Yogaraj Bhat was born on 8 October 1973, in Tiluvalli, in the Haveri district of the erstwhile Karnataka. He was the youngest of Ramachandra and Jayalakshmi Bhat's seven children. He lost his father to a boat mishap.
When only Tamil and Telugu Film Industries were considered the southern film industry in terms of commercial films and when a Rs.20 crore budgeted Telugu or Tamil film, grossing Rs.30 crore was considered a blockbuster hit, a silent revolution took place in the Kannada Film Industry in the name of Mungaru Male. That was the year 2006-2007. A sheer Rs.1.5 crore budgeted movie grossed more than 70 crore, creating the biggest grosser in the Southern Film Industry.
In 2007, People said it’s a record hard to break. In 2016, people still have to say, it’s a record hard to break in Southern Film Industry.
After his apprenticeship in the Television Industry for half a decade, where he learned the art of writing and directing, Yogaraj Bhat started his film career as an assistant to renowned cinematographer Shri S.Ramachandra, then moving on to assist world renowned Filmmaker Shri Girish Kasaravalli, and later the legendary filmmaker Shri V. Ravichandran.
His first film Mani is a critically acclaimed film, winning critics appreciation and Four State Film Awards. The expectation from a newbie Filmmaker was immense. His next film, Ranga SSLC was just an average in the box office.
Mungaru Male, his third film, created history in Southern Film Industry.
Mungaru Male (Pre-Monsoon Showers) ran for 464 days – first in any language to run for a whole year continually in a multiplex, beating the records of the biggest Hindi Film Industry records. It naturally brought him many rewards, awards and appreciations, including Nine State Film Awards (including Best Director and Best Film Award) and Four Filmfare Awards (Best Film, Best Music, Best Lyrics and Best Cinematography). The movie has been remade in all South Indian languages & Bengali. The rights for the movie to be made in Hindi has been bought by Shri. Boney Kapoor.
Overnight, he reached a reverential stage in Kannada Film Industry and managing his head on his shoulder was pretty tough a task for a man in his early 30s. He did succeed in that and grew bigger by the day.
From then on, he has directed eight films and has more often than not proven that Mungaru Male was not a fluke.
His next Gaalipata - Was a runaway hit again and as records confirm, it ran for 45 weeks. The movie won Three Filmfare Awards for Best Actor (Ganesh), Best Music Director (V Harikrishna) and Best Lyricist (Jayanth Kaikini).
The movies that he has directed after Gaalipata are all box office hits. A real Midas touch, one can notice - some have been phenomenal hits, some are not, nevertheless, they all are hits.
Manasare - Is both critically and commercially acclaimed movie and is in the process of being made in Hindi. The movie won Best State Film Award.
Pancharangi - His Home production movie created a new space for unconventional films well within the commercial parameters. Needless to say, this too became a super hit movie.
Paramatma - Saw the coming together of two biggest stalwarts of Kannada Film Industry – Super Star Puneeth Rajkumar and Ace Filmmaker Yogaraj Bhat. Expectations were sky high. It is considered as a classic.
Drama - The movie, came as a big relief to the Kannada Audience. It was a huge hit in the box office and was critically acclaimed as well. The movie won Two Filmfare awards for Best Lyricist (Yogaraj Bhat), Best Music Director (V Harikrishna).
Vaastu Prakara - His next release was yet another family drama, a movie produced under his home banner Yogaraj Movies. The film deals with beliefs people have in astrology and superstition and how it is being blindly followed overlooking reality and science. This movie won Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress (Sudharani).
Dana Kayonu - The film had created a lot of curiosity among the audience due its candid title. An unconventional film, with Dunia Vijay along with National award winning actress Priya Mani in the lead role. It received immense response from the audience and also from the critics. It was widely appreciated for its un-forgetful story, characters and setting.
His next movie Mugulu Nage is in the pre-production stage. After Mungaru Male and Gaalipata, this film will be a comeback to the duo Yogaraj Bhat and Actor Ganesh after 8 years. This news has created a lot of buzz in the industry and audience.
In the midst of the entire buzz, Yogaraj Bhat turned into a film Lyricist… unexpectedly, as he describes it.
For the last six years, his songs have been the chart toppers according to the Air Check List. His songs have helped create huge hits in the Kannada Film Industry and there is a belief, if there is a Yogaraj Bhat song, the success is halfway through. Like his movies, his songs have helped many actors and music composers to build a career in the film Industry.
Mungaru Male, Gaalipata, Junglee, Jackie, Manasaare, Pancharangi, Paramatma, Victory, Hudugaru, Drama, Kaddipudi, Bachchan, Adhyaksha, Gajakesari, Rajahuli ...to name a few. All these movies have benefitted from his lyrics and few of them have succeeded only because of his songs.
He is considered the most versatile writer who has penned lyrics for slow emotional songs such as 'Mungaru Maleye', 'Doora Swalpa Doora', 'Nadheem Dheem Thana', 'Hookanasa Jokali', 'Chendutiya Pakkadali', 'Eradu Jadeyannu', 'Naa Naguva Modalene', 'Hesaru Poorthi Helade'. He has also penned fast songs like 'Hale Paathre', 'Kathlalli Karadi', 'Khali Quarter Bottle', 'Shiva Antha Hoguthidde', 'Pancharangi'.
He has won a Filmfare Award, State Award, as well as many Private Awards for penning the super hit song, 'Bombe Aadsonu' from the film Drama.
Yogaraj Bhat started his own banner Yogaraj Movies in the year 2006 to support young talents – a silent revolution.
Even though he is the Ace Filmmaker of the Kannada Film Industry and compelled to deliver commercial hits year after the year, he has been supporting parallel cinema providing his support in terms of Banner and Lyrics.
He has been backing up young upcoming new talents by giving them opportunities to direct their movies under his banner. His movies have created a new space for unconventional films, well within the commercial parameters. Suri, Pawan Kumar (who made world class movie Lucia), Pavan Wadeyar, Preetam Gubbi, Ravikiran Vikas, Gadda Viji, Veerendra are few of the directors among many who started their career under Yogaraj Bhat and now have become successful Directors in the Industry.
Most of the Present talent working in the Kannada Film Industry is from his team, some of them are his assistants (he does not like to call them assistants but prefers calling them his Friends).
He has brought many talented actors to limelight and his movies have proved to be a launch-pad to many such actors who are at present, very successful in the movie industry. Ganesh, Yash, Duniya Vijay, Diganth, Neenasam Satish, Pooja Gandhi, Aindrita Rai, Nidhi Subbaiah, Deepa Sannidhi are some of the actors who are now leading stars after working under him.Won – 2013 – Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist – Kannada for the song 'Bombe Adsonu' from his own directorial film Drama.
Won – 2013 – The Bangalore Times Film Awards for 'The Best Lyricist' category for the song 'Bombe Adsonu'.
Nomination – 2008 – Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada for the film Gaalipata.
Nomination – 2010 – Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist – Kannada for the song 'Shiva Antha' from Jackie.
Nomination – 2017 – SIIMA for Best Lyricist – Kannada for the song 'Thraas Akkath' from Doddmane Hudga.
Saadhane - Yogaraj Bhat was the Writer and Episode Director for a Kannada television serial named Saadhane. It was selected for the Best Serial Award for 2000-2001.
Comedy Kiladigalu – He has judged a Comedy Reality Show called Comedy Kiladigalu.