RJ Himanshu- From Indore to Radio Mirchi

RJ Himanshu is the radio jockey of 98.3 Radio Mirchi and is stealing the hearts of people with his amazing sense of humor and quirky way of communicating. Team Storiyaan engaged in a candid chat with the guy behind the mic of 98.3. Stay tuned in to know more about Himanshu Chhabria

Before social media, the most social medium was the Radio. RJ Himanshu from 98.3 Radio Mirchi has been stealing the show with his exceptional sense of humour and quirky style of talking. He takes us through his journey from being an RJ to a social media influencer.

Interview

Questions and answers

Radio Mirchi is one of the most tuned in show. How is the josh while working as the RJ for one of the most sought after radio channel?

Radio Mirchi is the best place to work in. People here are very chilled out, and the seniors give you all the creative liberty to express and implement your ideas.

Most importantly, you are valued and cared. Working at Mirchi is all about being creative and learning a lot of new things. People who left Mirchi are doing amazingly well in their lives with all the experience and learning that they carried forward in their lives.

How do Radio jockeys manage to hold the attention of the audience for so long?

It is about bringing trending as well as relateable  things to the table and getting innovative, creating your identity. If a radio jockey is good at humour, like me, they will try to imbibe that in their show. In the same way, some jockeys have a philosophical angle to life. Every RJ uses that unique quality of theirs to make the show a hit and connect to the audience on a deeper level.

How did RJ happen to you? At what point did you realize that this is your calling?

I completed my graduation in BSc electronic media. After three years, Mirchi had come for placement to our college. We had around 7 to 8 rounds out of which three rounds of interviews happened in the campus itself and remaining ones in the office of 98.3 radio station. I cleared all rounds and did an internship for five months here where I was taught about how jockeys work, the technicalities and a lot of other things. During the period of my internship within three months, I went live, and the show was on the air.
I always had that talent to entertain people and make them laugh, right from the school days. All of it lead me to Mirchi.

How would one benefit by listening to RJ Himanshu?

My listeners can connect to me in person. You can’t go to a Bollywood celebrity and chit chat with them. We are a public figure, but we are not celebrities but representatives of society. Their audience can interact with them on social media and share their thoughts and feelings.
I always reply to all the messages that I get on social media. I have established a kind of bond with my listeners that at times they come to me with their problems, and I help them out.

A lot of our readers are aspiring to pursue a career in Radio, and so we are keen to know what questions are being asked in a radio jockey interview?

Once you clear the initials rounds of interview, you are made to do a dummy show where they test your ability to engage with the audience and run a live show. One of the significant aspects which they consider is how good you are at multitasking. At times RJs are incredibly creative but do not know the technical aspects of the job. Understanding software, mics and machinery are a very crucial part of the job if you plan to be a jockey.

Do you get nasty comments or hatred on social media, being a public figure?

With love comes hate too, it is all up to you how you convert that hatred into love.
I too get a lot of hate and tweeting it with love is the only thing that I can do. With the mic comes a certain amount of responsibility, we have to be very careful of every word that we say and the impact of it on the listeners as well.

Your Instagram says you are a memer and a humourist along with being an RJ. You bring smiles to faces with your Instagram and Facebook videos and memes. How do you manage to do it?

From AIR to having dozens of radio channels, the radio industry has evolved massively over the years.
Along with being an RJ, I am a content creator also. My job is not limited to just the four-hour show that goes on air. The hard part is to stay connected to the audience after the show ends.
We are in the golden era of digitization with the emergence of digital platforms and with the kind of competition we have, we got to equip ourselves digitally. I post memes alternatively and create videos. I had created a paragliding meme of Vipin Sahu that had gone viral. Working in Radio requires you to work on many such different creative angles.

Since you play music all the time, what is your personal favourite when it comes to music?

Honestly saying, I love listening to independent artists, songs of the 2000s, songs made by Vishaal Shekhar, string bands and coke studios.  I had also started an initiative to promote independent and local artists. I feel they are quite underrated. I have sung and composed two songs, and so music has always been very close to my heart.

What is the best thing about being an RJ that you like?

We have a lot of loyal listeners, people do their daily chores, and the Radio is playing in the background. I get a lot of heartfelt messages from people who are regular listeners. I remember an incident where I was unwell, I had a sore throat. The next morning a couple of my listeners showed up to the station with a special kind of tea that was believed to cure a sore throat.  There are a lot of such incidences where people have DMed me on Instagram. The kind of love that we RJs get makes it all worth.

Since most of the Radio show run live were there any instances when you have goofed up in a live show? How do you cover it up?

We fumble and make mistakes a lot of times as at the end of the day we are no robots. I always am honest with my audience, and if ever I mess up something I say it. Humans make mistakes, and that is natural. Even when I am in a bad mood or when I am sick, I convey it to my listeners that I have a bad mood today and excuse me if I get things wrong. So for me, honesty is the key. It works best.

With so many frequencies to explore, how does Radio Mirchi keep up with the race?

Every channel has its own space, and all of them are unique in their way. A listener comes to Radio primarily for music. All radio channels have their way of working. There is one radio station which runs just retro music, and there is another station which plays only Punjabi songs and there are stations who play remix music. The listeners get a lot of choices as every radio station has its style of working.
Radio Mirchi believes in fresh music, so if there is a new song that has just launched, you will get to hear it on Mirchi. Similarly, they are very progressive when it comes to music. They keep on experimenting and trying out a lot of things.

Your show is very zestful and fun to listen to. Tell us your secret recipe of garnering so much love from your listeners?

I keep experimenting, learning and finding new ways to entertain the audience. I always keep working on that one surprise element that can keep my listeners hooked to my show. The primary motto is to spread smiles.

While we were trained for RJ, we are always taught to speak as if we are talking to just one person and not the entire country. This is how we develop trust among people.

As you mentioned, Radio has a lot of loyal listeners, A lot of times we face problems with connections and the transmissions are not clear. Apart from that if we want to listen to just one specific radio jockey, how do we do it?

As far as the technical issues are concerned, we are trying to bridge that gap by cutting the boundaries. Every radio station is trying to increase its reach globally as Radio too has become a digital tool. Radio stations are trying to put their shows live on various applications to make up for the same. For instance, the Gaana application hosts a lot of our online shows and so  the reader can listen to any radio jockey of their choice. So you can listen to the radio jockey of Mumbai as well as Delhi or any other favourite jockey of your city in any part of the world.

Working as an RJ is a very fancy job, what perks do you get being a radio jockey?

Getting so much appreciation and love is one of the biggest perks that I get. Second is working in a positive environment where you are respected and encouraged to become a better version of yourself everyone.
Everyone has a voice and wants to be heard, and radio jockeys are given that power to speak their mind. That is the best part of my job.
People come to me and ask me whether I am RJ Himanshu and narrate to me stories of how I made their day, and that is the highest form of satisfaction I can ever get.

We would love to hear it from you, but we have to end the interview with this one last question. What positive changes that you have seen in yourself since the times that you have started working as the RJ of 98.3? How was life before being an RJ?

When I was in college, I was an introvert. I was barely on social media. Now I have a family of 12 K on my Instagram, and I constantly produce clean and useful content. I have grown to have a much higher level of emotional intelligence. After becoming a radio jockey, I have seen a lot of changes in myself personally and professionally.

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