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Interviews |  24 Aug 2007 12:45 |  By Aaishwari

Big FM RJ Lavanya - There's no RJ, other than me, who can sing!

Born in Chennai, brought up in Mumbai and a typical Mumbai-ite at heart, is how she describes herself.

RJ Lavanya sounds just as fresh at the age of 30 as she would have a decade ago. Single by choice and proud to be so till she finds the guy 'she would want to fall in love with', Lavanya is quite content with her life.

The 'ladki sayani' of Radio City who recently turned Big FM's 'ladki mastani' in a tete-a-tete with Aaishwari Chouhan.


Excerpts:

How long have you been a radio jockey?

Hmm… I started as a jock in 2000 or rather late 1999.

Was there anyone or anything that inspired you to take up this profession?

Not really! When I started off, there was only All India Radio. And AIR allows you to be yourself, play your kind of music, say what you want to. I never felt the need to imitate or to be inspired by someone. I could say I am self-taught. Also, I have a niche style as a radio jockey which I couldn't have developed had there been some mentor or someone I looked up to.

What is the USP of RJ Lavanya?

It is her voice, her music and the fact that she sings. In fact, no other radio jockey can sing! I have antakshari happening on my shows wherein I actually sing and this antakshari has been quite popular with the masses; be it when I was at Radio City or now that I am at Big FM.

What's with 'ladki sayani' and now, 'ladki mastani'?

I always wanted to be different. Ladki Sayani was my idea. The concept behind it being that when we are at college we are better remembered by the nicknames given to us than our real names. And when I joined Big FM, I carried my Radio City persona, to convince people that I am the same Lavanya, I had to have some nickname which would rhyme with ladki sayani; that's why, I came up with Ladki Mastani! Basically, both these nicks are my babies!

What made you switch over to Big FM from Radio City?

When you work at one place for many years, it's a very comfortable feeling since you know about everyone's attitudes and reactions there. My show at Radio City was doing really well and hence, it was taken for granted. As in, whenever I wanted something new on my show, it was easily passed on to the other shows who weren't doing all that well.

Also, they didn't let my creative side show up on my show, which can be frustrating for any jock. But, I have been with City for five and a half years, the longest any RJ has been with City ever.

What's RJ Lavanya, a brand or a brand ambassador?

Well, for me I am a brand ambassador, but the junta outside takes me as a brand! So I am happy with both these tags.


Now that you are associated with Big FM, do you really need to change anything about yourself to fit into the Big FM image?

Not really. I know I am good at my job, which is why they have hired me. And as far as image building goes, I already have an image of myself in the minds of the people. So, I don't think I need to alter myself any which way to suit the Big FM image.

Any other career desires?

I would like to get into music management or become a programming head, for which you need a brilliant understanding of radio and music. But an actor would not want to switch positions with the director until and unless it's his dream job to go behind the camera. Similarly, I am happy in my place. And I have never thought of acting although I did a few small time roles on television. I love singing and have been a freelance singer for ad jingles and some television soaps. I am in fact learning music by taking music exams from the London University. So I dream that one day even my songs will be played on radio just like I play others' songs.

Since there is no hierarchy among RJs, where do you head once you are the best in the lot?

I think RJs can head towards becoming programming heads. But I don't think any RJ would ever want to switch places with anyone else.


How do you deal with unwelcome or cranky calls?

I think it is a matter of luck; I have never faced any annoying caller. But even if someone does call up, I think I am more than willing to talk to that person and listen to his/her side of the story.

Does hosting a morning or an evening slot matter to the RJs?

To many RJs, yes it does! But in a city like Mumbai that never sleeps, I don't think it is too good to host a morning slot. In fact, I prefer the late morning slots more than evening or morning slots since I feel nice and comfortable then. I have been offered morning slots, but then I don't want to take them up! Also, if we classify the morning and evening slots as prime time slots, it just doesn't mean the other slots aren't prime time ones.

Very quickly then, request for four songs to be played back to back!

Hmm… Mora saiyaan, followed by Mann ki lagan and then, Tu jahan main waha (from Salaam Namaste) and then finally, Bol na halke halke.

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