Big FM's RJ Sekhar - 'I use as much simple, local language as I can'
A chess champ, veejay and an RJ, Sekhar can easily claim to be the 'most popular face' on radio in Hyderabad. After a stint in SFM, Sekhar jumped over to Big FM and has been hosting the Big Sandadi show for a while now. He is also the only RJ from the city of the Char Minar to bag two awards at the India Radio Forum. In a chat with Radioandmusic.com's Sonal Tirthani, Sekhar talks about the art and science of RJing.
You are the only RJ from Hyderabad who bagged two awards in the India Radio Forum awards, how does it feel?
It feels great but I had like to admit that when I won the award I wasn't aware I'd won it. It was from a few colleagues and a website that I found out that I'd won an award. I won the award for 'Best Telugu program on radio for 2006-07' and 'Best Telugu promo on Radio for 2006-07'. I did both of them with 93.5 S FM. It is really great to be appreciated with an award.
Do you think after an RJ bags such awards, the listeners' expectations increase?
Yes, I'm sure they do because then you have to sound worth that award. Awards are a responsibility too! An RJ must try to excel and not fall below the standards his listeners set for him.
You started with VJing and still are a VJ on Gemini. How did radio happen to you?
When I started my career, radio was not a boom in Hyderabad. Television was the 'in' thing and VJing the hottest career. I took it up and still enjoy my job as a VJ. Then, when private FM players started entering Hyderabad, I decided to give RJing a shot. Today, I really am happy with the way my career has shaped up.
What research do you do to generate the content for your morning show 'Kevvu Kekaa'?
The four hours of my show are divided into four parts consisting of an hour each. The first part is when we invite experts from the fields of numerology or astrology; the second part is where I take up a current issue in the city and ask people to voice their opinion. The third hour is dedicated to contests and the fourth hour keeps changing, keeping the current festival in mind or we have live coverage of college events etc.
How much of local language and content do you use when you do links?
The language in my show is completely colloquial. The target group of my show on Big FM is SEC-C. The age group that I target is 30-40 years old, so I try and use as much simple and local language as I can. It connects well with the listeners. Not all RJs in Hyderabad follow this style. Each has a specific target group they are catering to and develop their style accordingly.
What is your take on restrictions and regulations on RJs about what they talk on air?
Every RJ must understand that there is always a certain way to speak and put across his thoughts to his listeners. An RJ needs to be balanced in his head. Every RJ needs to respect the sentiments of the public, and needs to create a positive identity and not a negative one. The recent Red FM case is a golden example; the RJ could have said the same thing, differently.
So would you say that your step to do that marathon on air recently was to create an identity?
I wanted to do something like that since a long time. During my initial days at SFM, I wanted to do this but was waiting for the right platform to create a record. I went through a lot practice and health care for that marathon. I did it during a time when Hyderabad was facing a bad time because of the blasts. I wanted to be there with the people at such a time and wanted to divert the attention of the city. I wanted to lift up the spirit of the listeners.
After veejaying and RJing, what's next?
I would never want to quit RJing. It is my passion and it has given me an identity of my own. I can't really stick to it all my life either. But I want to eventually make a film. I have always been very keen on making one. And may be some day I will direct a film.