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Interviews |  09 Jul 2012 19:32 |  By Tarachand Wanvari

RJ Shraddha: 'Our audience did not agree with the format change from Kannada to Hindi'

After leaving a settled IT job, RJ Shraddha has been hosting the morning show ‘Mad Mornings’ on Fever 104 FM Bangalore since three years. With an engineering degree in Electronics, Shraddha worked as a software engineer but realized that she was in the wrong profession and her heart lied in RJing. Fever FM has been the first station that she has worked with since she began RJing. She believes that the level of emotional investment that a listener does with radio/an RJ is way higher than television.

Radioandmusic com’s Tarachand Wanvari caught up with Shraddha for a candid chat on her journey in the radio industry.

Excerpts:

How come an engineer moved on to become an RJ? I am sure that this was a big decision.

I had thought and dreamt of being an RJ since I started listening radio, but the will to pursue it came in much later. Engineering, the job and then the next job, it all happened mostly because me and my family believed it was the right thing to do. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t particularly enjoying my work, but I was working with very passionate people who were exceptional at what they did and were very happy doing it. I did not share their passion, so it was clear I was in the wrong place! In no time, the forgotten dream had possessed me, and I went right after it.

Was it easy getting into the industry? Share your experiences.

The most difficult part was to convince my parents that I was serious about radio! This wasn’t like the time when I said I want to be a window cleaner for skyscrapers or when I dreamt of inventing ‘Paan’ vending machines.

Getting into the industry wasn’t as difficult as I feared it would be.  May be I was at all the right places at all the right times.  My friends- Jyotirmoy Jena, Vats Iyengar and I did some research on the who’s who of Bangalore’s radio industry, and then I sent out an e-flyer to radio stations, which spoke of how I totally deserve  to be on radio , sounds very presumptuous  and it looked very tacky! But it screamed for attention and fetched me an audition with Fever FM.

What do you enjoy the most as a jock?

Every day at work! I start with a clean slate, there is nothing pending or carried over from yesterday and tomorrow is different game altogether, so I make the most of every minute on the show to make your day, at least that’s what we RJs like to believe.

Do you produce your own shows? How about some of the repartee’s/ the rejoinders/the funny remarks during your Mad Morning show? Are they rehearsed or spontaneous?

I have a show producer and we produce the show as a team. We put together a rough sketch of the show, and then we go with the flow, the madness in the show is very off the cuff and I find it works best that way!

Any RJ idol of yours? Why is he/she your idol?

My radio heroes! Darius Sunawala and Rohit Jayakaran! Every day at Fever I look forward to learning something new from Darius, I don’t know of a better radio programming expert, not only is he a master at his craft but he is also a great teacher. Rohit Jayakaran has inspired me to be a Radio jockey all my life! He is sheer genius.

How was it moving from the Kannada music space to Hindi?

Almost everything I know about radio programming today is what I learnt from the Kannada music space. I love Kannada music, Fever had a great product and I thoroughly enjoyed programming for the Kannada format. So letting go of it was very difficult, but the opportunity to reinvent myself on radio excited me immensely.  Being part of this format change has given me new insights into radio programming and I have discovered new strengths in me as a radio jockey.

How did your fans react? What about your own thoughts on the move by Fever to Hindi?

The first few months were difficult and demanding. Our Kannada product was exceptional and our audience did not take to kindly to the format change. Frustration poured on facebook and twitter, we were flooded with questions and many listeners came to our office demanding an explanation, but we expected all of it. Along with the backlash, there was also a lot of support for the makeover and a lot of work that needed to be done so we had to stay focused.

What else in life after RJing?

My romance with radio has just begun, I am living my dream! And with so much inspiration -read Darius Sunawala and Rohit Jaykaran around, I am going to take forever to get done with this! But I also want to do a lot more theatre in the future.

Any words/advice for aspiring RJ’s and radio listeners?

Advice for aspiring RJs, Read! Watch! Listen!

And radio listeners, Thanks a million!

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