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Interviews |  22 Oct 2010 10:35 |  By Avani_Bheda

Radi-oh - Hrishi K: Friends, and pesky girl friends!

He always wanted to get into theatre, but a BBC presentation convinced him Radio was his final destination, and Hrishikesh Kannan -- now popularly known as Hrishi K -- entered the world of Radio. Through the years, he has been associated with several FM stations like WorldSpace Satellite Radio Network, Times FM, Radio Mirchi and Win FM. But, he says, he is happiest at 94.3 Radio One, where he currently hosts the Breakfast Show. His MD Vineet Singh Hukmani believes: Hrishi is the best MJ, especially because he is a natural music buff. His love for the songs, the artists, the music, is from the heart. He lives his passion for  music, and that's what makes him the best MJ.... To know more about Hrishi K from Hrishi K, read on.

I was born in Delhi but came to Mumbai in '95 where I finished my education in St. Xavier's College. I started out with doing theatre but over the passage of time I got fascinated by Radio. I had gone for a live event and during those days there was a station called Times FM and someone from Times had seen me perform. They called me and asked me to join them – something about which at that point I wasn't too sure. I attended a workshop which pushed me towards taking Radio as a career.

I had always wanted to be in theatre till I attended this workshop by BBC on Radio. It changed my whole perspective and that is when I realized I wanted to do Radio because it combines music with performance, which has always been my passion.

I spent time in many radio stations like WorldSpace Satellite Radio Network, Times FM, then Radio Mirchi, and Win FM  But I am happiest in 94.3 Radio One because they really mean it when they say we are a music station. Here, I am not a Radio jockey but a Music Jockey. Every Radio station has its own branding,  like Red FM has â€?Bajate Raho', Radio Mirchi is Bollywood-centric. For us our USP is the music that we offer. For us Kajrare is not Aishwarya Rai's song;  it is Alisha Chinai's song  Apart from this we do live shows with musicians like Shankar Ehsan Loy and Shaan, with many performing live. At Radio One our idea is not only to promote musicians from film industry but independent musicians as well. And that is the power of Radio.

I cover the morning breakfast show from 7 to 11 am. We introduce our loyal set of listeners to fresh musical  talent, golden music of the past, traffic and stock updates, insights on basic civic and local issues, how to deal with working professionals – basically, the works.

I try to connect with my listeners; make friends. The most important quality is to be able to be friendly and be the boy-next-door. The moment you are disconnected from the listener he stops listening to you. Unlike the television, Radio builds friends.

But sometimes, the idea of building friendships can go haywire! Not from my side. I've received calls from girls who call my station's reception to say they're calling from an ad agency, and when I take the line, they come on strongly and ask me for my e-mail address, my phone number, etcetera. Suddenly a girl comes on air and says I Love You!..  Another girl caught hold of my land line number, my mobile number, and would call me forty, fifty times a day! Till I spoke to her parents, who said, Sorry, we have no control over her! That was alarming. I finally changed my land line number because it would ring in the middle of the night! But I couldn't change my mobile number, because that's something you've had for years! Finally I told her father I would complain about her to the social services wing, and finally the calls sort of petered out  Television is very passive. You cannot reach out and touch your celebrity, but Radio gives you more accessibility.

To connect with my working professionals I have travelled from Churchgate to Borivli and from Virar back to Churchgate with them in local trains. In fact, even RJ Prachi does something similar. She loves to connect with family audiences, and promises to be out at a listener's home at 7 pm every evening, and waits for them when they return home from work. We believe in connecting with our audience at all possible levels.

An RJ also needs to be aware of the latest  happenings,  news about the city and even around the country,  which I find is a big weakness these days. Most Jocks use joke books, situational satires,  and don't read the newspaper.

People think that it is essential to have a great voice on Radio. But, I don't completely agree. For example Salman Khan is a good looking man whereas Naseeruddin Shah is not a conventionally good looking man,  but people still go and watch Shah's movies. Similarly in Radio if you have good voice,  it's like having a good physique. What you do with your voice is more important. Some of the best RJs and Music Jockeys I have known are people who don't have good voices, but they are friendly. They know how to use and modify their voice.

In fact, a basic tip the seniors in Radio One give us is to think what musical twist one can bring to a situation. It is connected with Radio One's basic mission. We live in a country where we sing in the bathroom, even while combing our hair. Our sub-conscious has music in it; people are passionate about music, even at the subconscious level. All of us at Radio One work to getting that passion out of the subconscious of each and ever listener, and help him or her revel in the love of music. That's why we're convinced about giving maximum music, maximum choice.

If you ask me about my favourite radio presenters, well, I have a lot of respect for Ameen Sayani. I have had the good fortune to meet him a couple of times. He has even presented me with awards and on occasion has had some kind words for me. Other than him, I have a strong respect for my competitors. I enjoy listening to Red FM's Malishka.

(As told to Avani Bheda)