Radio Jockeys need common sense in abundance, says Pradeepa in a conversation with Nikhil Varma
“I used to blabber for hours endlessly in college, and also headed the student union. I was keen on entering the film industry and public speaking was my forte. That helped me in land this job,” says Pradeepa, the Radio Jockey at Radio City, who wakes up the city with his wisecracks and musical choices six days a week.
“I need to sound happy and energetic on air, since I handle the early morning show. You cannot be dull or sound like you are under the weather, as the customers will tune off immediately. It now comes to me naturally. I enjoy it thoroughly,” he quips.
Pradeepa contends that apart from having a good voice and a sense of humour, radio jockeys need to have a lot of common sense. “Anything you say reaches out to many people, so you have to be a bit careful. A sense of humour is necessary, but you cannot offend people.” He adds: “Since it is an audio medium, your voice is very vital to the job. Technology can only help a bit. You need a good voice to make it big. It is very important to sound friendly and warm to make people tune into to your show every day. You need to maintain your style, but also must bring in innovations to ensure that the listeners are not bored.”
On his job, he quips: “It is the best job in the world. Unlike what many people think, it is fairly tough.”
He grins: “Many people think that we can head home once our slot is finished. However, we have to work on scripts, prepare and generate content for the next day’s show and also get involved in production work. It is an eight-hour job, but provides a great deal of freedom and is generally fun.”
Most shows operate on the basis of a loose script. “You have to keep an eye on the local issues. If there is a breaking news development, the script has to be tweaked a bit, otherwise one can manage fine with a small script.”
Pradeepa is happy that Radio has made a comeback in public consciousness over the past few years. “I feel that the influx of private FM channels has helped revive radio especially in urban areas, where it was facing terminal decline. Radio listeners has seen a huge increase in numbers over the past few years. With the advent of news on the radio, it may increase further. It augurs well for the industry, even as the internet and TV have transformed communication across the planet. It is a time pass medium that people love listening to and that serves the medium well.”
A trained engineer, Pradeepa dreams of venturing into movie direction and says that he has been toying around with some scripts. “I want to direct movies and have been helping some of my friends in the production work for their short films, documentaries etc. I hope it will help me, when I venture into direction myself.”
His musical choices are varied and depend on the mood. “I have phases where I enjoy a particular genre or style of music. I like everything from jazz to rock to fusion to heavy metal, depending on my mood. I am currently enjoying listening to an African collection.”