If you’re up to date with the universe of Youtube, then it’s almost impossible to not know who Scherezade Shroff is. Her genuine excalamtion of ‘Hi Guys’ at the beginning of every video is enough to lift your spirits up at the end of a tiring day -- it almost feels like an old acquaintance is catching up with you. Scherezade aka Sherry Shroff started her Youtube career back in the day when it wasn’t the ‘new cool’, when people were barely aware of what the concept of vlogging entailed. Sherry did not suddenly catapult to fame, she amassed her 300 something thousand followers on Youtube bit by bit, over the years, through her dedication and commitment to the profession. She started working at the age of 16 as a model and then moved on to study law but continued working as a model. She discovered Youtube by chance when a network reached out to her, insisting she be their face and once she got the hang of it, there was no turning back. Something that happened by 'pure accident', as she called it, translated into being her passion.
There’s one thing about the digital world as we know it, that there are no rules, it’s fair game for everybody. The internet doesn’t care what one’s intentions maybe, every individual putting themselves out there is constantly the target of hate comments and trolling whether they deserve it or not. Sherry knows how to deal with it, she’s got a strategy set in place. She elaborates, 'you have to be thick skinned and be able to deal with it. In this space you have to give people the opportunity to speak their minds as well. I usually never shy away from responding to my hate comments.' She’s not a novice but someone who has stuck to Youtube for the past seven years and deeply understands the short life cycle of trends. The digital world may be moving at a rapid speed but Sherry knows how to keep up. While Youtube is her primary medium, she stays relevant by creating content for all kinds of medium and doesn't just stick to one.
A still from her video
There is no dearth of content on the internet nowadays. Wherever you look, there’s someone available dabbling in all kinds of genres, but Sherry tells me that her curation implies reflecting her now. She adds, 'It’s always been what I feel. If I’m not feeling well on a particular day, I’m open to telling people honestly that I won’t be able to upload anything. When I got married, there was wedding content. I also have a diary where I take notes for videos or generic content and when I’m stuck, I tend to take a day off or go back to my notes for ideas.' Being a creator is no easy task, it may look like a very glamorous lifestyle -- jet setting around the world and what not -- but it requires hard work like any other job or probably more so because of the lack of a coherent structure. 'There is no real work life balance because as a creator you work from home. It’s important to prioritise, set goals and hours as you work. I’ve now stopped looking at my phone when I go out with family or friends, even though most would consider it work for me. I think I really don’t need to be doing it at that point,' explains Sherry.
The influencer vs. content creator debate is still fresh on the market. This experimental industry is still brand new for India, finding its ways and techniques of doing things. We’re still catching up to the West in terms of ethics and regulations, which is something I recently discovered through a video posted by Sherry herself. With an in-depth explanation sans any jargon, she elaborated on how brand deals and sponsored content works. Her honest approach not only vouches for her authenticity but also explains her stance on how things ahould work. 'I think today we have no regulation system, we have no laws against what you can or cannot promote. There needs to be a lot more done in terms of a code of ethics for all creators. The whole point of being a blogger was to share raw, organic feelings, which is missing from the industry nowadays.'
A still from her video
We’re living in highly uncertain times and the entire world is connected and adapting to deal with the pandemic. Sherry took her time adjusting to it and when she’s not vacuuming or cleaning her house, she’s busy raising funds, 'I’m usually not a homebody and it’s taken some time to develop a routine and understand things around this situation. I’m helping raise funds through Quarancharity during the lockdown. I started this with a friend. Pri Shewakramani, and we’ve managed to raise quite a lot.' They carry out workshops and sessions to help kill boredom at home and the registration money goes to the associated charitable organisation. Notable names such as Pooja Dhingra, Anaita Shroff Adajania and Gaurav Gupta have stepped in to help. The future might witness the dying down of Youtube and Instagram, but the bona fide Sherry Shroff brand is here to stay.Text Unnati Saini