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Interviews |  11 Sep 2012 21:20 |  By swapanjari

Fever FM RJ Anuraag Pandey: "My friends call me Bollywood encyclopedia"

A commonly associated name with Bollywood on radio, RJ Anuraag Pandey who host the breakfast show ‘Picture Pandey’ has donned various roles in his 20 years long career. From being a narrator to an actor, Pandey is an inspiration for all the aspiring radio jocks and bollywood buffs.

Associated with Fever FM for more than two years, Pandey started his radio career in 1990 with All India Radio in Indore and has been associated with other FM stations like 94.6 Win FM , 93.5 Red FM, Channel 4 FM Dubai and World Space Radio .

The multi-talented RJ is a BSc graduate and has also been a state level basketball player and an ace shooter. Being a complete movie buff, Pandey has mastered the art of mimicking in 36 different voices and has been the Winner of Rapa Award for his Win FM show Kwahish.

Riding back on the nostalgic journey, RJ Anuraag Pandey converses with Radioandmusic.com's Swagata Panjari, about being a radio jockey, his passion, memorable moments and what makes ‘Picture Pandey’ the most loved show amongst its listeners.

Excerpts:

You started your jock career in 1990, how easy or difficult was it to get into the industry than?

I will say it was difficult and somewhat easy too. Difficult because there was only one radio station and all the stalwarts were still there, thus for a newcomer it was very difficult to make his mark.  Easy for the reason that I possessed all the qualities they wanted in an RJ - good voice, knowledge and command over the language.

Being a medical student, what inspired you to become a radio jockey?

Ever since childhood I loved connecting with people; the more the better. As a child I was also a good observer and learnt as much as I could from people around me. Then came a time when all this information inside me needed an outlet and I started looking for a medium where I could express myself and share all this with as many people as possible.

There were several options, but I remember when I was young, movies were promoted on handcart with loud speaker where they use to talk about the movie, its songs or show timings. I used to skip my school for being an announcer on the loud speaker. I have been a movie buff since then and continue to live my passion.

How would you define your journey?

By god’s grace the journey so far has been fantastic, and everyday has been a learning experience with new set of challenges.

How would you justify the fact that the job of a radio jockey is not as progressive and lucrative as other professions?

It’s absolutely progressive as well as lucrative. I have been in this industry for the last 20 years and by god’s grace my listener’s patronage has been with me. Infact internationally RJ’s have had radio careers for more than 50-60 years. The key to this longevity is that one needs to know the pulse of your listeners and if you get this right, then you can connect with them like an old friend.

How easy or difficult is to be a jock? Care to elucidate?

Of course it’s challenging, at least for that RJ who focuses on what his audiences want along with the show’s content. There are three critical aspects that an RJ must master – presence of mind, being perceptive to the environment around, and control over personal mood swings. When on-air you have to be your natural self and know what your audience desire.

Throw light on the preparation that you do at the start of your show. Are you provided with any script or pointer before you go on-air?

Breakfast show being the soul of any radio station in India requires a lot of thinking. I have a team of highly motivated radio professional who work along with me and for the entire team the day starts at 6 am irrespective of how late you have partied, it’s raining outside or there is a bandh call, but the work doesn’t stop. Personally my day starts at 4 am in the morning, from going to the gym, coming to office, catching up on the various Bollywood features on TV to checking my text messages from my Bollywood informers. All this glut of information kick starts my day and Bollywood being Bollywood I need to validate things directly with the stars and their close associates. Thanks to my long association with them, I don’t mind disturbing them any time of the day.

I don’t believe in sensationalizing rumours. On my show I put an end to rumours and my effort is to try to feed unfiltered and correct information about all the celebs. This is important as my listeners are nothing, but someone’s fan and they don’t like rumours. Infact my everyday show is nothing but a platform where the ordinary fans get to interact with their Bollywood demi god.

Any innovations that you would like to introduce in the format of the show?

The day any radio jockey becomes predictable by their listeners then it’s time to do a status check. Every show is an innovation and one needs to be unpredictable to its listener’s in order to excite their imagination. Radio is a very dynamic medium and you need to innovate continuously because our listeners are evolving day in and day out. Therefore for the listeners it’s always ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’ and one needs to continuously innovate to live to it. We being an entertainment medium we not only need to entertain but at the same time enrich our listeners with all the entertainment they need to have for a good start to their day.

What is the USP of your show?

The USP of the show is the subject and the packaging. The show is all about Bollywood and brings the listeners the best and unique aspects from the film industry. Some of my industry friends call me Bollywood encyclopedia because from old stories to latest happenings, they get it all on my show. There are also times when producers call me to confirm news.

Tell us about some good/funny/bizarre experiences as a jock?

Once a listener called me to tell me that his wife was pregnant and he makes him listen to my show because he wanted his child to have a voice like mine and when they had a child they named him Anurag. These moments touch your heart and become you can never forget them.

Who is your idol in the radio industry?

Why only the radio industry there are so many things to learn from so many great people around us. For instance, SRKs passion for life and Mr. Bachchan’s discipline - his behavior towards all his fans and so on.

Any plans of trying your hands on acting or anchoring like your fellow competitors?

Yes my fans want me to try my luck in acting or anchoring TV shows, as I have been anchoring stage shows for so many years with many big names of the industry. Maybe one fine day I might fulfill this wish of my fans too.

Any words of advice to aspiring RJ’s and radio listeners?

For aspiring RJ's - Dont try to copy someone, be original and don’t become RJ for instant fame. For Listeners - Sunte Rahi FEVER 104, Chal Raha Hai PICTUREEE PANDEYY

Rapid fire

Being an RJ means- A good listener

Music is- Food

Money is- Part of life

Best Interview- I am thankful to be in a place where I don’t just meet stars for interviews. I meet them for casual chats and get to know them so much better. However, I was really humbled when Abhishek Bachchan called me over to his place to cut a cake for me on my birthday.

Anuraag doesn’t leave his house without- My Cellphone - Highly obsessed with best smartphones.

Top 5 RJ’s in the country- Anuraag Pandey {Morning Picture Pandey - Mumbai}, Anuraag Pandey { Picture Pandey - Delhi}, Anuraag Pandey {Weekend Picture Pandey - Mumbai}, Anuraag Pandey {Weekend Picture Pandey - Delhi}, Anuraag Pandey {Weekend Picture Pandey - Banglore}

Top 5 music artistes national- RD Burman, Kishore Da, Rahman, Lata Di & Sonu Nigam

Top 3 Favorite Hangout- Micro phonic studio, Movie hall, Book shop

Top 3 favourite Street food- Pani puri...especially the pani.... baki sab healty food khao

You favorite time pass when stuck in traffic- Amuse myself with the scenario around.

One RJ you would like to replace- I am happy and grateful for who and what I am

Your favorite brand- HTC mobile phones

You have fetish for- DVDs, film posters and other filmy memorabilia

Anuraag’s favorite Cuss word- a Saala (the way Big B would say it)

Most Embarrassing On-Air Moments- Female Fans Proposing...