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Interviews |  13 Aug 2008 12:30 |  By ShabanaAli

Radio Mirchi Delhi RJ Sayema - 'My love for the show got me back here'

Radio Mirchi Delhi's Purani Jeans has almost lost its flavour with Sayema missing from the scene. After a long absesnce of three months, the RJ is back to woo the Mirchi audience with the same charm and zeal. Caught in a conversation with's Shabana Ali, Sayema discusses her experience on the show and her journey as an RJ.


What are the new elements incorporated in Purani Jeans after your comeback?

I have got a good gift for my audience of Purani Jeans and that's 'nayee kameez'. In this segment, I will play a new song from the 90's. This segment would have the best numbers from the era of Qayamat se qayamat tak, Dil se and others. Apart from that, my Purani jeans will also feature one of the black and white classics.

What kind of contests and interactions do you have in your show?

Purani Jeans, as the name says, is all about old Bollywood music which forms a very important part of everyone's life. As it is a late evening show when people have returned from their daily work, people can just pick up their phone and talk about anything and everything they want to share with me. Or it could be something interesting about old singers and music directors which I may not know. So, the interaction is just non dimensional.

After three months, why did you choose to return to the show?

I did not leave the show. I was just on a vacation. When I came back, I had to get back to my show. I was craving for it as much when on holiday. It was a need at both ends. My love for the show got me back here.

Do you think you have less listeners at night? Had this show been in the mornings, you would have grabbed more ears.

This is a very different body clock altogether. There is no such data saying there are more listeners in the morning or less listeners at night. There are people driving to work who are tuned in to the radio on their way, while at night, I have a direct competition with TV. Attention gets divided because there are other options available. But I have seen a lot of loyal listeners who call me and participate in my show.

What kind of audience participates in your show?

My target audience is everyone from a 16 to a 35 year old. Everyone who is interested in old music, and there are lakhs of listeners among the youth who tune into my show and call me to thank me and request songs.

Do you think you have become an individual brand as yet?

Before I took on the show after my holiday, I never thought so, but from the response from people after I returned, I could see that people believed in me and my show. Everyone thought that I have a different knowledge of those songs. So, yes, I do believe after so many years, I have become an individual brand.

How do you prepare yourself for a show like Purani Jeans?

There is hardly any preparation that I do for the show. I belong to that era and I know many things about this people. Yes for more information, I have to read books, I have to scan the Internet and also constantly update myself with reading material. At times, I talk to the stars and get things out of them.

How did RJing happen to you?

It all happened to me when I was in school. I always wanted to be a newsreader, so every evening after returning from school, I used to pick up the newspaper and start reading it in AIR format. When I was in the 12th standard, my father got a music system which had a karaoke mic. He was very possessive about it and asked us not to touch it. One day when he was away, I picked up the mic and recorded a news bulletin for myself. And, once I was playing it out for my friend my dad came in and out of fear I put the system off. Surprisingly, he turned around and told me, "I have told you 101 times, when ever there is news read do not turn the radio off." Then I had to tell him the truth and he appreciated me. Then I called up AIR and told them that I was interested in becoming a news reader. I wasn't a graduate yet and the minimum qualification needed was graduation. That was a long way from then but I waited it out and finally made it to the medium.

If not an RJ, you would have been?

I would have been a lecturer because, I never thought I would take RJing as a full time profession. I am a lot into academics, I have done my MPhil in social work and I have also worked as guest lecturer. So, if not an RJ, I would have been a lecturer.