Milind Patil more popularly known as RJ Milind in Nagpur has been in the radio industry for eight years now. He has worked for brands like Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM and 94.3 My FM as an RJ in the past and is now a Regional Creative Head at Radio Orange 91.9 FM. Radio Orange has already started its operations in Akola and Bilaspur and will start its operations soon in Nagpur as well. In an interview with Nation Next, Milind Patil speaks about his journey as an RJ, his role at Radio Orange and his online Marathi radio, Radio Zhakkas.
When and how did you become a Radio Jockey?
After I completed my graduation, I was very confused about my career. I joined an orchestra as an amateur singer. The people whom I was working with were thorough professionals and I couldn’t match up to their skills. I then switched to anchoring shows instead of singing and started polishing my mic and language skills. My radio career started eight years back when some new radio channels were launched in Nagpur. I gave an interview at Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM and got selected to host the show –‘Purani Jeans’. With time, my ability and my confidence increased and I started hosting the morning show in Radio Mirchi.
Your show ‘Salaam Nagpur’ on 94.3 My FM was quite a hit among listeners. Now that RJ Rajan is hosting Salaam Nagpur, what difference do you find in his style as compared to yours? RJ Rajan and I have always been good friends as we both started our career and had our share of struggles at almost the same time. Rajan and I worked with the orchestra together. When I was appointed as an RJ in Radio Mirchi, Rajan was also trying his luck in the radio industry. When I left Radio Mirchi, he was appointed as an RJ in Radio Mirchi. I use to listen to his shows on Radio Mirchi and found his work to be really good. When I left My FM, I was asked to suggest a good RJ who can replace me and I recommended Rajan as he is very talented. Rajan is doing a fab job with Salaam Nagpur and he’s surely one of the most talented RJ’s of Nagpur.
How does it feel when listeners still associate you with Salaam Nagpur?
When I use to host ‘Purani Jeans’ while working for Radio Mirchi, my listeners use to associate me with that show and the same happened when I use to host ‘Salaam Nagpur’. It always felt good! I definitely miss my popularity amongst my listeners but life is all about changes and I believe that changes are always for our own good.
A lay man would think that all an RJ does is talk and play songs. What kind of mechanism and planning is involved behind a particular show?
Most people think that an RJ works for just three-four hours during his show but that’s not the case. A lot of hard work is involved behind a show. There’s scripting and content writing before the show. Then, to make the show interesting different jingles have to be made as well. We always try to maintain a balance between providing entertainment and imparting information and for that we really have to work hard on the show’s content. Plus, there’s the massive challenge of being creative every single day no matter what!
The scope of radio jockeying has expanded from the traditional ‘on air’ to the ‘online’ medium. What do you think future holds for the radio industry?
The importance of ‘on air’ radio will never be affected as it is very city centric. City centric radio stations like Radio Mirchi, My Fm, Red FM and Radio City have a connect with the city and people can associate with them. On the other hand, as the technologies are constantly changing, world is becoming more digitally powerful. So, there are absolutely no limitations for digital or online radios. They can be heard in any corner of the world. Both the mediums have their own strengths and both have a bright future ahead.
You are a mentor at Radio Zhakkas Marathi, an online radio service which was launched two and a half years back. It is also touted as India’s first Marathi online radio. What compelled you to be a part of it?
The radio industry needs talent consistently and I wanted to be the bridge between radio and the talented youngsters. Keeping that in mind, I decided to introduce a Marathi radio station in Nagpur. I chose the language Marathi because it’s my mother tongue and also keeping in mind the Marathi cinema’s golden phase which we are witnessing now. The basic motive behind Marathi centric online radio is to give importance to Marathi language through music and radio and to give a platform to youngsters who plan to have a career in the radio industry. I’m glad that youngsters who have worked as RJs for Radio Zhakkas are doing well as RJs at on-air radio stations as well.
You first worked at Radio Mirchi, then at MY FM and now you’re working with Radio Orange. Doesn’t it lead to an identity crisis for RJs when they shift to different radio stations as people generally tend to identify RJs with their respective radio stations?
There is an identity crisis at times but I’m satisfied knowing that I will have a chance to create new RJs. When Nagpur businessman Abhijit Majumdar (the man behind Radio Orange) offered me an opportunity to run a whole radio station, I took it as a chance to be able to give back to radio industry. Having been an RJ for such a long time, I think that I have a basic responsibility to create more performers like me. I’m happy playing my role as the Regional Creative Head and will supervise the operations in regions like Akola, Bilaspur, Raipur and Nagpur. Yes, I won’t be on air anytime soon as an RJ but I really miss my listeners.
A radio jockey’s job is a very glamorous job and that’s the reason, a lot of youngsters get attracted to this field. Is there any formal training required for being an RJ? What would be your advice to budding radio jockey aspirants?
Commercial radios need presenters who have a unique style so that the show becomes more entertaining. Being an RJ, I have observed that there are many talented people in Nagpur who can do wonders in the radio industry but they need the right guidance for having a future in the radio industry. Keeping that in mind, I started an academy called ‘Art Pickle – Spice up your talent.’ Our motto is guide people who want to have a career in the radio industry. We have experts who take courses on radio jockey, promo productions, video production, copy writing and other things related to radio industry. Radio industry is definitely a glamorous industry but like any other industry, there is a lot of hard work and struggle behind it.