Siddharth Kannan, who started as a radio jockey in his teens, says that when you are in the entertainment business, the sky is the limit
Meeting Siddharth Kannan was one of those moments of clarity, an ‘a-ha!' moment of sorts. Siddharth Kannan can be recognised as the voice that says, “And the nominations are…” all of us have heard, during award ceremonies and several other shows on television.
The man who started his career as a teenage radio jock, Siddharth believes that when you are in the entertainment business, the sky is the limit.
“In this day and age everything is about being bindas, especially in the entertainment industry, it is all about playing to the gallery,” says Siddharth who was in the city to be with his family.
Siddharth's ease in front of the camera shows us proof of his status in the business. The man has been there and done that, all.
He started as a radio jock, and then has added to his resume television anchor, voice over artiste and entrepreneur. The most obvious question now being, films? “I don't want to play the hero's best friend,” he says flatly, “I have gotten several offers to play the role of the stereotypical best friend, but to be honest I have never wanted to be an actor. Besides, I have always aspired to be the king rather than a courtier.”
“If I did not break into the entertainment business, I would have been a tennis player,” says Siddharth, who earned his pocket money as a child by getting a rupee for every ball that he sent across the net. “My parents have always stressed on the importance of co-curricular activities and that has been one of the biggest reasons I chose the profession that I did,” he explains.
While on one hand Siddharth has loaned his voice to teleshopping networks, on the other he has interviewed Amitabh Bachchan at the age of 15. Siddharth has also hosted a talk show with Baba Sehgal. “The secret is to not care about the outcome, your natural instincts get curbed when you worry about what people will think.”
Radio is his wife and television his mistress and he loves them both. “I am in a hobby 24/7 and everyday is like a picnic. But while I am very happy where I am, I am also quite greedy and want more,” says Siddharth, who has one gripe of not being able to focus on sports as much as he would want to.
Siddharth splits his time between doing voice-overs, television anchoring and radio. “Doing voice-overs is my bread and butter, and I love it. Anchoring and radio is just the icing on the cake. It gives me a kick to do television. In fact, the day I shoot for TV I lose money rather than make more.” Now about Siddharth the entrepreneur; he owns an audio studio with friend and partner in crime Baba Sehgal.
“We take most serials on Z TV and Hindi films and dub it into foreign languages.” In the late 90s, a time when Baba Sehgal would be mobbed by fans, Siddharth interviewed him. “I had nothing to offer him, yet he was very kind to me and we kept in touch.”
Now years down the line the two have done a TV show together and are business partners. “Ours is called a husband and wife relationship, and I am the husband,” he laughs.
Siddharth has also compered on several occasions. “At live shows my spontaneity works for me. You have to put in all your experience from TV and radio into a live show. Compering events is the final exam,” he explains. Siddharth Kannan believes he is a schizophrenic, “I am the guy who goes all out, a complete people's person. I am also the guy who is philosophical, reads books and enjoys alone time. The art is to switch on and switch off, I never subject people to my moods swings.”
“I always got attention; even back when I was in school and then you reach a point where you just don't care. I just want to do phenomenal work, and if that happens the attention follows,” says Siddharth, who never depended on his job to put food on the table when he started out. “I came from a fairly well off family, so I was never afraid of being kicked out and I was not making a living out of it. This gave me the licence to go mad.” Although he does admit that impressing girls was an added benefit.