| 13 Apr 2024
RJ Devaki rocks Malta at International Radio Festival 2018

MALTA: Indian radio jockeys’ or RJs’ as they are known as in India or Radio Presenters or DJs’ as they are knows as in other geographies, have traditionally been the talk of the International Radio Festival (IRF), each year, during the five editions of the past eight of IRF that they participated in. The sixth occasion of Indian participation and the ninth IRF edition was certainly no different. It was therefore, but a certainty that RJ Devaki from Red FM Ahmedabad, who was the winner of the Sound of India contest organized by , would follow in her peers’ footsteps – and yet her act, her performance during her two hour radio show on Saturday last at the IRF 2018 Malta was as different or similar as chalk and cheese are!

Devaki and her producer Imran dressed up in traditional Gujarati/Rajasthani apparel wowed the crowd with their playlist, their antics before, during, and just after Devaki’s show. Imran’s Rangoli designs near the IRF stage were a big attraction along with the other props such as dandiya sticks, the Diwali lamps that the duo had so thoughtfully bought to give IRF visitors, from across the world, a glimpse of traditional Gujarat, Rajasthan and India. Before her show began, Devaki ensured that everyone present had a bindi on his or her forehead as a sign of salutation to the mind, the god within them.

The Indian radio diva started off her show in her voice choked with emotion and love for her land, speaking in Gujarati with a mix of Hindi and English initially. She ran an audience, that was estimated to be in excess of 100 million (10 crore or 1,000 lakh), through sounds of India via Indian film music from across the country. Devaki introduced to the audience some of the famous Indian film stars – Amitabh Bachchan, South Indian and Hindi superstar Rajnikanth, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Govinda, to name just a few, through their sound bytes followed by music from some of the popular numbers in which these actors featured in. In between, she ran out and danced, encouraging members of the IRF fraternity to dance.

“I love Indian radio shows. Over the years, they have been some of the highlights amongst many others at the IRF,” said IRF founder Darryl von Daniken who gamely tried on a lungi and danced for the popular Hindi version of the number Lungi Dance. “Indian presenters are fantastic, the kind of energy, they put into their shows on air and off air. It’s a treat to watch the Indian DJ show us the nuances of Indian music, festivals and dance forms,” said and IRF regular.

The queen of Ahmedabad, as she is sometimes known, demonstrated why she was selected as the best RJ in India for the year 2018 and hence the start of the use a new moniker – The radio queen of India! The 20 songs, which she picked, were spot-on, because people from across the world joined her in her dance, humming, in gyrating to the beats of Indian music. And not only were there fast paced numbers, the soulful tones of slower numbers, played by her, moved the audiences as much as the fast medleys.

Once her show was over, the Indian RJ was beset with requests for interviews and sound bytes from other radio presenters and media persons from around the world. Two hours after her show, Devaki and her producer Imran were still sportingly giving interviews without having had lunch as yet!  The stage actor and performer proved that she is a show person till the last!