Sunday, November 12, 2017

Social Connect with Sid Vohra

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Parikshit, Sid (the upside down guy in middle) and Malavika- complete team of morning show

Radio morning shows are life lines, for people who are stuck in traffic for hours while commuting between emirates daily. I too live in Ajman and commute daily to Dubai for work and throughout the approx. 1hour drive what keeps me entertained are the voices of Siddharth aka Sid and Malavika aka Malu (recently joined by Parikshit ) airing on City 1016. City 1016 is a Desi radio station that plays mostly Bollywood songs. I recently met both of them at Jab Harry Met Sejal promotional event where they did a splendid job as host. Sid also has a You Tube channel where he posts videos with the hashtag #GETUPGETOUT and his videos are all true to the hashtag and cover his outdoor activities in Dubai. I contacted Sid for a social connect through his Instagram account and fortunately got a positive response.

How does Social Connect works? I try to get in touch with Celebs on their official social media pages and ask them for a 5 questions interview. If we get a positive reply, then we ask for an official email address to make sure we are in touch with the right person. Rest of the interview and correspondence is purely on mail to stay true to the theme of the segment. For Sid I simply went with his Instagram account and later whatsapp :)

Here is DDR’s(Dubai Desi Reviews) usual 5 questions interview

The event where I met him Jab Harry Met Sejal promotional event

DDR 1- We know you from your Radio show and You Tube? But who is real Siddharth Vohra.

Sid- The real Sid is an engineer by education, a radio host by profession. He's very much the person you see on the YouTube channel as well as the one who you hear on City 1016. He's somebody who's grown up in Delhi in the 90s when there was no internet, only a few of us had access to video games at home - which were only to be played on Saturdays, cable TV had just started, WWE was known as WWF and there was no idea of being healthy consciously - we were just doing it ... running, cycling, playing cricket, Hide and seek etc. The real Sid loves outdoors - even if it's drinking coffee or Netflix-ing. The real Sid is somebody who is the first to jump and get wet in the rains and simultaneously who never understands why people start running for cover when such a beautiful natural phenomenon takes place. So ya I'm completely an outdoor individual - who loves spending time with his family, at the gym, exploring new places and things to do.

Current team of City 1016 morning show Malavika, Parikshit and Sid

DDR 2- In every Desi household, everyone wants their kids especially son, to be a Doctor or an Engineer, So, how was your journey to become a Radio Jockey? Tell us a little bit about it.

Sid- Yup in my household also my parents wanted me to be an engineer but it wasn't to get a good job. You see I come from a business family in Delhi so all the education that I was imparted was for our own expansion. And to be honest I was very happy to do it. Our family business is servicing and maintenance of automobiles - my grandfather was the first to start this workshop, way back in 1940s, before India's independence in Delhi. Then my dad got in, his brothers joined and the baton was being passed on from father and son. After completion of my education, my dad wanted to expand his business and so he set up another unit in Kolkata which was to be taken care of by yours truly. I went did the initial ground work, set it up, worked there for about a year and simultaneously because I had free time and mainstream Radio had just started applied for a 2 week course in "How to be a Radio Jockey" , the only thing it did help me was to get the contacts of the radio stations which opened. Fortunately, the station where I applied were looking for someone to do the graveyard shift, which worked perfectly for me cause then I could take care of my dad's business in the morning, go home, get ready for my shift, reach the radio station by 7:30, prep and go on air from 1 in the night to 3 in the morning.
That's how it started.
Infect the grave yard shift only lasted for about a month and the evening drive-show host resigned one day so I was asked to come in for his slot. If I can say myself - I killed it. And I was given that slot but because of my dad's business I could not be at the station before 6:30 and the show started at 5, so we used to record the first two hours of the show from 5-7 I used to finish my work, take the Metro, reach by 6:30, do the show from 7-9 live, record the next days 5-7 GO home at 11:30/12 get up in the morning at 8 and be at work from 9 to 5:30. That's how my radio career started.

DDR 3- You have a YouTube channel and based on the views that your 4 videos have generated I must say it’s quite successful start to, what is the Idea behind your YouTube channel and what people should expect from it.

Sid - The YouTube channel was something that was in my mind for a long time. Thank you so much on the kind words for the videos but to be honest the reason behind it was very simple #GetUpGetOut
I've grown up enjoying going for hiking up the Himalayas in the summer months, enjoying Shimla and Nainital mall road walks, cycling to school, playing football matches after school and coming home only to finish off the homework and eat the best meals that mom used to make without thinking what's the difference between olive oil and refined oil - we were always told one simple thing , you play as much - the body will tell you how much food it needs - Which was my philosophy also - the only reason I go to the gym is so that I can eat whatever I want - period.
Unfortunately, once you become older, you mature, you get into that circle called life whether it is India or the UAE - those things take a back seat.
It happened with me. My kids were always on the iPads and iPhones and on YouTube the whole day not going out.
My eldest is 7 and he still had no idea how to climb a tree or the joy of reaching the top of that little tree was , and let's face it, I was to be blamed for it- coz children only do what they see doing, so if they see mum N dad on the phone the whole time that's what they think is LIFE - so I thought why not start doing activities which are right here in Dubai with my kids, record them and put it out on YouTube for everyone to see that there are a lot of activities that there kids and adults can do staying here as an expat in the UAE. The whole idea was even if one person takes his/ her kids out then we are making a mark.
The only thing that people should expect from the channel is that if you put your mind to it , we are sitting on a goldmine in terms of outdoor activities - even if you're not able to go to the gym, go to play - just move around and let the child in you unleash. When that happens your children will follow your example and organically we can break out of this rat race of just going to work and coming back home. There will be more to life than that.

DDR 4- Mahira Khan used to be a VJ and she said after a while she got bored as things become repetitive in a VJ life. like every year, you have to do shows on Eid, Christmas, Valentines, Independence etc. and subjects become monotonous. And it gets very hard to find inspiration to continue that’s why she moved to Acting. I believe this statement of hers is valid for RJs too. How do you keep yourself inspired and what is next for Sid?

Sid- Woooooooowwww you sound exactly like my mum in law - she asked me the same question when I had gone to ask for my wife's hand  - yeh RJ ka kaam toh theek hai par kab tak ?? 
Honestly, I still haven't found an answer to it. I'm one person who never plans his next move. Fortunately, life had been good so far. But I do f feel that Radio, unlike TV shows or movies - is the medium in which we need to find new things to do every single day. Let me give you an example - there are 7 stations in the UAE - all are playing the exact same song but the way you connect with the song is very different when compared to another Jock talking about the same song.
That's when your creative juices start to flow. You start to dig deeper inside of your and come up with anecdotes, from your life- from your friends lives- from the movies, from research and make it interesting for the Listeners Who are tuned in. Unlike TV shows and movies, you only have 2-3 minutes to make an impact. And unlike TV and movies this is not visual- you make them feel what you feel only by your voice. So, it's one of those jobs which is content heavy as well as personality building at the same time- coz a radio presenter is never playing a character - that's him/her and his/her stories that he/she is sharing for those 2-3 minutes unlike a TV shows or movies where 90% of the people are playing another character.

DDR 5- In the end I would like to know from your perspective what is the Key ingredient to be an RJ and what advice would you like to give to those who wish to join this industry.

Sid- To be an Rj - be yourself.
"Fake it till you make it " does not work in this industry. People who are listening to you are not stupid. Respect their intelligence. They know exactly when you're giving a fake compliment or a fake smile.
Always be ready to put in the hours. Like in any field this job also requires 8 hours of your day minimum.
My mom used to say - Mithai mein jitni shakkar daloge utni hi meethi hogi ... Which basically means- three more hours you put in the better you are at your job.
If you're a good story teller you can be a good Radio jockey.
If you are a good listener - you can be a good Radio jockey.
If you know when to shut up then you are a good Radio jockey.
A Radio presenter is not someone who knows when to talk, a radio presenter is someone who knows when to stop taking
And anybody can become a radio presenter. You just have to be a people's person. If you can smile and strike a genuine conversation - you can be Radio show host.

DDR-Thank you for taking out time to have an interview with us, we wish you best of luck for future.

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