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Interviews |  22 Dec 2017 16:28 |  By Kavita Yadav

You build a connection with your listeners over a period of time: RJ Swati


MUMBAI: Red FM’s Drama Queen, RJ Swati loves being satirical, but what upsets her most is the Indian mentality of not accepting satire sportingly. Being her dramatic self, she is mostly seen having a lot of fun on-air and on her social media pages, but not many know that she never wanted to be on the radio. Her encounter with this profession was interesting and the RJ shares the tale with us.

In a candid conversation with Radioandmusic, she talks about her journey and more. Excerpts.

Did you always dream of being an RJ or you’re an accidental RJ?

I never wanted to be an RJ. I wanted to be a journalist. While I was studying, I interned with a lot of news channels. I loved the idea of wearing cotton kurta and khadi chappals. In the second year of college, we needed a sponsor for our college event RED FM came onboard.  I hosted that event and RED FM, Delhi’s then Programming Head was present at there. He liked my voice. I later got a call from RED asking if I’d be interested in radio. I did not want to be in radio, so I said a no, but they convinced me to take up the internship.

So, the internship led to you falling for this profession?

I was 18 and I used to do the graveyard shift, the usual for any new RJ. Attending college and balancing it all was difficult. But, my National Programming Head kept telling me that I had a career in radio and there was no need to study further. Somewhere, I had also reached a stagnant point. I felt the need to do more meaningful things.

A journalistic trait, you wanted to be there for the people?

I did, but gradually, radio became a part of my identity. I realised that it’s a powerful medium. Moreover, we are not a headline flashing somewhere, but the voice in your head.

What is it that drives you to be an RJ today?

You build a connection with your listeners over a period of time. You know their names and they know you. There have been times when someone has called me and I have been able to identify the person. I think that connect keeps me going.

What things in your radio routine bring a smile to your face?

I have been in the city and with the city through my show. But, the fact, that there are people listening to my voice in different parts of the world is fantastic. There are many who used to listen to my show while they were in 12th grade. Today, they’ve shifted abroad, but, they still listen to my show on the digital medium and express their happiness. When you receive, comments and calls of people like this it makes for a beautiful, precious moment.

Have there been any special fan moments?

I used to host an English music show in 2009 called ‘Saturday Night Live’. Recently, I received an email of the entire shows recording from someone. The person must have been really connected with the show to have done that.

What other aspects of the radio station are you equipped with?

At RED FM every RJ is a content creator. We are well-equipped to run a radio station.  We also have a YouTube channel where we keep putting up prank videos.

Radio is a medium with a lot of restrictions. What is it that you’d like to change about it?

We live in a country where sarcasm and jokes are not taken sportingly. This leads to a lot of trouble, thus, there are restrictions. I am waiting for a day when we would talk about news and satire.

Swati hosts the Drama Queen that airs Monday to Friday from 1 pm – 3 pm.