Crown The Brown: Preven Reddy
Crown The Brown exclusive on Comedian, actor, presenter and content creator Preven Reddy. Preven Reddy is known as certainly being a relatable entertainer! He brings smiles to so many South Africans, especially South Asians. He is known for his killer content and sensational style! Preven is most certainly someone worth watching as he keeps to his roots and has a never ending love for entertainment as well as advocating for others. Crown The Brown had the great pleasure of learning more about the content king! This is what Prev had to share with us!
Comedian, actor and entertainer at heart! What motivated you towards comedy and entertainment? How did it all start?
So comedy is something that I have definitely discovered in the past 4 /5 years. It’s become a great part of who I am and something that I am truly passionate about. Acting has been with me for as long as I can remember. When I was a child all I wanted to do was perform and entertain. I’d watch movies like Spy Kids or Harry Potter and as much as I was engrossed in those worlds, I just wanted to be the kids playing those characters.
Seeing what entertainment does to a person, be it a song, comedian, tv show or movie and how it impacts their life is what made me want to get into the entertainment industry. I got my first big break in 2010 when I auditioned for the Young Performers Project (which is a project in Durban where a professional team of theatre directors, choreographers etc get together and put on a show with high school kids) and the 2010 production was Hairspray, from there the entertainment bug just grew and here we are!
As an entertainer, you are known for bringing fire content. How would you describe yourself and your content?
This means a lot thank you cause I have break downs daily about what to post next! The word I would use to describe my content is Relatable. You know when I started to do the videos online, I first genuinely did not expect it to grow the way it has. At the time I was a PA in T.v & Film, and I was doing free 5 minute comedy sets around Johannesburg.
In high school I used to do Youtube videos (like everyone our age at that time) but the videos were a carbon copy of other successful Youtubers. So when I started doing stand-up. It brought me back to YouTubing, as I found myself trying to do comedy in a ‘trevor noah’ style. I was watching other comedians do the same.
It was during that period that I realize 2 things. 1.) The only reason we relate to trevor is because trevor lived through or experienced / experiences everything he talks about. And 2.) We live in a world were I can post a video that’s a different form of stand-up, talk about situations that I’ve lived through, reach more people and not drive all over Johannesburg to earn something less than the petrol costs. And that’s when I posted my first video, which would now be 2 years ago.
What are some mistakes that you think many entertainers make in the industry?
We watch each other and think that we’re competition. Is our biggest mistake. If all our online entertainers collaborated, I promise you, we would have national stars. Tanz & I experienced the power of collabing when we started doing our Vassie / Prev videos. And the thing is I don’t blame everyone for treating things like a competition.
This is a competitive industry, and it’s even worse in our country cause work in this field is scarce. But in the online space we aren’t competing, we shouldn’t see it that way. Everyone already has their core fan-base, working with other creators is just a way of expanding your work and bringing in people who may of never heard or seen you before. I’ve just seen and been around a lot of creatives who treat this environment like a competition or race and I truly don’t understand it. We’re all different and bring different surprises to the party! Let’s celebrate each other!
As a South Asian male entertainer, what are the challenges or stereotypes that you have encountered?
So this is a big one. Firstly when I walk into an audition or a casting, people expect a ‘typical indian’ accent and it always bugs me. The same with my stand-up, granted my online content is based on Indian culture and experiences however I am also South African, so I grew up among a lot of cultures and cultural influencers, so when I do a gig or stand-up organizers or club owners will ask for ‘just the indian stuff’ which to mean is a major frustration because, if you’ve ever seen me live there isn’t a lot of ‘indian stuff’ but a lot of South African stuff.
How do you use your platform to encourage others regarding recognition and diversity within the entertainment industry?
I try to do live videos regularly to just sometimes explain an audition that I went for or a project I’m working on etc. And use that to show and encourage people, especially Indian kids, that this life is possible for them. It’s not easy but it’s possible.
I meet so many people as well when I go out to a mall or restaurants and more often than not I get parents telling me that their kids are inspired by me or follow my stuff online and want to do what I do. I always tell the parents to please let them!
And support them because we need more diversity in the industry, we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg now with films like the kandasamy’s, 3days to go and kings of mulberry street. But we need more, we need a diverse range of actors, online stars, singers, presenters etc. Therefore I always tell them to please, do it! Because we need you more than you think.
What are your thoughts on diversity within South Africa, especially regarding South Asian recognition and being a public figure?
It’s tricky because yes we are diverse in most fields and then in some we’re not. You know certain places have a very narrow perception and what diverse is. Often it means if they have 2 people that are 2 completely different races then it’s ‘diverse’ enough. Which it not the case, we’re a rainbow nation and we need to show that more in this industry.
As a comedian, how do you incorporate your personality within your skits in terms of finding content and ensuring that it becomes relatable to your audience?
My personality is in all my videos, I always go back to the question above when I said I used to do youtube but be a carbon copy of another youtube, I believe now that if my personality is not in the video then no ones going to buy it. We’re surrounded by so much content and so many creators and celebs that if you can’t be yourself and your own flavour then people would rather watch the real deal & not a generic.
The content comes from my household, my family. Every video I’ve posted, I’ve lived through (Except the music parody’s!) . The content is very close to home. And I think now that I’ve created these characters.
This sort of world where all these aunties and parents live. I have freedom and ideas to build on and create an aunty that we all know and have. As well as situations that she’s been in or creates, or an uncle or a cousin. But again all of those ideas come from living through the situations and experiencing them at every family gathering!
We love local talent and you are surely someone that people adore! As a local entertainer, what difference do you hope to make within the entertainment industry and why?
I love you guys so much! It’s already being done with our local films but I want people look at all aspects of the entertainment industry be it radio, tv, music, youtubers and be more excited about our local content than international ones. So I want to continue to give quality like our musicians and filmmakers do.
So we can build an encompassing industry that the country can be proud of. Proud of to say that I am going to stay right here and follow my dream as opposed to moving to L.A or New York.
Any upcoming projects we should know about?
None that I can speak about just yet but! Port Shepstone I’m coming over for the first time in July but details will be posted soon.
What advice would you give other entertainers or content creators out there?
START. NOW. Don’t wait to be told, don’t ask if you should. If you have the talent, believe in yourself (most importantly) then go for it. In the beginning no one is going to believe in you trust me, and the beginning can be a long time but as long as you believe in yourself and keep pushing.
When the big break or any break happens, and other people start believing in you to. That’s how you know you were made for this, and you’re strong enough to pursue this.
Preven Reddy brings joy with every skit and wig on the block! Aunty Shamila is pure fire and so relatable. This is one entertainer that is truly admirable for his hard work and endurance. Preven is not only hilarious and fun loving but has an immense amount of appreciation for his fans. He is one rising star worth following. Prev makes us feel proud to be South Asian and brings more spice to our Indian lives!