Meet Persian loko-star Farzam Kazemi, whose videos are the rage on social media
When it comes to skit videos, Farzam Kazemi—or Farzyloko as he is more popularly known—is quite literally a class act.
The Persian actor’s skits are viral on social media, so much so that Farzam has been featured in Javanan magazine, one of the most widely read Persian magazines in the US.
Farzam writes, directs, films, acts and edits his videos, and casts his friends and family members as extras or lead characters in his skits.
“I was born and raised in America but was always exposed to Persian culture,” says Farzam, who got a degree in Digital Filmmaking and started his profession as a cameraman and editor in the television news sector.
Farzam’s family is no stranger to the entertainment industry. “My father hosted and produced a weekly Persian television show out of NY for L.A.-based satellite network Tapesh during the early 2000s,” says Farzam, who is also the co-founder of 1st Class DJs (a full-service sound, lighting and entertainment company he owns with his friend) and DJs for special events and on weekends.
Farzam speaks to The Indian Sun about his profession and videos.
What got you started on ‘skit’ videos?
I’ve always been infatuated with showbiz and movies and the production that goes into creating them. During my teenage years, I would take a small camera everywhere and document everything including vacations and parties with friends. I would edit these videos and post them on MySpace for everyone to see. People seemed to enjoy them so I continued making more videos. I then studied film making in college and ended up working for a local TV news organization in 2010. Fast forward seven years, I currently work for one of the largest Spanish speaking television networks.
I have always worked behind the scenes though people tell me I have “the movie actor” look and that I should get into acting. Last year, I decided to start creating short comedy skits for social media and it started to catch people’s attention. The skits then began going viral.
Where do you get inspiration for your videos?
I was born in the US but was brought up by strict Persian parents. I’m very thankful for their way of raising me and can appreciate it more now that I am older. My parents enrolled my brother and me into a local Persian school and we learned everything from reading, writing, and speaking Farsi. With all of my experiences growing up, I come up with different ideas for my skits. The ideas actually come to me in the most random moments such as getting up at 6 am to go in the kitchen to get a drink of water or when I’m driving listening to music. I immediately key the idea in to my phone and later come back to it and write the script. Every skit I’ve produced has a script which includes every camera angle and dialogue.
You have tackled some controversial issues of the Persian culture in your skits, even one on homosexuality. What has been the reaction?
I do have a lot of diversity in all of my skits. Everything from stereotypes to social issues within the Persian culture. I want to be unique and not stick to one topic. I won’t ever do anything that relates to politics or religion because that’s not my style. Homosexuality not being easily accepted is one of the many stereotypes we have. However, I believe by making these skits, certain topics and stereotypes could bring up a discussion within my community. I was a little worried when I posted the skit not knowing how my audience would react. I took a chance and the skit turned out to be a big hit, and everyone loved it.
Do you feel like there is pressure to keep producing new skits on a weekly basis?
The pressure is ON! And I love it! I’ve always challenged myself in every aspect of my life and I think it has made me the person I am today. The challenge is finding the time to film, edit the skits and also trying to involve my family and friends and working around everyone’s schedule.
We hear a lot of Bandari background music in your skits and you have even discussed your passion for this genre of music. Can you tell us more?
Persian music has always been a huge part of my life. My father always had Persian music playing everywhere, in the house, car, anywhere. The music grew on me and today at the age of 32, I listen to the music more than anything else. I love every genre of Persian music but enjoy Bandari the most because it always makes me feel upbeat.
What is the most exciting thing that’s happened to you since you started making skit videos?
I truly enjoy everyone’s feedback, whether it’s my coworkers, family, and friends telling me in person how they loved “the latest skit”, or my fans on social media constantly commenting, messaging, and tagging their friends and family and sharing my videos.
I enjoy connecting with people from around the world especially non-Iranians who watch my videos and enjoy them despite not understanding the language.
Farzyloko? What’s in the name?
I initially wanted to start doing these videos separating myself from my main job. I wanted to create a catchy name and I thought FarzyLoko would be perfect. Everyone, especially my Spanish co-workers, call me “loco”, which means crazy in Spanish so I took that and created Farzyloko.