Comments (0)
Powered by
Sponsored by
Interviews |  24 Sep 2016 18:20 |  By RnMTeam

I am the only RJ to have hosted breakfast shows in seven cities: RJ Dilip

MUMBAI: He is the man who makes your traffic-laden and chaotic Mumbai evenings stress-free. He is the one who makes you smile, even while you get crushed in an overpacked local. Well, it's the host of Big FM's evening show ‘Evening Drive’, RJ Dilip. Dilip a true Mumbaikar understands the nerves of Mumbai and he does his best to keep it happy through his evening show.

Other than this Dilip also hosts Sunday morning show ‘Masaala Chahaa’. Here Dilip plays Marathi tracks ranging from old-time favourites to the latest groovy numbers.

In conversation with, the RJ speaks about his journey as an RJ and more. Excerpts.  
Tell us a bit about your journey.

I am from a medical background. I was studying for BHMS (Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery) when I developed liking for radio. But, my love for radio back then was just limited to listening to music on radio. I am talking about a time when there were no private radio stations. There were two government run FM stations and we medical students used to hear them to distress ourselves.

When did radio happen?

A friend once said that I sound like a radio jockey and that I should try for a radio announcer. Around this time Akashvani was looking for an announcer and I auditioned for the same. Out of 500 odd people who applied for the post, I bagged it. The process then was slow hence, I realised that I had bagged the job only two months later.

Didn't parents object to you choosing radio over medicine?

I basically received two reactions. The first reaction was from my father who is one of the coolest people around. When I told him I was going to take up BHMS he was happy for me. Similarly, when I decided to become an RJ, he was happy. My mother, however, was not too pleased. She wondered as to why someone would want to be an RJ after studying for BHMS. Today they are very happy for me.

What happened next on the radio front?

From Akashvani , I moved on to Radio Gold. Gold was completely retro. This was also the time for Private FM stations boom. Red FM approached me then and I joined them next. Soon Phase II of private FM stations happened and I shifted base to Jaipur from Mumbai. I launched two radio stations as National Programming Head (Ajmer and Jodhpur) and also hosted shows as RJ on these stations. I used to host the morning shows. Then, there was this need to move on thus, I handed over my shows to other RJs and moved.

So you did not limit yourself to RJing?

I have had different roles, but the RJ profile has been constant. In fact, I am the only RJ to have hosted breakfast shows in seven cities – Mumbai, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Surat, Ahmedabad, Pune.

Do you still handle any additional responsibilities at Big FM?

After these experiences one has to figure out what one likes the most. In my case I like RJing. Thus, I am just an RJ now.
What is it that keeps you going as an RJ?

Going live every single day! The instant feedbacks and calls that listeners make. They wait till 5pm in the evening for me to say ‘Good Evening’ for their  evenings to begin. All these elements give one a kick. I would like to share a recent example – I booked a cab to go back home. I said something to the driver to explain him the address and he just stopped and stared at me. Next, he asked if I was an RJ and before I could answer that, popped another question – Are you RJ Dilip? At the end of our journey, I gave him the fare and he said something that stayed with me. He said, ‘I will keep this note safely and I definitely won’t sleep tonight’. Now, that kind of reaction motivates you to keep doing what you are.
What are the changes that you have noticed in radio over the years?

I remember the days when people used to write postcards to us at Akashvani and we would sit back to select a few worth reading. The show was called ‘Katha Aapke Geet Hamare’. Today one can just go live during the show with Facebook Live. Listeners have evolved and so have we. The reactions and comments are instant with FB and Twitter. It wasn’t this instant then. Some radio stations also have their WhatsApp number for a one-to-one connect with listeners. Today it’s easier for us to reach out to our listeners and answer off record questions too with FB and Twitter.
What is your take on the increasing ad time on radio?

It’s a very sensitive topic for both the RJs and the listeners. But, then it is our source of revenue. It’s a very thin line and one has to balance it. That is one of the reasons why we now have the first 30 minutes of every hour as ad free. These 30 minutes only have songs. The later 30 minutes have ads, but there are also innovations and songs to keep the listeners entertained.

Do you second the idea of RJs staying out of the limelight to keep the mystery element alive?

I feel if I am comfortable with the way I look I wouldn’t have an issue with being in public. The listener today wants to know more about the voice they are listening to. If we look at the international radio format the listeners are given an insight to the RJs life. That brings in a more personal connect.

The idea of retro is changing with every passing day. What is retro for you?

Retro depends on the age group that one is targeting. Thus, someone who is in his/her 50s will not consider 90s retro. But, someone in the early 20s will. However, the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s is the pure golden retro era.