| 09 Jan 2013
Private FM industry is hardly a decade old as compared to that in the western countries. People have a lot of scope to experiment with the format, content, etc., and so far it has been readily accepted by the audience in terms of good infotainment. I would say that the radio industry is still highly dominated by Bollywood. Though there has been an increase in listener interactions, on-ground studio shifts, etc.
RJ Gaurav is the voice of the show Kal Bhi Aaj Bhi aired on Radio City. Gaurav brings the melodies of Bollywood’s golden era to his listeners along with some of the most unheard and rare stories about the legends of the industry. Gaurav began his career as a theatre professional and later moved on to the dubbing industry. Gaurav has been with Radio City for over three years and chats with exchange4media’s Saloni Surti speaking about his love for music and radio, woes of an RJ and how is the radio industry evolving.
Q. You are known for the way you capture the pulse of Mumbaikars through your show ‘Kal Bhi Aaj Bhi’. What do you think is that one element that strikes a chord with the audience?
I guess the USP of my show lies in the simplicity of the show, combined with great music. ‘Kal Bhi Aaj Bhi’ showcases the golden moments of the memorable stars that are called ‘evergreen’ because they are relevant to our lives ‘Kal Bhi Aaj Bhi’. My show not only endeavours to provide the best of yesteryears’ melodious music, but also decorates the entire musical journey with many inside stories and never heard before trivia related to the evergreen stars and yesteryears’ movies. It gives me the chance to relate with the stars and share their memorable moments with the listeners.
Q. What inspired you to get into RJing?
I wouldn’t say that I always wanted to be an RJ and the encounter with radio was purely accidental. As a child though, I was always fascinated by the voice of Ameen Sayani sahib. It was merely the strength of his voice that captured the attention of thousands across the country. To my advantage, a lot of people often complimented me for my voice. I started off with theatre, which has always been my first love. Things worked my way and ultimately life led the path to radio.
Q. With increasing commercial pressure, how do you manage to keep your content objective?
Since my show comes at a time when people are returning from work and would love to relax, the format is different. I don’t think there is any commercial pressure so to say. The content of the show is in itself nostalgia-based and filled with the untold tales of ‘Golden Era’ of the Hindi film industry.
Q. Can you shed some light on how the industry has changed in the recent past?
Private FM industry is hardly a decade old as compared to that in the western countries. People have a lot of scope to experiment with the format, content, etc., and so far it has been readily accepted by the audience in terms of good infotainment. I would say that the radio industry is still highly dominated by Bollywood. Though there has been an increase in listener interactions, on-ground studio shifts, etc. The RJs are now more exposed and are more like friends for the listeners than mere voices behind the curtain. The marketing effort in creating the ‘Brand’ RJ is relatively higher these days.
Q. How important is your contribution in the scripting of a programme?
I am not just the RJ of the show, but also a producer. So, my job includes research, creating promos, lining up interactions with the celebs, etc. As far as the script is concerned, it’s spontaneous and comes straight from the heart.
Q. Do you think that the entry of social media has made connecting with the listeners easy for an RJ?
Definitely yes! Social media is a great thing, but I still feel that the connection that the RJ has with his listeners on-air is far stronger and more personal. Social media makes it easier for us to connect with our listeners. At the end of the day, the permanent address to connect with the RJ has to be the frequency of the station. There is nothing more personal than connecting with the RJ on a call and sharing the views. Social media merely helps you promote the brand and make it more relatable for the listeners.
Q. What will be the one thing that you would like to change in your show in 2013?
I think every show has something new, something fresh to offer. I believe more than changing things, one should stay consistent with the format and the content of the show, especially for a retro show. If at all I have to change something, I might go to the listeners for suggestions. The one thing that I am often told is that I must increase the duration of my show.
Q. What, according to you, are the five elements that make a good RJ?
The toughest thing of radio is to be yourself. Being a genuine person is most important. Secondly, one should be prepared with what goes on-air as you may sound over-friendly and casual otherwise. One should be completely confident and sure of what one would say before the mike is turned on. Third, yes, preparation is important, yet spontaneity is the key element. Something on a radio show should never appear as scripted or mechanical. Connection with the listeners is the most important part. Fourth, clarity of speech – you may or may not have a great voice, but it’s necessary that the communication should be absolutely clear, Fifth, no matter what, being a good storyteller is equally important. At the end, it is only the story that lives on… Kal Bhi Aaj Bhi.