Massachusetts' Sheena Melwani brings songs and dad jokes to 8.7 million followers on TikTok (2024)

In 2009, Sheena Melwani stood behind home plate and sang the National Anthem to a packed Fenway Park.

“It was one of those moments that I could feel the excitement rushing through my veins. To have all those people singing with you in this amazing space — I think that’s probably one of the highlights of my life,” she told MassLive.

Fast forward almost 13 years, and you may recognize Melwani from other videos. The singer, songwriter and digital creator now has 8.7 million followers on TikTok, with content ranging from music to dad jokes.

“I’m so grateful and when I hear the numbers, it’s outrageous to me,” Melwani said, adding that it didn’t really hit her until pandemic restrictions were lifted and she started getting recognized.

Melwani grew up in Montreal, Canada where she was raised with music in her DNA, as her grandfather was a musician.

“I don’t remember life without music in it,” she said. “My earliest memory includes me singing.”

But 15 years ago, she moved to Massachusetts, where she is now raising two children.

Melwani’s content really started to explode at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She had always posted to social media and preformed live, but things started to change one day after she posted a Facebook Live.

“We were stuck at home, not really knowing what was going on, not really knowing how long we’d be there,” she said. “When I’m in these moments of not knowing or discomfort or uncertainty, I turn to music. And so that’s what I did.”

She posted a live video to Facebook, where she would take requests from viewers, calling herself a “human jukebox” and one night, after wrapping up, she decided to shoot some content for Instagram.

Melwani started singing, “If the world was ending” by JP Saxe, but then, a voice interrupted her. A voice that is now well-known online as @therealindiandad, her partner who always covers his face.

“False,” he said in response to the lyric’s Melwani was singing. “No, it’s horrible to travel if the world was ending.”

Melwani eventually erupts in laughter at his heckling. The video may not have belonged alongside her strictly musical content, buts she felt it was worthy of a share on Tiktok.

“It just felt right. It felt authentic. It felt genuine. It felt like the right space for Tiktok,” she said.

Melwani posted the video and it went viral overnight, receiving 30-40,000 views by the next day.

And then she did it again, and again.

“We found our little niche of laughing and singing and just sharing that moment, that genuine moment,” Melwani said. “It’s taken on a life of its own and we just kind of go with whatever feels right. Sometimes it’s more music based, and it’s more dad jokes or pranks. We’ve kind of morphed over over time and we just keep playing with what feels right in that moment.”

Videos started pouring in of Melwani laughing at dad jokes from the Real Indian Dad, who would often bring her to tears with jokes and banter.

“We have the ultimate dad joke teller,” Melwani said, adding that she knows some jokes are lame, but that she enjoys not taking life too seriously.

“We are living through global crisis after crisis after crisis, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to keep things light. And so whether it’s a dad joke, or whether it’s laughing something off,” she said. “We as a family try not to take things too seriously.”

Melwani said she is also often asked if she knows the punch lines coming from her partner. She said she may know the circ*mstance, or even tries to do funny things to provoke a joke, but that she never knows what the Real Indian Dad is going to say.

“I never know what is going to come out,” she said. “Because then you really do get this authentic laughter and if I don’t find it funny, I don’t post it.”

The content remains family-friendly and wholesome, with an occasional innuendo. Melwani said she is comfortable with what she shares knowing that her children are watching everything she does.

And sometimes, with the kid’s permission, Melwani likes to include her them.

In one video, Melwani and her daughter transition into outfits for Diwali, dancing to a routine along the way.

“I don’t like to include them in everything. But if they’re excited, or they want to do something with me, often my daughter will see a trend and want to do it with me. Or if I feel like I can include her in a nice, wholesome way, then I do,” she said, adding that she never pushes them and always makes their participation a natural representation of their lives.

Melwani’s content is her full, so she also balances her videos with raising her children, sometimes posting while they are in school or after they’ve gone to bed.

“I try to post when my kids are not around so that I can spend a little bit of time online answering comments and engaging with the community. But there are definitely days where it’s a little easier and there are definitely days where it’s a little harder,” she said.

Sometimes the balance includes her kids in a live video, which she did Sunday night of the family laughing and cooking dinner together.

“People are really enjoying like that genuine joy and that connection. And I love that,” she said. “There is a genuine authentic relationship being built between me and the people out there that when I see them in public, just to be able to share that laughter and to be able to share that joy makes it all worth it.”

Currently living in Natick, Melwani has built a lot of her content from her home, especially due to the pandemic.

“But now that we’re getting out a little bit more, we are excited to meet like other Massachusetts creators, and just build content around living here,” she said, adding that she’s been connecting with businesses and other community members.

“We’re really proud of where we live and who we have in this community,” Melwani said.

She’s even made content at a New England Patriots game where she posted a video with Pat Patriot on the field at Gillette Stadium. She has also has plans to make content with the Red Sox.

“There’s some really beautiful restaurants in [Boston] that we want to highlight and we’ve become friends with some of the owners of those restaurants. I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface,” she said. “It’s a city of champions, and I want to be able to share that with our with our community on TikTok.”

With almost 9 million followers, Melwani also spoke about the responsibility she has as a creator.

“I am a woman of color with a family. And people watch me. People watch what I wear, people watch what I say, people watch how I react, people watch how I don’t react,” she said. “You can’t take that lightly. Because if you say something, somebody might take that and in turn, do something with it that maybe was intended or wasn’t intended. And so you have to be very careful with how you hold that. That’s really important, that’s really as valuable. So I like to think that I’m putting a good example forward.”

Melwani said she’s also become thicker-skinned and less sensitive to comments good or bad.

“You’ll also learn to just ignore the trolls because there are trolls, it’s inevitable. I have to say that I don’t think I see as many trolls as many other creators do, just because of the nature of our content. But there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with being in the spotlight,” she said.

A few weeks ago, Melwani said she was approached by a girl who told her, “You are changing the narrative for girls like me. You’re changing history for girls like us. And I just wanted to say thank you.”

Melwani takes this responsibility by trying to be her most authentic self. Posting different parts of her life, including crying as well as laughter, makeup and no makeup.

“Even the dialogue, we’re trying to change the stereotypical impression of the Indian family, or the Indian characters that are out there,” she added. “It’s that we can be smart and funny. It’s not one or the other. We can be genuine, and also vulnerable. We can show all these different sides of a character, and be very, very confident.”

While she balances the content with laughter and fun, for Melwani, it was always about music — and the connections that she can forge whether she’s singing at the House of Blues eight and a half months pregnant (a true story) or when she’s brightening people’s day one-one-one.

A few weeks ago Melwani met a stranger and sang “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen to him, bringing him to tears.

“That’s why I’ve I’m so grateful for what we’re building and that’s why it’s all about connection,” she said. “I love that I get to do this on a global scale.”

Melwani also has a single coming out within the next six weeks.

“I would like to just reiterate how grateful I am — we all are. I think our family has bonded over something that’s really unique in this day and age. And I think that we turned something that was really, really hard in life, into something so cool and impactful,” Melwani said, adding that she’s honored to be a part of the online community.

“TikTok has changed my life,” she said. “I’m proud of this incredible platform that so many people are using to affect so much change.”

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Massachusetts' Sheena Melwani brings songs and dad jokes to 8.7 million followers on TikTok (2024)


Is Sheena Melwani married to the real Indian dad? ›

Real Indian Dad (TRID)- keep each other laughing as. their love language. This week on the show we're asking how couples.

Does Sheena Melwani live in Boston? ›

Born on September 1, 1983, in Montreal, Canada, Sheena Melwani now resides in Natick, Massachusetts, USA.

What does Dinesh Melwani do? ›

Dinesh serves as a strategic advisor to US and international clients in an array of corporate transactions in the technology, health care, life sciences, and energy sectors.

How old is the real Indian dad? ›

Profile summary
Full nameDinesh K. Melwani
Famous asThe Real Indian Dad, Mr Close The Windows
Date of birth30 June 1978
Age44 years (as of 2023)
22 more rows
Apr 20, 2023

Are Trid and Sheena married? ›

Are Sheena Melwani and Trid married? Yes, the couple is married and has two children. Dinesh Melwani's wife is Sheena Melwani.

What country did Sheena Melwani grow up in? ›

Profile summary
Full nameSheena Melwani
Place of birthMontreal, Canada
Current residenceNatick, Massachusetts, USA
21 more rows
Jul 24, 2023

Who is the man of Sheena Melwani? ›

The man behind the sticker is Dinesh Melwani, a 45-year-old transactional attorney at law firm Mintz who advises US and international clients in a range of corporate matters.

Who is India's dad? ›

In India, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, widely known as Mahatma Gandhi, is the man known as the "Father of the Nation." This term bears a profound significance, demonstrating the deep respect and admiration that citizens hold for Gandhi's instrumental role in India's struggle for freedom.

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