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RJ Mantra

Radio Jockey | 29 Aug 2011

It (creativity) is as important as imagination is for a painter. Radio has been rightly described as a theatre of the mind, and like the painter starts off with an empty campus, we RJs use words, sounds, etc., to paint a scene, evoke a scenario. All of the three – knowledge, humour, intelligence – are important. I would also add emotional intelligence…

RJ Mantra has been associated with the Red 93.5 FM Network for the past five years, hosting the popular drive time show – ‘Mumbai Local’ (Monday to Saturday, 5-9 pm). A versatile personality, RJ Mantra has been dabbling with theatre for the last 12 years. His rendezvous with mainstream cinema bagged him the second lead in the Soha Ali Khan-Emraan Hashmi starrer ‘Tum Mile’, directed by Kunal Deshmukh, which was very well received by the critics as well as the audiences.

RJ Mantra has also anchored several shows on television and was applauded for his stint as an anchor with the dance show ‘Zara Nachke Dikha’. Recently, RJ Mantra was also seen in the Hindi movie ‘Bheja Fry 2’, in which he had essayed the role of a television anchor who hosts the popular show ‘Aao Guess Kare’.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Shubhangi Mehta, RJ Mantra speaks about the joys and challenges of RJing and what makes his show special…

Q. What inspired you to become a radio jockey?

I always had an opinion, with radio I got an opportunity to take it to the world. I have dabbled in other media as well, but the high you get when you are live on air on radio remains unmatched by anything else. Unlike television, radio blurs the boundary between pure entertainment and informative media.

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

Who says? I am an RJ/ VJ/ DJ/ voiceover artist, TV/ theater and movie actor. But I still consider radio to be my first love and the most lucrative of all.

Q. It’s a common saying 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?

Everyone can think that, but to translate thought into an opinion is an art. Being an orator is not easy.

Q. How important is creativity for a radio jockey?

It is as important as imagination is for a painter. Radio has been rightly described as a theatre of the mind, and like the painter starts off with an empty campus, we RJs use words, sounds, etc., to paint a scene, evoke a scenario.

Q. Which out of these is important in your profession and why:
a. Knowledge
b. Humour
c. Intelligence

All of the three – knowledge, humour, intelligence – are important. I would also add emotional intelligence to the traits mentioned above.

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

Whatever I see around me, whatever I read – observation is my only preparation. These are the raw material I work with, refine and improve upon before presenting them to my listeners.

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

I have a very talented and dedicated team that works with me on my show; I would say my contribution would be about 50 per cent.

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

It has me!

Q. Which are your favourite radio shows?

‘Comedy No. 1’ with Hoezay and Suresh Menon.

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