If you’ve never heard of the YouTube channel Rwnl Pwnl, you need to get on it! The channel was originally created by Faras Aamir and Dawar Aamir along with some childhood friends. Rwnl Pwnl has now expanded to include the talents of Shah-Ameer Wali and Amber Khan. The channel offers amazing content on YouTube in the form of comedy skits, parodies, and even series’ like their show, “Brown Code.”
The talented group of friends are killing the game with their hilarious parodies of popular mainstream songs that truly hit the mark when it comes to the struggles of growing up South Asian American.
Just check out their “Bodak Yellow” parody which portrays the difficulties of living with a non-desi roommate in college.
The parody came from Khan’s love for Cardi B. When Faras wrote the rap she forced him to record it, but he had an ultimatum for her.
“I wasn’t really feeling it because I wasn’t sure if anyone would get it,” Faras said about his parody. “I have grown up around predominately white friends and we would poke fun of our own cultures and each others in good fun. So I made this song to have a laugh over our differences. It’s really cool to have a team of people that encourage each other the way Amber pushed me to get this idea out. She wasn’t sure about her place on the musical.ly app but because of this parody, Shah-Ameer and I got her to start making videos for it after I promised to do Bodak Brown.”
The response to the Cardi B video has been amazing for the team. It garnered a lot of attention and love from fans. It reached over 235,000 people on Facebook in just a week.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive, only a few negative comments here and there, but that comes with any project that gets a lot of attention,” Wali said.
“It’s nice to see a cultural mix of people sharing the video and tagging their friends,” added Faras. “It’s not just South-Asians who relate to this video but we’re still able to offer our cultural perspective.”
Rwnl Pwnl is just one channel of many from their company, Alif Theory a media brand. From parodies of songs, skits, and original music on YouTube to podcasts and music.ly content. The creators also have their own personal channels on various platforms for more behind the scenes videos and vlogs. When asked about their various channels, Wali said the unique outlets allow them to reach different audiences.
New to the channel? Dawar suggests “Types of People During Ramadan” as one of his favorite videos to make. Wali cites parodies as his favorite content to create because represents their hyphenated identity best.
“It gives an avenue to those who may not be in tune with their cultural roots, or may not be in tune with American culture,” explains Wali. “In combining the best of both worlds, people have something to be excited about with the South-Asian culture, in times, where our culture may not be represented so positively in the media.”
Wali specifically suggests watching their desi parody to “Unforgettable,” which they shot during a vacation to Texas.
Faras enjoys creating their podcasts like the series “Strange Flavors.”
“The podcast, ‘Strange Flavors,’ serves as more of a learning opportunity for us than a creative one,” explains Faras. “People of all walks of life come on to our show and tell us their stories and challenge our ways of thinking or living.”
“Brown Code” is another hit series the crew has developed together on YouTube. Similar to the MTV “Girl Code” and “Guy Code” shows, “Brown Code” takes on the South Asian and Middle Eastern perspective on life in the west.
“It’s a great ‘show’ to tell the youth in our culture, that ‘hey, there are other brown kids that have gone through similar experiences, and we aren’t so different after all.’ It also shows those outside of our culture what we’re really like aside from what they may hear about us on the news” said Wali. “They often find it hilarious and especially educational.”
“The children of immigrant parents from South Asia have a hard time relating to both American and South-Asian culture, so this sort of showcases the idea of being Pakistani-American, Indian-American, Arab-American, etc.” Khan added.
So, are we going to get a season 3 of episodes?
“Growing up brown has an endless amount of bizarre experiences and hilarious stories, we undoubtedly owe another season,” answered Faras.
Sounds like good news for us! The team of Alif Theory is filled with talent and living in Maryland, they never had many creative or artistic influences. Besides their location, the lack of diversity in mainstream media is discouraging. They took it upon themselves to use what they had around them to create their content.
“People around here often say you’ll never get anywhere unless you move to L.A. or New York, or know the right people,” Faras said. “Although those things may help, or not, it would be ridiculous not to give our passions a shot. With Alif literally being the start of the alphabet, that’s what we live by through the brand, simply starting. Now and Here – that’s the answer when we question ourselves ‘When and Where are you willing to start?’ That’s the Alif Theory.”
Besides an upcoming season of “Brown Code” (hopefully) in the works soon, the team has some new projects lined up. Khan is working on incorporating more relevant content to her podcasts, Dawar has comedy sketches, music and dance videos he’s working on, and Wali hopes for bigger and better everything for their channel.
Where do they see themselves in the future?
The unanimous answer from all of them seems to be entertaining, spreading socially positive messages and working together full-time.
“The hope is to see all our channels and artists grow under Alif Theory to be able to produce higher quality content,” Dawar responded.
The advice the team has for new creators is to “Just start.”
“You have an idea? YouTube it. Don’t know how to do it? Google it. Want personal advice? Send a DM to someone who you know may be doing what you want to do” said Wali. “With the internet, everything is at your fingertips. And most importantly, surround yourself with those that have similar ambitions.”
The team still has some content left for 2017 but they’re hoping 2018 will be bigger and better than the last.
“Bigger Parodies. Bigger Videos. Big Podcast guests. More Original Music. Bigger Vlogs. More, more, more. And everything will be much bigger,” Wali said. “2017 has been amazing to all of us. 2018 will be even better.”