| 06 Feb 2023
Radio doesn't realize its power; Music scenario is tragic: Neelesh Misra

It’s a little difficult to describe a multi-faceted person like Neelesh Misra. journalist, writer, RJ, storyteller, lyricist, founder of a paper, singer, innovator and experimenter the list goes on. His popular show ‘Big FM- 'Yaadon Ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra' its Season 2 which has just ended after having set new standards for wholesome entertainment.

Taking time out from his busy schedule, Misra tells about his passion, observation and experiences on radio and music.

Radio is a medium which still doesn’t realize its power as a platform to disseminate information and provide entertainment. Its potential is till untapped in regards to its reach and content. Even communicators often don’t realize the power in their hands. It’s a medium that can easily (and economically) reach audiences.

What radio needs is avoid stereo typing and innovate content with positive message and not seen (or perceived) as a frivolous medium.

From my personal observation, I think radio lacks good writing (written material). It’s not a first choice medium for many writers which I believe is wrong. Radio needs to attract more talent. It needs plays that are humorous and intelligent unlike the present ones which are tacky. It needs good poetry also.

Radio is a very intimate medium as it communicates directly and personally to the listener. The interactivity can be increased- the listener can have a role. I expect broadcasters to draw more writing talent- much can be achieved when interesting things (content) are being attempted on the radio.

Yaadon Ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra (YKIB)

For my show on radio (‘Yaadon Ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra on Big FM), I could reach 35 million people- from Rajasthan to Cuffe Parade and Guwahati- who see their lives reflected and take away the stories.

There was no “planning” to make it popular- you cannot plan such things. But I feel that people like our stories because they reflect the lives of everyday Indians and they seek out the extra ordinary moments in our ordinary day-to-day existence. Our stories try to go beyond the cliches and peel off the different layers and nuances of relationships. A lot of people cannot voice how they feel or even realize how they actually feel and we constantly get the feedback that people are able to see their own lives in the new light or understand their relationships better.

I do my show on radio because I love it, not because I am being paid. The concept is something I like and the content is close to my heart.

Contemporary Music Scenario

The current situation of music is tragic. Extreme ‘Bollywoodism’ and piracy are killing intelligent pop music. Many artists want to create new songs but no one is willing to pay for the content. Having said that, I also see some changes and some space is being created in television. Mobile based music too is becoming powerful and new opportunities are coming up.

The audience wants to hear good (independent) music. All artists have angst. They can work on something that is close to their heart and showcase it- there’s a creative viability.

My personal experience with music was very interesting. I had a band called ‘Band Called Nine’ -co members included Shilpa Rao and Amartya Rahut- and we released a nine track album on Sa Re Ga Ma label. I used to play a track from the album on my shows. After a while, the audience knew all the songs and I still get requests today for the songs. Unlike the way one track is heavily marketed these days, I believe the content has to be good. You cannot promote bad music in the name of indie music.


I am working on my upcoming film scripts. We are about to start co-producing our first television show. I am also trying to take forward Gaon Connection- the rural newspaper that I have set up, we are planning innovative mobile content. The next season of YKIB is being planned and I am looking forward to doing more live story-telling performances in the country. That should keep me going for some time.