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Anuraag Pandey

Radio Jockey | 20 Jul 2011

An RJ’s job is not about non-stop talking, but about non-stop thinking. You have to have presence of mind and adapt as per the given situation and at the same time establish your own identity. It’s critical to understand your listeners and to gauge their interest and then of course sustain it through an audio medium.

An RJ with Fever 104 FM, Anuraag Pandey is best known for his show ‘Picture Pandey’. Pandey has been with Fever FM for nearly two years now. Prior to Fever 104 FM, he had worked with Red FM, Win FM in Mumbai and had also been RJing in Dubai.

Though a BSc graduate, Pandey, a movie buff, opted for RJing as a career rather than the corporate world. However, very few people know that he has also been a state level basketball player and an ace shooter. Music and movies rule his life and also de-stress him.

In a freewheeling conversation with exchange4media’s Shubhangi Mehta, Pandey talks about his experience as an RJ, the makings of a hit radio show and where Fever FM gains over others...

Q. What inspired you to become a radio jockey?

I guess there is not a single medium in the world that offers you a platform to connect with millions of people at one go! Not only do I immensely enjoy sharing the happenings around, but also entertaining the listeners with talks about their favourite topics like music, movies, current affairs, etc. It is a wholesome as well as an enriching experience to be able to share thoughts, views and opinions with people from different walks of life, and in turn to find great friends in my listeners.

Q. How would you justify the fact that the job of a radio jockey is not as progressive and lucrative as other professions?

It’s all about perception. I am not among those who run after success, instead I look at seeking excellence and finding newer ways of entertaining my listeners. For me, it is a learning experience, where I learn loads and loads of things from my callers, share their experiences and seek new friends daily. And here at Fever, its more about the fun we have at work while following all processes established to ensure smooth running. Everyone is upbeat about coming to work everyday and the excitement is surely infectious.

Q. It’s a common say that the job of an RJ is pretty easy – it’s just about talking. How difficult it is in your opinion to talk non-stop?

I guess an RJ’s job is not about non-stop talking, but about non-stop thinking. You have to have presence of mind and adapt as per the given situation and at the same time establish your own identity. It’s critical to understand your listeners and to gauge their interest and then of course sustain it through an audio medium.

Q. How important is creativity for a radio jockey?

Creativity is required for any and every people-oriented job. But when it comes to a radio jock, there is a chase between creativity and time. You have to be creative in the stipulated time you have on-air. I don’t think any other job throws up this challenge of proving your creativity in such a short span of time. It is a team effort at Fever, the talent that we have here is the best from the industry. RJs are also involved in the programming function to a great extent, creative inputs from every team member is welcomed and taken into consideration, and this has greatly helped us build a unique breakfast show like ‘Breakfast with the Stars on Picture Pandey’ with my listeners.

Q. Which out of these is important in your profession and why:

I guess an RJ has to be ‘Sarvagun Sampan’, which means ‘All in One & One in All’.

Q. What preparations do you do before your show starts?

The best preparation for any RJ is to keep his ears and eyes open and observe the happenings around you as all this inspires you to prepare for your show. By doing this, you can connect better with your audience in a more personal yet unique way. For instance, when it comes to celeb interviews, you have to extract what your audience wants to know about that celeb. In order to do that you have to think like them. By doing this you can give your audience a different interview, which is far superior to the usual run-of-the-mill interviews.

Q. How important is your contribution in the scripting of a programme?

I guess there is no script in life; life is full of experiences and learning from stuff around you. Similarly, out here too there is no script when we talk to our listeners. It is the same as you talk to your parents, friends and loved ones – direct from the heart. Although the content on-air sounds effortless, but we have a whole production and programming team helping us put together the show and deciding what should go on air. We ensure that our brand philosophy is in line with what we deliver on-air.

Q. What is that one thing that makes your radio station different from other radio stations?

Fever 104 FM is one of best innovators today in the radio industry. If you look at some of our recent initiatives, all of which have been ideated, produced and executed by the Fever team, you will see a flavour of freshness and innovation. I believe that the talent pool at Fever is the most creative, diligent and active, which makes our execution seamless and perfect. We strive to give our listeners what they want on-air, we create programmes that our listeners would love, we have even received some great appreciation and recognition. For instance, Fever Radio Ramayan won two Golds at the New York Festival. Fever 104 FM is the choice of today’s times and aims to provide best on-air entertainment with maximum quality music. It is recognised as a vibrant, youthful, creative and the most interactive music destination predominantly due to the people working to make it a superb radio station. Our initiatives like ‘One Day Akraman’, partnership with Mumbai Indians and Digi-sound campaign have been a huge hit in Mumbai. Fever gives you the liberty to conceive, think and plan your show jointly with the programming team, and this helps build great synergies within the team. To sum it all, I think the music, innovation and the people at Fever make us different from other stations.

Q. Which are your favourite radio shows?

I host a segment every Wednesday in my daily show ‘Picture Pandey’, which is called ‘Breakfast with the Stars’. In this show, I interview some of the biggest celebrities in a candid and personal manner, exclusively for my listeners. Besides this, I constantly try to share fun and interesting experiences from my life through ‘Pandey Ke Fundey’. Not to forget the daily dosage of unlimited fun, entertainment and masti that makes my show ‘Picture Pandey’ – picture perfect. Because of all these aspects, I can proudly say – Mumbai Saher ki baatein Filmi Tadke ke saath – Sirf aur Sirf ‘Picture Pandey’ pe… It’s the perfect show where I, as the ‘Baap of Bollywood’, come on-air every morning to do what I do best – bring Bollywood with a flavour of Mumbai to the listeners. The show is now a preferred chat show for celebs in town.

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