Comments (0)
Interviews |  08 Jun 2018 16:05 |  By Minal Metkari

We can bring in change through our speech: RJ Sha, Radio Mirchi Chennai

Popular as Mirchi Sha, RJ Sha from Radio Mirch 98.3 FM Chennai is a renowned name in the world of RJing. Known for having his opinion on any issue, RJ Sha makes even boring news sound interesting and people do listen to his opinions. The man, who wants to eradicate liquor from the country, has been associated with many social awareness campaigns to an extent that even politicians seek social campaign ideas from him as well as his channel. Though flashing a simple personality, he is no less than a star in Chennai. Ask rickshaw drivers there, they recognise him just by his voice. Also, in spite of having a voice similar to that of RJ Vijay, his companion from Radio Mirchi Chennai, visually challenged students of some school didn’t make a mistake in recognising RJ Sha just by his voice.

Born with a dream of becoming an actor, RJ Sha’s exceptional auditory skills and a sarcastic, yet light-hearted connect with the audience made him one of country’s most popular RJs. Yes, we are talking about RJ Sha from Radio Mirch Chennai as he talks about RJing, his dream, shows and much more. Excerpts.

Did you dream of being an RJ?

I wanted to be an actor since childhood, but I actively participated in various auditory competitions and won more than 500 awards, including the state level honours for them. This actually inspired me to become an RJ. Also, I believe we can bring in change through our speech.

Tell us about Radio Mirchi Chennai and your journey with this radio station.

My journey with Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM Chennai began in 2009, when I joined as a producer of a morning showHello Chennai. I did the show for three years before RJing. When it comes to RJing, Radio Mirchi Chennai is a heaven for RJs. I had earlier interned at various companies, be it television or radio, but the atmosphere at Radio Mirchi is quite encouraging. They not only bring out the best in their employees but also give you the freedom of pursuing your passions, simultaneously without affecting any professional commitments.

Which show do you conduct and what is the concept behind it?

I do a Breakfast show called Rettavaal. It is a current affairs show done by me and RJ Vijay for Radio Mirchi Chennai in Tamil. We present the serious stories in a funny, satirical and interactive way.

Do you also get involved in the technical aspects of your show?

Yes, I believe as an artist, one should get involve in every other department, especially editing. When it comes to my shows, from writing scripts, to RJing, audio editing and other post-production work of my show is done by me. Apart from this, I also make small videos for both YouTube and Facebook handles of Radio Mirchi Chennai. Their conceptualisation, editing etc. is also done by me.

What change do you aspire to bring as an RJ? 

I’m doing a couple of awareness shows. I want to reach out to people and create awareness about social concerns like alcoholism etc. Recently, I featured in a short film, 3 Days of Love, a breakup love story. It conveys an important message about periods. For the film, I interacted with many doctors and found out that most of relationship breakups happen during the menstruation phase of the female companions. Also, I want to share one more instance, there is one Mrungamangam Railway station in Tamil Nadu, which didn’t have CCTV, so we did a Facebook video on the same and today they have a CCTV installation. In another instant, through our show, we connected the municipality with a government school that didn’t have toilets.

How has the people response for your show been?

The politicians today call us and ask our suggestions on their new schemes. Schools call us for some innovative ideas etc. It feels great, people look upon us for our opinions.

You indeed are a star as people know you and listen to your show daily. Any fan moment?

According to me our fans are our celebrities and we treat them like one. The intent of each and every show is to make our fans happy. I want to share that be it auto drivers or college students, they recognise us by our voice. I had visited a visually challenged school, Takkar Baba Bhavan, along with RJ Vijay. Actually, my and RJ Vijay’s voice is same. So, I told the school authorities to not mention about me also being there and talked to them as RJ Vijay. I wanted to confuse the students, but they were very much conscious. They not only recognised me by my voice but were also adamant that it is me RJ Sha and not RJ Vijay talking.

Do you also interview celebs? If yes, any special celeb interview or moment that you’d like to share?

See, except Rajinikanth, we have interviewed all celebrities from Tamil film industry. I want to share one instance of my interview with Tamil superstar Thalapathy Vijay on the occasion of his movie, Thuppakki on our prank call segment, Freeyavidu. We actually made Jiiva, another Tamil actor, to make a prank call to Vijay. But, in spite of having worked with him before, Vijay couldn’t recognise Jiiva by his voice and thought it was a normal person, a fan talking to him. When, he told him the truth later, he was completely shocked and speechless. It was fun having him in the studio.

Interviewing which celebrity still remains your biggest dream?

My dream is to interview ex-Indian cricket team skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, because he is the captain of Chennai Super Kings, our IPL (Indian Premiere League) cricket team from Chennai. Also, I want to interview him in Tamil because he knows a little bit of the language. Also, he is Dhoni, he can do anything. He may even learn Tamil, you never know.

What do you think of RJing as a career is great? Is there a scope for aspiring candidates?

Definitely it has, as I have been working for 12 years now as an RJ. When I started my career, I got a salary of Rs. 9000 only, which is equivalent to Rs. 25000 earned by a newbie RJ today. But, today I have a decent salary and so much growth options. So, yes, there is a lot of scope for aspiring candidates.

Do you want to continue RJing or you have other plans?

Even if I’m offered a double salary, I will not quit working at Radio Mirchi Chennai as an RJ. Also, when it comes to other creative interests of mine, I already get to explore them, while working here owing to the company’s motivating environment as mentioned earlier.

If given a chance, will you switch from RJing to another profession?

I won’t switch, but yes, would explore acting options, which I have been doing until now. I have worked on few films, including the earlier mentioned short film, 3 Days Of Love.

But, why not a full-fledged acting career?

See, I’m very choosy when it comes to roles. While there was one movie, Pencil in which I worked as a comedian, I was a lead in another film that didn’t release due to its producer.

Any show idea that is close to your heart and you want to make it a reality some day?

I want to begin an anti-alcohol campaign, Think Before Drinking, in a funny way. This is one project, which is close to my heart as I’m very much against alcohol consumption. I want the alcohol addicts to think before drink, but it won’t be preachy stuff.

What message do you want to give to all those aspiring RJs?

I have seen many youngsters coming for interviews and saying that they like RJing. I want to tell all the aspiring RJs that just talking on and on is not RJing. One should know how to keep the audience engaged by applying humour to their interaction. If you want to enter the profession of RJing, ask yourself simple questions- Are you good enough? Do you have RJing qualities?