From the humble beginnings of a small town to the sparkling highways of music video direction and fashion photography is a dream that he would like to live every time, says Abhijet Raajput, formally known as Mr. Raajput in the media industry. Abhijet is a music video director, photographer, and a producer.
His story truly inspires everyone who wants to make it big in the industry and proves that where you come from doesn’t matter! ‘What matters is your attitude combined with a never-dying approach to achieve what you set out to do for yourself,’ says Abhijet, giving us a brief narrative of his journey from the small town of Aligarh to Pune’s world of music videos and fashion photography. He is all set with his next big leap: international music videos lined up for a release to test waters on the global music video circuit.
It all started in the year 2008 with his interest in Punjabi music videos that he used to watch sitting at his house in Sasni Gate, a small locality in Aligarh. He dreamt of shooting similar videos someday. There was something enthralling about the amalgamation of visuals with music, singing, and the performance of an artist telling a story. He felt that he should share this.
He took up a graphic designing and editing course at Arena Multimedia while trying to figure out the way to get on to the path of realizing his dream of becoming a music video director.
He says after realizing what you want to do, the bigger task is to take the next step of moving to the place where you can be around the experts and learn the art. For him, it was Pune. It wasn’t easy to make a move as, there were many insecurities attached with pursuing this career coupled with family pressure.
He says that his dream got a kick-start when his dad, who is a defence army personnel, was transferred to Pune. At that very moment, he knew that his starting point would be Pune, which is close to Mumbai, the city of dreams and the entertainment capital of India.
After moving to Pune with the limited knowledge he had, he enrolled himself in MAAC (Maya Academy of Advance Cinematics) and started learning cinematics and visual effects. He started connecting with people from FTII (Film and Television Institute of India), which fascinated him and made him even more passionate about making videos. With his newly developed connections and his passion to learn filmmaking, he received an opportunity to start assisting FTII directors on their projects, which helped him experience live shoots. He also acquired the technical understanding of the entire process of filmmaking. He also helped directors in casting for films being shot in Pune. He believes that when you start working in any area, you should become an expert by grabbing all the opportunities that come your way.
Pune in those days was a budding hub for fashion photography. Abhijet took his fashion folios and went to known fashion photographers of the city for work. They refused to take him even as an assistant, saying his skills were not up to the mark. The same thing happened when he decided to start shooting fashion folios as a freelancer. However, after all the struggles, he finally rose like a phoenix from the ashes. He turned fashion photography into his profession, and people started noticing and acknowledging his work. The demand for his fashion folios increased, making him the new name in the city of Pune within one year.
He says that his claim to fame in Pune was a calendar shoot in 2014 with a few top international models of that time from modeling agencies like Toabh and Inega. The shoot was noticed and appreciated by Pune’s media corporates and led to more such shoots followed by magazine editorials and designer collection shoots with international top models with known brands.
That’s when he decided that it was time to realize his dream of shooting music videos. Kurbaan by singer T Jay marked the beginning of his career as music video director. This also led to inquiries from Punjab music industry artists, and he was introduced to well-known Punjabi singer Sarthi K. Subsequently, he launched the music video of Nakhra, which garnered a great response from viewers and led to more music videos. The current viewership of his videos on YouTube is in millions.
But the dreamer in him didn’t want to stop there! He wanted to shoot videos of international scale and quality, for which there were always budget constraints and issues of conflicting mindset with partners. His first attempt to inculcate an international feel in a Punjabi video can be seen in the videos of Explain with singers T Jay and Mellow D and Love Struck with T Jay. Currently, he has shot three international videos, which are in post-production and will release soon.