the crew in ‘Funtastic’ dance cover video, Cartoon Crew’s most popular video with over 17 million YouTube views.
“We hadn’t expected that Funtastic [dance cover] would be such a hit. The audience gave us a lot of love and we thought our days have finally come. All those years of struggle; and finally we were hopeful that now we will be able to do good”, Saroj further says. “But then Sabin slowly started to distance from us. We used to call him to join us again — we called him even until ‘Naai Malai Thaha Chhaina’ — because even we get criticized for not having him and we get hurt. And it’s good to move forward together; but he wanted to do something on his own.”
Saroj then talked about the difficulties the crew had to go through after Sabin quit. “It was extremely difficult for us. We only had two options left; we could leave dancing and try for foreign employment because we, too, have to take care of our families. We all sat together to decide and came up with the decision to continue — we have struggled for years, have cried, we used to perform on the streets and now we’ve reached here — so we continued.”
“But we didn’t have anything, not even the [YouTube] channel. Beest’s channel was like the group’s channel for us but it went along with him. We waited for almost a year, hoping he might return. And recently only, we started a new channel and have released some videos from there.”
“We have a lot of problems in the group. We don’t have anything. We have just started the [YouTube] channel and have little hope. We want to collect some money from the channel and from the shows to have a studio because we don’t even have a studio of our own yet”, says an emotional Saroj.
[From L to R] Ram Gurung, Subin Chauhan, Lakpa Lama, Bishal Rai, Aashma BK and Saroj Adhikari. Photo: RamailoChha
The members even talked about how they feel when people leave abusive comments on their videos, “They make me want to quit dancing”, says Aashma. When asked about the possibility of Sabin joining the crew again, she says, “He left us when we were alone and helpless. We don’t want that to happen again.”
Seeing the crew doing so many videos which get millions of views might make people think that they earn a lot of money but it’s quite ironical that even with the kind of hard work they put into their work, they hardly earn any money. “There’s no income. Each of us hardly get Rs. 5000 for doing a video. We have a gap of 45 to 60 days between two videos and it’s hard to sustain with that money.”
The members also announced that they will be taking a break for an uncertain amount of time after February next year. They will come up with a couple of more videos which they have already committed for in next two months before taking the break.
Watch the full interview here.