Home / Cover Story / Arkie Kandola: An Interview with a Serial Optimist. You Know Him, You Love Him, it’s Arkie Kandola

Arkie Kandola: An Interview with a Serial Optimist. You Know Him, You Love Him, it’s Arkie Kandola

Arkie 1We call him a comedian because he makes us laugh, but Arkie Kandola is not a comedian any more than the ‘alter-egos’ that have made him ahousehold name in the Internet Community – 2 Turbanz, Milkcake, ASAPArkie, Kinder Kumar and simply Arkie. While not a comic, Kandola is a “student of life” as he so eloquently put it.

“I want to shock
and awe people. I’m only looking for a reaction to my work.”

Arkinder (Arkie) Kandola is the youngest of five siblings, born to an entrepreneur and stay-at-home mom. Raised in an era when $4 an hour was common, Arkie hadbeen working odd jobs,before settling down at Herbalex Canada an all Natural Health Company his father established in 2002.
Arkie’s career as an artist how ever did not begin to evolve until he was 28,when an unlikely online Vitamin Water campaign led to the chance to create a commercial with the famous Steve Nash. His work since has been remarkable and he defends the integrity of what he does with compassion: He is quite possibly the most positive person we’ve ever met and tries to convey how deeply he cares about all he does, all while maintaining he could care less.

Desi Today: Arkie, thank you so much for talking with us, we really appreciate it. So let’s ask the million-dollar question, what made you start Fatt Boy Entertainment and what led you to start a YouTube channel of racy, but hilarious, videos?
AK: God. I think moments happen at times in our life and doors open avenues that we’re destined for, as long as we stay present. I think God leads you to everything. I come from a familyof trade, so film and music weredefinitely not checked off in C.A.P.P class, but here I am.Fatt Boy is not a company but a family. My child hood friend and brother G Kanda is the other half of Fatt Boy Ent, he also happens to own Lickerish Lounge too. We never have any fun there. Never. (As he winks with a smile)

“The only thing I won’t do is sell out, I’ll be who I am and my culture is in my DNA.”

DT: How did you manage the transition from YouTube to actually landing acting roles on sets like Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Rogue?
AK: I started off with YouTube and thought, why not shoot these off to talent agencies. I did a search of some local agencies and got five or six replies from agencies that were interested in some of my characters. It’s all about character presentation. I don’t necessarily do my work to be vulgar or racy, but just to push me out of my comfort zone. In life it’s easy to become too comfortable, down the road I don’t want to be the dude who’s like where did the last decade go. If we can continue to live out of our comfort, we live more in the present rather than the past or future.

DT: Are you an Independent Artist or with an Acting Agency?
AK: I’m with Muse Artist Management and my agent is Leyla Carriera. I’m very fortunate to find Leyla, she continues to be an angel in this process. Doesn’t hurt that she continues opening doors of opportunity, getting me into audition rooms with legitimate named directors and producers. Life is about learning, moving forward and having the right people around you. Without love and trust, life is just more than a pakora problem.

Arkie 4DT: Do you consider yourself a comedian or an artist?
AK: I don’t like labeling myself. Why be one thing in life, why just be an doctor or lawyer, who makes these rules that says we have to be ‘something’ or ‘someone’, why can’t we be a multitude of many things? (Arkie pauses to take a call from his dad). That’s what life is about, finding bits and pieces that help us belong. That’s what the new generation and Internet is about, we’re filling gaps and finding ways to present different types of art.

DT: As a visible Sikh actor, do you feel like you’re limited to certain roles?
AK: I think we as a society put limitations on ourselves. Limits are something that we create, and if you look at the universe, there are no limits to it. Us as humans “type-cast” ourselves, but this has been happening for generations and generations, nothing new.

“I’m not trying to be a role model for the youth, I’m too busy finding my purpose.”

DT: Do you feel like there’s enough support locally for young Canadian talent?
AK: I think the more the South Asian community gets out of their comfort zone, the easier it is to think for 3005. We’re too concerned about others failures and successes, and even though it’s 2014, an older element of our community is too concerned with what people think. Being from Surrey, we’ve become so comfortable with Punjabi people around that we forget that we are a minority in this world. We need to applaud the originality in our beings rather than create hate within.

DT: You push the limit with your videos. Where does that come from?
AK: Being the youngest in my family and having four older brothers, I definitely grew up in an R rated environment. What makes me laugh and cry is very different than others; I find an escape in the characters I portray.

Arkie 2DT: On the topic of family, your dad is in a lot of your videos. How have your parents reacted to your type of comedy and videos?
AK: I’m blessed to have parents that both accept who I am and what I do. My first video was for a vitamin water contest and I had a 30-second spot in my head that I wanted to shoot (winner got to be in a Commercial with Steve Nash) I asked him to show up at the Best Western in a tracksuit with an extra keshara. Once he jumped in the tub with his tracksuit on, I knew I wasn’t going to lose the contest. My dad can relate to my content a lot more than my mom for obvious reasons, but its always amusing hearing my mom maar the pump on the phone with relatives. I think it was just yesterday she said “Hanji, Movie vale ne accept karlia kinde nu” which in English translates to “yes, the movie guys have accepted Arkie”.

DT: At what point did people start recognizing you from your videos and YouTube channel?
AK: It was after the Steve Nash commercial. It showed me that anything that I put my mind to is possible. The seed has now blossomed from there, our following on YouTube continues to grow daily, especially my international followers. I’m focused on staying blessed and creating a new smile daily. We can’t have it all, I commonly get messages from random viewers confused on what they just watched. I’m not trying to be a role model for the youth;I’m too busy finding my purpose.

“Life is a blessing. We’ve won the lottery simply being born. I think we forget that at times. I like to keep it simple, humble and happy, God finds a way for everything else.”

DT: Where do you get your inspiration for videos?
AK: Life and everything in it, people are inspired and motivated by different things. I like to think I’ve opened up an ‘R-Rated” avenue for the South Asian market. The East coast for sure inspired FattBoy Entertainment, but the way God is connecting the dots, YouTube was just a door opened. We’re doing something different and people are going to realize it sooner than later.

DT: What’s next for Arkie Kandola and Fatt Boy Entertainment?
AK: Only God knows. Whatever it is, will be amazing, and I will have a chocolate bar in my pocket.

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