Faisal Sheikh, popularly known as Mr Faisu, is one of the most popular Indian celebrities globally. He is known for his fashion, lip-sync, and acting on TikTok and is frequently seen collaborating with other Indian celebrities.
Faisu first started posting on YouTube with his friends, Team 07. The group consists of five members: Faisal Shaikh, Hasnain Khan, Adnaan Shaikh, Faiz Baloch and Shadan Farooqui.
Faisal has also appeared in several music videos. He's made appearances in the videos "Viah Nai Karauna," "Kaali Meri Gadi," "Fruity Lagdi Hai" and "Nazar Na Lag Jaye" alongside fellow TikTok stars and social media personalities.
After entertaining his fans on social media, Faisu made his acting debut with Alt Balaji's action thriller, Bang Baang: The Sound Of Crimes.
In an exclusive conversation with IB Tmes India, Faisu spoke at length about his journey from being an influencer to an actor, how he groomed himself to make interactive videos, and spills the beans about the famous YouTubers Vs TikTok feud that was one of the major fights that happened on the web amidst the pandemic.
Were you offered OTT shows before Bang Bang?
Isse Pehle web series ke offer Aaye hai (I was offered web series before this). However, the positioning that I got for Alt Balaji's Bang Bang is tremendous. It is a complete package. I have got a lead role, and I am doing the action, I am romancing. I am thankful to Ekta Kapoor ma'am and the director and writer for giving me this role.
How well versed are you with action? Did you take formal training to get into the skin of the character?
Initially, when I started I wasn't prepared, I was nervous, a lot of things were going in my mind. As it is my debut show, how will the audience react? Will I be able to pull off the role? Performing action sequences was tough for me in the beginning. Gradually things started to fall in place then I completed my training and workshops. I did my MMA, and kickboxing training and that's how I prepped up for my role.
You are coined as one of the most powerful influencers on the internet, who is your favourite action hero?
I like Tiger Shroff. He is so very skilled and polished. Every action of his is flawless.
When you started, did you plan or strategise, were you aware of the term 'influencer' or did you start making TikTok videos casually?
I started very casually. I had no intention and focus that I want to be an influencer. Even when I didn't start making videos I used to watch videos, I would keep scrolling and look out for videos on the internet just random, funny ones, and then lip-sync. Mein Pehle dub Karta tha, phir new apps try Kia, and logo ka Pyaar mila aur mein motivate hua. (I started off making random videos, without any plan, people started liking it, which motivated me to make more content). I always kept one thing in mind, that whatever I curate should resonate with every age group. I belong to a very simple family, and I made sure that they don't feel awkward or embarrassed when they see my videos.
Once you became a star on TikTok, how did you ensure that tour content stands apart from other influencers?
My TikTok account was banned 8-9 months before the official TikTok ban in India. At that time, I decided to groom myself, and I changed the context and content. I joined dance class, I used to post my dance videos, my fitness, and started posting a different kind of content. When TikTok was banned officially, I started to focus and make more informative and interactive videos on Instagram, from kickboxing videos, to work out videos, to funny ones. I started to strategise. I learnt thought my journey, and I believe there is no age for learning and growing. Once I changed my social media content, I started catering to a wider audience. And now InshaAllah I m getting good brand promotions. I recently collaborated with Adil Khan. All I can say is grooming has helped me a lot.
Who is your biggest fan and critic?
Meri Ammi (mother) bahut supportive hai, she loves my work. And for grooming and other updates, my younger sister Zarka and my friend advise me on making video look better and enticing. Mein unse ideas leta rehta hoon ( I take ideas from my sister and my friend).
So what next are you keen on exploring acting or influencing?
If I get more offers, I will definitely focus on acting. I will keep learning and keep myself updated so that I get good roles.
Amidst the pandemic, we all saw the biggest virtual war between YouTubers vs TikTok. What do you have to say about the reason behind it?
Pandemic ka time tha and sab pareshan the and they were thinking kya Kare aur kya nai kar. I have never spoken about Youtube vs Tik Tok feud. All I can say is it was pandemic and Kiska mood off rehta hai. Kiska mood Sahi rehta hai. Kya unees-bees19-20 hojata kisko samaj nai ata hai (As we were amidst the pandemic one can't say why it happened, people go through a lot of emotions).
What have you learned from the things that you have faced on social media?
Baas mera thought yehi hai, till the time you are seen just keep working. Kaam seekne ko age nai hoti. Updated rehna chaiye. Khud ko busy rakhoge toh phaltu cheezo se dur rahoge. Yehi apne vision and thought ko aage badhta hai. (Stay focused and never stop learning )
Lastly, what do you want to tell your fans?
I'm thankful to all my fans. unhone Pyaar aur support diya hai, I will always be indebted to you. Guys keep loving me Inshalla I will keep entertaining you.