Radio Indigo, the only English music channel in the city, celebrates its fifth birthday
The responsibility to entertain the city of Bangalore rests on the young but capable shoulders of a group that could not better represent the city. The work place at Radio Indigo is a playhouse with a pool table, very good music and lastly some good coffee, which essentially boils down to the ultimate test. Radio Indigo has entertained for the past five years, and now it is time to reap the benefits. And these benefits are going to be reaped by none other than the audience.
Today the station celebrates their fifth anniversary, and celebrations have definitely become grander with trips and gifts and prizes to give away. Like they say, there is something for everybody.
Sachin Moogi introduces himself as the programme director, which in short means he runs the show, “We were the pioneers in English music in India and it worked for us over here because Bangalore is such a cosmopolitan city and is also the rock capital of India. But we have not stopped there; we have so many good local musicians who don't get the kind of mileage they deserve. We are not making it a big deal and creating a separate slot where we play only Indian indie music, but instead we are just going to blend it into the international music.”
Bangalore boy Sriram Sulia has been a jock for two and a half years and is very obviously still thrilled about it, “This has to be the coolest job ever, and there are so many people who would do anything to be a part of this. It is meant to be fun considering it is the entertainment business, but there is also a lot of effort that goes into it. And the scale of the anniversary celebrations only justifies it.”
The station is now giving back to the city in terms of spreading civic awareness and addressing issues, “Having the kind of reach and power we have to make a difference, we are only fulfilling a responsibility that we owe to Bangalore — it is all about the city at the end of the day,” explains Sriram.
Shagufta Ahmed came to Indigo as an intern and then returned to find employment here, “I am the target listener, I grew up listening to English music and it is the thing I know most in the world,” she says before she continues about the average age in the work place, “It is a big deal that we are all so young here… we fall into the target audience we know what we expect and would want to listen to.”
The voice we might remember from radio in early 2000, Saggy figuratively puts his feet up and talks about radio with the calm of having been there, done that and knowing it inside out, “Now the listener has so many options when it comes to radio that we cannot get away with anything. The listener has matured, but we have not made much progress as an industry. For English radio it is only when there is competition that innovation would come in,” before he smiles and says, “I may be the oldest guy in radio but I still feel like a little boy, and ever since I moved out of heading the station it has been beautiful stress-free radio.”
Radio jockey Michelle says, “I have to talk and play music, how is there a downside to that? Except the stalkers; that can get really creepy and very frightening.” She was inspired by Barker and Darius and knew early on that this was what she wanted to do, “I came in with an open mind and no experience and was just willing to embrace it all. Your voice says so much about you that you cannot fake it, so it is important that you find out who you are and be that person, I wouldn't be here if I was copying someone else.”
Trigam Mukerjee who handles Artist and Repertoire and Communication for the stations says, “We set the trend five years back with being the only English station and now by adopting Indian bands we are setting another trend. We have cemented our position in the market and are now giving people music that they cannot access.” The station has tied up with Indian band Boomarang and will be touring the countr, y which justifies their status as a radio station based in Bangalore with a pan-India focus.
These guys love their job and are serious about what they do and have been at it for the past five years. So while one is trying to be the silent, objective observer, it is hard not to get sucked into camaraderie the mardi gras that they are all being a part of. What can I say except, it's show business, darling.