Being On Air with RJ Malishka

Wake up early to start your Radio, tune into your favourite station and probably you might end up hearing a husky poised female voice go Good Morning Mumbai!
That confidence is the expression of India’s most popular Radio Jockey, Malishka Mendonsa popularly known as RJ Malishka.
In a ride to rewind the timeline by nine years of the show Morning no. 1 and to also understand the current scenarios in the booming radio industry, The Brown Scooter caught up in an exclusive interview with the celebrity radio jockey to find out what it takes to be the next RJ Malishka.


TBS: Before we understand how Malishka became RJ Malishka, tell us your journey till becoming a Radio Jockey.

RJ Malishka: Well, I was a communication student pursuing my studies in Sophia’s, post which I assisted Prahlad Kakkar Sir for three months. In those three months of working in an advertising agency I knew this just wasn’t what I wanted to do and hence started going for voiceovers. I always knew I have a good voice. I loved singing in college bands, parties, celebrations and thought why not give a shot in voiceovers. Meanwhile, I also auditioned for Channel V’s Popstars where I was one of the finalists. And finally the boom of radio industry incepted and here I’m running a show on Red FM since 9 years.

TBS: So what does it take to make a successful show?

RJ Malishka: Good research, a very good team spontaneous team which thank God I have and impulsiveness.

TBS: What is the coolest thing about your job?

RJ Malishka: Oh there are many cool things about my job like Shahrukh Khan knows me by my first name. *laughs* Other than that, we have a lot of fun every day. Connecting with your listeners and coming up with creative campaigns is always fun. Also, through radio we not only get to inspire people with our social campaigns but also shape & mould an idea for a good cause. So the concept of Bajao For A Cause I think is the coolest thing that has happened to Radio. We did really cool things like call Corporators and urged them to fill potholes by not shouting at them but sweetly poking them. We made a politician apologies, I got a chance to train Vidya Balan on how to become a radio jockey and more. We inspired people to vote with our Dabaa Ke Bajaa campaign and the Chai For Cancer campaign was a really cool and strong initiative. So at the end of the day if anyone says I only blabber on radio I would ignore them because I probably have done a lot more for this city than many have.

TBS: What are the challenges aspiring radio jockeys might face today!

RJ Malishka: I think it has become very difficult today to become an RJ. You have 5 good stations and limited slots in each stations, so replacing an existing RJ would be difficult. I don’t think it used to work like before where the selections were done merely through submitting your CD. 10 years ago the story was different. The radio industry was just beginning and they hired anyone and everyone who they thought would be a good voice for their station. In today’s scenario, every station has a brand Radio Jockey to promote their popularity. In such a case, aspiring RJs should either be ready to audition and move to any city that is offered to them or go to a school that not only trains you but gives you a guaranteed placement or just start in the production or creative team and eventually move on to showcase their talent as and when the station demands in the absence of their regular RJs. But yes, if not Mumbai, start with some other city and get noticed with your work. Pritam came from Nagpur, Nasar from Bhopal and many others have been picked from other cities to join Red FM today.

TBS: 5 important things people need to remember to make a successful career in the radio industry.

RJ Malishka: – For becoming an RJ, spontaneity with a little preparation is important. You can’t go planning what you are going to speak to a caller, it is a very spontaneous thing that happens. But at the same time, a little bit of planning in terms of research for yourself always helps.

– Know how to cover your goof-ups. Goofing up with your station name is unacceptable. So initially keep a board in front of you of the radio station and your show name till you memorise it.

– Be yourself. Be real! You can’t go wrong much when you are yourself, talking to people or celebrities.

– In other departments, explore your opportunities in a radio station. There is a marketing team, creative team and producers who collaborate to make a creative campaigns or a successful show. See where you best fit in first and then opt for what is best for your career.

– Holidays! Be ready to come for work even while the world is sleeping till 11 in the morning. Most people enter the radio industry for its glamour but there is a lot of pressure that comes in on daily basis. Imagine, me and my whole team worked even during Diwali. So yes, if you are really passionate about your work, success comes at the cost of your holidays.

TBS: Along with being an RJ, what are the other profiles people can opt for?

RJ Malishka: There are many things a Radio Jockey can dedicate time for. They can opt for hosting events, hosting television shows, voiceovers and more.

TBS: If not an RJ you would have been a _____?

RJ Malishka: I don’t know! Maybe I would have been on television, movies or might have just started something of my own.

TBS: Future of RJing or radio stations according you?

RJ Malishka: Radio still continues to hot favourite. While going to work, at home, in colleges everyone are tuned into their favourite radio station. Yes, there are new inventions coming in along with digital radio but traditional radio can never get old fashioned. Shows need to revamp and RJs need to bring in freshness, that’s all is required to keep radio going strong even in the future.

No matter what the future of radio is, imagining a radio show without Malishka is surely difficult. We wish her luck for her future shows, campaigns and endeavours.

Author: TBS Contributor

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