SJ VLOGS – world through a helmet
SJ VLOGS is a moto vlogger based out of Delhi and known to have completed long trips like Delhi to Sikkim, Delhi to Leh-Ladakh and many more that too on a bike. He is a professional youtuber who travels around India on his KTM 390 Adventure.
Here is Shubham Jha in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY AS A MOTO VLOGGER BEGIN?
My journey as a moto vlogger began at a very young age. I used to ride my bicycle and talk to myself. I would talk about everything and anything that was going around. Like exams, my daily life, if an accident happened in front, I would talk about that. I never thought this would turn out into something like moto vlogging. What I found interesting was the way other moto vloggers used to describe everything that was going on. It was nothing high-fi and was all normal. So I found it very interesting and thought of doing something into it. My first journey was Leh-Ladakh. I chose it because it is a very familiar place for bikers even though at that point I was not one. That trip marked my definitive love for riding and moto vlogging. Earlier I had a bicycle and not a camera, now I have a camera and a nice beautiful bike. Rest all the feelings are the same.
2) ANY SCARY OR DANGEROUS MEMORIES FROM ONE OF YOUR RIDES.
I’d say the most scariest experience I ever had was the one I had when I was in Nepal. I met a guy named Bimal. We became good friends as we had been staying in Pokhra for that last 6 days. He wanted to take me to his village. I tried to make him understand that I can’t come but he was too nice and it was his mother’s birthday the next day. So we decided to go and left for his village during the night. It was raining heavily and the road was total off-roading. At some point, I became worried that what if he is trying to loot us? Moto vloggers have various and very expensive equipments plus the bike cost with them whenever they go on a ride. So at the back of my mind, I was a little worried. We even slipped off the bike a couple of times and it felt like this might be the last ride of my life. But it luckily turned out to be wonderful and we had a lot of fun staying in his peaceful village.
3) WHO HAS BEEN YOUR INSPIRATION?
Talking about my inspiration I’d say that since the very beginning I have been learning a lot. Whenever I look at any moto vlogger or Instagram influencer who has been already associated with the camera business and the subscriber business, I try to find things that can make my content more interesting. I don’t judge artist with their subscribers and if I find their content interesting then I will surely reach that artist and will try to bring those things into my content and try to make my content more reachable and more presentable. Since the very beginning, I have been a huge fan of Mumbaikar Nikhil. I have been following his vlogs for long and really love his content. Before that, I have been a huge fan of UIC vlogs (Your Indian Consumer). These are the faces of YouTube. These guys inspired as well as fascinated me with their lifestyle. Looking at them, it felt like vlogging is a thing. They made me feel like I am a part of their life. There is a channel from Bihar, MySmartSupport, they are based out of a backward village in the interiors of Bihar. They have very basic videos which have natural content. They inspired me to have faith in my originality.
4) WHICH HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE?
I’d say that there are 2 most memorable experiences in my life that I will remember forever. The first one would be my first ever ride to Leh-Ladakh as I said before. Unfortunately, I could not complete that ride as I met with an accident in Ladakh itself. So I had to come back. At that time, I was not that financially strong through YouTube and I came in debt. It was a really hard time. But after that, it all worked out for the best. The next time I went to Ladakh, I was at Khardung-La top when I reached 5 Lac subscribers on YouTube. I still remember I was dancing like anything on the top. The other experience would be the ride I took from Delhi to my village in Bihar. It is a memorable one because it involves my mother. I always had a dream to ride from Delhi to my village on my bike. My mother, who would let me ride a bike from Delhi to America, but won’t let me ride from Delhi to Bihar because she thinks it’s too far. I wanted to break her myth and tell her that it’s not that far and I can do it.
5) WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE IN CREATING YOUR VLOGS?
Equipments don’t really matter if your story has some depth and interest in it. I’d say that any artist should not be fascinated only by the equipments that are used. If you have a good story and talent and are willing to give what it takes, you are good to go. You need a good story before equipments. Talking about the equipments that I use, I started by using a DSLR in the beginning and still use one. Currently I am using Canon 200D with a couple of lenses like 10-18, 18-55 and 50MM. Along with this, my secondary camera is G7X Mark II. I use these for vlogging purposes, and for riding, I use a GoPro Hero 7. I have 2 GoPro Hero 7s and one GoPro Max. For arial shots, I use a DGI MAVIC AIR 2. I also used DGI MAVIC AIR before and still have that.
6) WHICH HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE MOTORCYCLE FOR THE VLOGGING PURPOSE?
I’d say that I have never met a person who has ever bought a bike for, especially vlogging purposes. I’d say that there are various purposes like long rides, city travels, stunts and more purposes for which bikes are bought. Right now, I’d say I have my dream bike KTM 390 Adventure which has got all the functions. Obviously, in the coming time, I’ll switch to a better option, I’d say a BMW or Tiger 800 or Tiger 1200. There are many options and who knows what might come in future. If I talk about show and polishing purposes, I have a ZX10R which is the best option I have.
7) WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIVE FROM THIS CHANNEL?
Through these channels, the only thing I hope to achieve is a collection of memories. I have 2 different channels namely SJ Vlogs and SJ 365. SJ Vlogs is all about informatics from automobile. But SJ 365 is what my favourite channel is. I document all my rides and my moments in this and I look to preserve them till my last breath. I just imagine myself lying on a hospital bed in my 80s and looking for some positivity in life. I believe the best possible way to achieve is this through these videos. Videos capture moments better then pictures and hence, I look forward to capture all my memories through this channel.
8) TELL US ABOUT YOUR MOST RECENT TRIP?
My most recent memorable trip would be the one I rode from Delhi to Sikkim. North East had been in my bucket list for I don’t even know how long. So finally I decided to strike it off and did this. Even though in all my journeys I make memories and meet a lot of new people, I also make a lot of new friends. But this trip had something different. I can’t explain the sublime beauty of the landscapes I experienced there. That place had a very soothing peace. This trip is special because I did the Delhi to Bihar trip also on the same one. It was a long trip and ended at about 4000 kms to-and-fro Delhi.
9) HOW WAS LIFE IN QUARANTINE?
I can say this for anyone I know that this quarantine made us learn a lot of new things. Even though I was worried how 2020 might turn out, it turned out to be way then better than I expected. My 2019 was filled with adventure and it was awesome. So I thought maybe 2020 is not year for riders as the lockdown made any trips impossible to happen. So I learned new things like appreciating home cooked food.
10) ANY ADVICE FOR UPCOMING CONTENT CREATOR.
I’d say that if I have to give an advice, it would be to all the artists as I don’t think anyone is just a content creator. We are all artists who are working on our arts. The advice would be to never think that what they did was their best work. They should always be ready and more perceptible for improvement. We should always be ready to learn new and better things. For eg. If tomorrow there are thousands of people watching you, you should still be humble and loving towards everyone and don’t just go for numbers. Keep working on your art and it will surely bring you all dreams.