MJ Anjaan: 'Stop wanting to be a RJ, start aspiring to be a radio professional!'
Radio One Bangalore's RJ (or Music Jock or MJ as the station group calls its RJs') Anjaan is a seasoned hand at his job with almost 13 years of experience. Excerpts of an interaction with Radioandmusic.com's Tarachand Wanvari.
How did you become a jock?
My parents say I started talking before other kids did. Apparently I even said hello to the nurses at the hospital. Perhaps let your imagination go a bit further and you can picture me with a tiny microphone pinned to my diapers with tiny headphones on my head!
On a serious note â€“ in January 1998 the station manager and producer of a show I regularly called, answered my phone and asked me to drop by the studios. This was All India Radio-612Khz for a show called â€?Tuesday Tunes'. There's been no looking back since then! I was with MW for three years till commercial FM came into India. I've been on FM since then - from 2001 â€“ to 2006 with 101.3 and from 2006 onwards with 94.3 Radio One.
Apart from Radio One, what does Anjaan do?
I am currently the programming head of 94.3 Radio One in Bangalore. I head the production, music management, show producers, content writers, programming sales coordination and editorial departments.
Besides my role at Radio one I do as much as possible in life.
- I'm a freelance compere with around 1500 shows to my credit.
- I'm an occasional DJ and u can see me spinning at select weddings.
- I'm a social media junkie and help brands and companies understand the medium better.
- I'm tourism ambassador and help promote a few tourist destinations.
- I'm a freelance scribe and also have a weekly column on radio in the deccan chronicle.
- I'm involved in talent liaison and event consultancy and help event managers and organizers by connecting them to performing artistes and talent.
Tell us something more about your involvement with radio/music?
I've been involved with music all my life. I've played for my school choir, been part of the college band. I have worked for a music label and a music television channel. I've also managed a few bands and even today help promote good musical talent. It's no rocket science that my absolute love for music eventually led me to work for a music station.
You have travelled to different countries, especially in the Southern Hemisphere and South East Asia. Could you tell us some more about these jaunts and the experiences you've had?
I believe travel makes man complete. The thrill that I get from waking up in a new place is incomparable. Experiencing new cultures, food and people excites me.
In 2009, I took part in a digital media campaign called â€?the best job in the world' where the winner would get six month paid vacation to one of Australia's gorgeous islands -Hamilton.
I was the only finalist from India and subsequently announced the Tourism Ambassador of India for Tourism Queensland.... This helped me travel to the OZ subcontinent around six times in the last three years.
Subsequently I helped some other tourism bodies promote their destinations and that further brought in some travel opportunities.
Besides, I'm a certified advance open water scuba diver â€“ and we all know that the best dive sites and aquatic life are in Asia â€“ we've been traveling extensively around the region on diving vacations.
According to you, in radio what is different in India than other countries?
Radio programming in any country or city is specific to the flavor of the city. Comparison is something that is futile, so I won't go there. But in most countries since private radio has been there longer and the Government regulations for formats are different, there are more varieties of formats and genres. That's what I think is missing in the Indian Radio Scene.
Radio presenters in Bangalore have the flavor of this city and they speak in the language and tone that brings in numbers to the station and subsequently revenues. For example in Delhi the jocks would speak in Hindi and in Calcutta in Bengali and in Chennai in Tamil and so on and so forth. Similarly, radio presenters all across the world speak in flavors of their respective geographical locations.
Who is your idol and why? What inspires you?
Idol? That's a strong word. And no one's ever asked me this question. Come to think of it, I have really never idolized anyone since I have always been clear on the fact that I wanted to carve my own path. I was always intent on doing it my own way without a specific path to follow.
Of course there are experts in every field who you take cues from. Cesar Milano for how to connect with animals, Oprah Winfrey for how to talk to people, Steven Wright for how to write, Wayne Brady for how to attract an audience, Ian Wright for how to host a travel show, Amitabh Bachchan for his perseverance and charm, Richard Branson for how to be passionate about your work etc.
There are of course people I look up to for life. These include my grandfather who is a yogic-zen master, my martial arts teacher and all the great heroes from Indian scriptures. Nature inspires me too, music and especially live music give me motivation and being surrounded by beauty unsurprisingly inspires me.
You are also involved in martial arts. Could you tell us more about that?
The form I train in is called Ninjutsu (Budo Taijutsu). We train nine schools of this form under the banner â€?Bujinkan'. This is a Japanese martial art and has typical Budo Phisolophy and movements.
I am involved to the extent that I train regularly and try to apply all the concepts to daily life. I pick up my black belt last December when I visited Japan for the grandmasters 80th birthday ceremony and training and then there has been no looking back.
I am attracted to Martial arts since it brings about a connection with nature and the cosmos in daily life. Besides the obvious physical benefits Martial arts also helps increase awareness, focus, concentration and balance. The ability to be in the moment... and enjoy the small things in life is something all of us want. Some of us go to temples, some go to dance bars, others to yoga classes, and I practice martial arts.
Tell us about the films you have acted in?
I was involved in some theatre when I was younger. I have worked with most of the theatre stalwarts in Bangalore City and have been on stage for a lot of productions. In 2002 I had a fleeting role in a Bollywood film called â€?Phil Milenge'. Subsequently I did act in three smaller (HInglish) films which did a few rounds in some film festivals. I don't think myself as a professional actor and am not too sure whether I will have the time to pursue this as a career option.
Any changes that should happen in Radio?
I'd wish for more formats and lesser license fees by the government so that smaller players can also pick up licenses and start radio stations. Now that with Phase-III, news programming and sports programming will also be coming in and another 800 licenses are being awarded, things are only set to change in the next decade... hopefully.
Inspirational words for others to join your ilk?
Sure! In specific to radio my advice to people who want to get into the medium would be - even though radio is a fun place to work, its as hectic and corporate as any other job.
Stop wanting to be a Radio Jockey...! Start aspiring to be a radio professional!