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Features |  24 May 2013 15:01 |  By RnMTeam

RJ Karan Singh: "Radio is a fantastic medium where age does not matter"

One of the most experienced jocks in the industry today, RJ Karan Singh has dabbled with various shows in his career at Fever FM Mumbai. Known to host interactive shows, the jock has excelled in the art of audience interaction through shows like Zara Si Life and Ru-Ba-Ru. In this week’s musical rendezvous, the RJ elaborates on the knack of audience engagement and his experiences with them:

I think I am one of the oldest people in this field. I started in 1996 and it has been 15-16 years since then. Even though I hosted the mid morning show ‘Zara Si Life’ for two years, people have liked me for the night show. This medium has given me everything including name and fame. Radio is very satisfying because you get to affect people in a good way, which gives you a good feeling. And that is also why audience come back again and again to the same RJ and show.

‘Zara Si Life’ helped me view life a bit more from a different perspective because I did not know much about what is happening these days. This show made me aware of all those things as I had to know about the current affairs and issues pertaining to Mumbai amongst other things. Earlier I just used to curse the system, but now I also know where to point fingers and what is or is not happening. Another thing I understood from the morning show was my versatility to host such a show. People also saw a different side of me through this show where I spoke fast and used the typical Mumbaiya language.

Currently I host the show ‘Pal do Pal’ which started off as a show revolving around love, life, relationships and more. We have also started with song requests to have a balance and so that the show can have some commercial and emotional aspect as well. Everyone likes to be heard on radio, so it does well. The night show which I host is one which you cannot categorize through numbers and ratings. Although they don’t have commercial hits in the playlist, the songs from the earlier era have a magic of their own. The night time band is relaxed in that way as it is only to unwind and people are more relaxed. I try to bring them more spiritual relaxation through the show. But people are generally more attentive during that time so it’s more challenging..

Our show has a lot of focus towards listeners as in the first hour we encourage callers for requests, while in the second we ask them some question. The music is limited to the 70s, 80s and 90s era. We sometimes go a little back in time with songs like ‘Lag Ja Gale’ as they epitomize romance. Basically the playlist comprises of romantic and mid tempo songs.

Many a times it happens that the song maybe a very romantic one, but the effect it has on a listener is painful because there are many memories associated with the song. All of us have some memories with a particular song and that is what we focus on during the show. Even if a listener does not have any memories with the song, hearing someone else’s stories helps us in connecting them to the show, as they also then start thinking on similar lines. So, through my show we concentrate a lot on people’s personal lives.

The audience is such that if they like an RJs personality, they will automatically start liking the songs, content and other things the RJ presents on the show. If you have some experiences which you want to share with your listeners, it helps in engaging them because they connect with what you are telling them about yourself. This is how the listeners also grow and evolve along with the RJ. Radio listening is not only entertainment, but also enables a person to grow in various ways if one allows it.

We do not cater to a very stringent set of audience because I believe that if a song has good tunes, then they are liked by the youth also. And if there is romance, then every age group is present there and today even 12 year olds are open to the idea of love. The language also used in shows today is not pure Hindi like earlier; there is a lot of usage of English words. So, connecting with audiences in that way is not difficult. So if not the song, it’s the jock talk or flow of the show that helps listeners stay connected.

Today with the advent of many devices like iPod and MP3 players, the art of radio listening is something that takes time to develop. But in my show I have witnessed that the mass audience enjoys tracks from the 90s including songs from Aashiqui, Saathi and more. Then there is another set of audiences who like tracks from the 70s like Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, Kabhi Kabhi and such. So there are all types of people who tune in with different tastes.

We usually have a lot of research available to understand what kind of things do people like in the night show. The rest as an RJ I try to know from my experience, gut feel or when I interact with audiences personally. Social media like facebook and emails also help here, where people can tell what they want to listen to.

According to the results of all these things, we come up with innovative concepts and features. Very soon we will start live singing where a singer will come to the studio and render tracks from the 60s. They will be accompanied by instruments like guitar and more along with their distinct style, lending the song a fresh look. It is often noted that if you take songs from the 60s and 70s and give them a new tune, the audiences now like it more.

I have had very memorable experiences and I feel good when listeners tell me that I have had a very good effect in their lives. I feel good that this is not just a job that I am doing, but it is also a kind of service to people. A lot of times I have come across such situations where someone was going to commit suicide and they changed their mind, because for some reason when they were listening to me.

There was a girl once who had lost her control and was about to jump in the water, but since a lot of people were present at the spot she decided to wait till the area gets empty. During that time she was listening to the radio on the phone, and that day the question on the show was ‘Have you ever reached any such situation in life where you felt everything was over in your life? But you did not do anything at that time and later you were grateful for that?’ I was asking that question and something transpired, due to which she is now living happily.

I faced a similar situation when a male listener was moving towards the Bandra-Worli sealink to suicide. I had asked a similar question on my show and he spoke to me and told me that his problems were related to marital life, children, loss on the professional front and more. He said that when people say good times will come, sounds good but it doesn’t happen. I told him to wait for some more time as these are testing phases. And sometimes it happens that the people who have a good tolerance level are made to handle all the things at the same time so that their future is good.

So there are a lot of times when we face such a situation and it is great if we can change people’s lives through a radio show or rather through a small link, because an RJ only speaks for around 2-3 minutes in the middle of 5-6 songs. And if that small amount of time can change someone’s life, it is very magical and great.

It is very challenging to deal with such situations. Along with experience it is also the power of some energy that works in your favour, which helps you. I want to take the credit but sometimes I feel that it is not us talking. Maybe there are good souls that flow through us that help.

Radio is a fantastic medium where age does not matter. There are still a lot of senior people hosting shows, because here people become friends with the voice and personality that is only nurtured with age. An RJ does not have any age and he can work in radio for as long as he wants.  I would wish to continue working on radio but it also depends on people if they continue to like me or not.

Names of the show and listeners keep changing, but I will always remain the same. There are also some listeners who walk along with you on your journey from years, so this will keep going on and on in the time to come.