“We talk a lot,” begins television host and anchor Keerthi (Kiki) Vijay. “I talk a lot and make him [Shanthanu Bhagyaraj] talk as well. That’s why people say that they see a different Shanthanu from the screen and interviews. We like pulling each other’s legs, and are almost like a Tom and Jerry couple,” says Kiki. The anchor, along with her husband, actor Shanthanu, recently launched a podcast titled Jolly O Gymkhana in Spotify, that follows a banter-like style, while taking on serious and timely issues.
Shanthanu adds, “We started with entertainment, because that’s what people expect from us. We are also going to talk about topics that people go through today, like depression and social media addiction.” But Kiki is quick to add that the podcast will leave everything on a hopeful note.
Jolly O Gymkhana will join the new roster of original Tamil podcasts that the digital platform has launched in partnership with the popular South Indian record label, Divo. In a recent event held for podcasters in Chennai, Unni Nambudripad, head of original podcasts and content development lead at Spotify adds, ”We’ve seen a lot of growth in the Tamil market, not just in terms of music but also in podcasts, so we want to continue investing.”
My Dear Makapa by television host Ma Ka Pa Anand also joins the league with a conversational podcast. “I was an RJ (Radio Jockey) for many years. With a platform like this, I know how to do it. So it is a perfect match for me,” says Anand.
He continues, “I have done most of my radio shows alone,” Makapa explains, “But it’ll be nice to have a sidekick. I might ask my wife to be on,” he laughs, “or maybe my friends. Even in the first episode, I wanted to be comfortable so I maintained a conversational vibe. I even put my phone on loudspeaker and called my friends to ask them what they thought a podcast was, as a prank.” Anand hopes to bring out four to five episodes per month while Shanthanu and Kiki will release 52 episodes through the year. Spotify has created 10 original podcasts so far, including popular ones like Crime Spot with YouTuber RishiPedia and Naallanaa Murukku by RJ Balaji.
Spotify has also started an initiative to showcase female indie talent in the audio scene called AmplifiHer. Deepika Arun, the host of podcast Kadhai Osai, shares her thoughts, “It is a great initiative to project women in audio. Audio itself is a nascent medium and people don’t understand podcasts. So to actually create awareness for people who work in audio, especially women, makes a lot of sense.”