Home / News / India /  Instagram sensation Saloni Gaur aka Nazma Aapi’s popularity soars amid lockdown

NEW DELHI: Owing to lockdown and people spending increased amount of time on social media, emerging comic influencer Saloni Gaur (Salonayyy) better known as Nazma Aapi has hit over 150,000 followers mark on Instagram ever since her debut on the platform in 2017.

Known for her satire and humorous socio-political commentary in her short videos, the 20-year old internet sensation has been creating quick daily videos with new characters around coronavirus and ongoing lockdown.

“I've reached 100k subscribers in lockdown so definitely people are watching more content online. Even I'm making more content, uploading one video everyday so the engagement is quite high," said Gaur.

Hailing from Bulandsahar, Uttar Pradesh, Gaur is pursuing studies at Delhi University. Her journey began with posting short videos on Instagram and Facebook with a character called Pinky Dogra who would rant about key developments. However, Gaur’s breakout character has been an opinionated and candid Muslim woman Nazma Aapi who looks at socio-political issues albeit through a middle class woman’s lens. Gaur has been focused on creating a variety of relatable characters including Kusum Behenji, adarsh bahu, saasu maa, Doordarshan didi, influencer Ishita, DU wali didi. Among celebrities she impersonates Kangana Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor, Ananya Panday and Neha Dhupia.

“Celebrities mimicry is easy as the focus is mostly on voice modulation and catching their accent. Other video content require a more focused approach in terms of ideation, punches and right delivery," Gaur said.

Apart from her authentic style and raw video footage which seems to create an one-on-one connect with viewers, what sets Gaur apart from others is a point of view on socio-political issues in her videos.

“I’ve inherited the knack of news from my father who pushed us to read a newspaper daily before leaving for school. We would also watch and discussed key developments on television news with our father. This interest lead me to pursue political science in college and that's how opinions are formed but I never let videos be biased towards any ideology or party," Gaur clarified.

Recently, her video on Arnab vs Sonia Gandhi was trolled on Twitter. There have been social media criticism of her character Nazma Aapi by a section of people as her reach increases trollers and haters have also lined up.

"Twitter has a majority of users with strong political opinion. I don't take sides in my videos. I only crack jokes and I've realised people do get offended so now I simply mute notifications after posting a video. I have stopped responding to hateful comments," she said.

Needless to say that trolls are only adding to popularity as brands are approaching the young influencer who might be charging between 50,000 to 1 lakh for a video.

Prashant Puri, co-founder and chief executive of AdLift believes that Gaur's success lies in the choice of moment marketing led topics which have led to the surge in her follower base and viewership.

"She does a brilliant job at subtlely putting across the point that religion caste are not the points of discussion," he added.

Gaur has worked with online mutual funds platform Kuvera and mobile game app Ludo King.

According to Kuvera's Praveen Kumar Kuril, Gaur was an obvious choice to reach out to young customers who are beginning to start their financial journey and use digital platforms to make financial decisions.

"As a company we also wanted to reach out to more women and empower them to become financially independent hence partnering with Saloni was an easy choice. She is a true representation young women today who are shaping their own life by making informed independent choices," he said.

Gaur is ambitious as she wants to dive deep into serious stand-up space, hone her craft before looking at options on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime where comic content is thriving.

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