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Getting to understand the rhythm of radio

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By Srishti Garg

Who doesn’t know about Red FM (93.5 Bajate Raho)? But not all get the opportunity to visit the station. Students of BJMC 3rd year and MJMC 2nd year under the supervision of Avijit sir had the privilege to visit the private radio station owned by the Sun Group, on December 9, to witness the scenes behind the radio shows we listen to daily.

As soon as we reached the radio station in Noida, we were guided to the place where their hospitality began. The office walls looked colourful and vibrant with relatable, motivational and interesting graffiti. We were taken to the lounge for an informal chit chat. We were offered coffee and snacks too.  

The HR then introduced us to Pinky Sharma who is the production head for Red FM Delhi. Pinky was really easy-going and made us feel at home. She told us about all the things we should look forward to and she encouraged us to ask as many questions as possible.

She then took us inside the recording station, in which she said that there were a few recording studios and each of these was used for different purposes. She took us to the main recording studio where we were introduced to RJ Swati and RJ Rocky, who were carrying out their afternoon show called “Social Siyappa”. We saw how they pick callers. We also saw the back-up studio, which is used to go live in case of emergencies, when the main studio goes down or when there is a terrorist attack or the likes, as seen in the movie “Rang De Basanti”.

Pinky then walked us to the three production rooms which were also located inside the recording studio. These three production rooms are used to create and produce jingles and advertisements that we listen to on radio every single day. Pinky also did an impromptu recording session for an ad, and the way she modulated her voice was unbelievable.

We were then introduced to Dhruv who looks after the podcast department of Red FM Delhi. He briefed us on how they began with just five podcasts in 2019 and how they gradually reached a bigger number of 50 podcasts at present. He continued his talk referring to a few hit podcasts and why they’re a hit. “Indian Murder Mystery” is one of their most listened podcasts, because mystery and murder never go out of style and there is always something new and gory happening out there.

We also asked them about how radio would remain relevant today in the digital age. They threw light upon this by telling us about when they were little, everyone had said the same thing: “Radio is going extinct”. Nonetheless 15 years later, radio is still pertinent and will continue to play an essential role in our lives. The reason behind this is that India is still developing, we are a country of 140 crore people and not everyone has the same access to digital media as much as they would like. A farmer in his field still listens to the radio and now a podcast instead of watching TV.

We then met and interacted with a number of people from different departments of Red FM, so that each could share with us their experiences in the field and more. Pinky advised us to never let go of the spark that can push us to do something extraordinary.

We then talked to Abbas, who had come a really long way, from being an intern at Red FM to being the Assistant Production head for Red FM Delhi. He talked to us about how it’s extremely important to learn and gather knowledge about any and everything possible because you never know what might come in handy. He talked to us about the importance of being the “Jack of all trades and king of none”.

Pallavi, the National Content Head for Red FM was then introduced to us. It was an insightful conversation with her, in which we talked about how it’s essential to never stop experimenting with ideas. She strongly believes that to be able to write and express oneself is a necessity if one wants to excel in life. She also believes that once you are in the industry, keep your ego on the back seat. It will make your journey much smoother.

The three concurred that glamour is just the face of a much bigger industry. Being on camera or behind the microphone is only a small part, and more diverse and interesting things go on behind the scenes. There is an opportunity for everyone to explore their talents behind the scenes and on the screen/mic.

Last but not the least, we interacted with RJ Swati and RJ Rocky. The conversation we had with them was fun, pertaining to their goofy personalities. They told us about how life just takes you places you probably didn’t even intend to go. Neither of them wanted to become an RJ, but this was their destiny and life just happened to guide them there. They also talked to us about how the radio industry works on the three Cs. Cricket, Cinema and City. An RJ generally focuses on these fields of topics and now with the advancement of social media, they have started focusing on social media instead. Ironically, everyone talks about the city, cinema and cricket on social media too.

Having the opportunity to go and have a one-on-one interaction with experienced people like them was a desire which was finally fulfilled. 

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