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"The virality of the video irked them": RJ Malishka on 'Sonu Song Pothole Mix'

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital
Last updated : August 01, 2017
We spoke to the lady in the eye of the storm about her recent 'Mumbai tula BMC var bharosa nahi ka' video.

The 'Sonu' song has its many versions on YouTube. But the version which not only went viral but also became controversial was Red FM's RJ Malishka's. The video was published on Red FM's YouTube channel on July 10.

Malishka's version of the Sonu song, goes: 'Mumbai tula BMC var bharosa nahi ka'. The song takes a dig at the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) in the context of the abysmal condition of Mumbai's roads during the monsoon.

The video went viral; it has fetched close to eight million views already. Over the past few days, Malishka has been at the receiving end of the BMC's wrath; the municipal body claims to have found dengue mosquitoes at her Mumbai residence.

Today, Malishka Mendonsa completes 12 years with Red FM 93.5.

While Malishka knows that she's an influencer, the impact of this video must have taken her by surprise. In fact, she has made similar statements on radio in the past, but in video form, the same message has received a disproportionate reaction. "... these are the issues I take up all the time. Everyday, I call up the BMC. The virality of the video has irked them... It's the truth and it hurts sometimes. There is no reason for anyone to be upset; rather, they should encourage such songs so that they know what's going on," Malishka tells afaqs!.

RJ Malishka RJ Malishka

She adds, "When the video went viral, we were very happy. It was an organisational effort and I have been the face of it and wrote some of those lines... This is not the first time we have done this. We have done this before, and we would do it again... speaking about the rains, the potholes, the trees. Actually my show ('The Morning No.1 Show') has always been about Mumbai. If you check my show's track record, it is not about Bollywood..."

The song was played on her radio show before the video was uploaded online. Social media helped fan the fire and the song went viral in a matter of days. About the reach of the video, Malishka tells afaqs!, "... digital gave it a face and the reach was way beyond us... it started with (my radio show) and got amplified."

The whole purpose of the video was to entertain, and to talk about the plight of Mumbaikars during the monsoon, she tells us. "... I'm not expecting them to fill the potholes tomorrow. But already, there has been some change... The city is waking up to what it stands for," she says, adding, "The Amul hoarding was iconic!"

Amul's outdoor ad Amul's outdoor ad

Had it not been for the video, "Maybe (the song) would have still gone viral..." Malishka shrugs, "... because it connects with the sentiments of the people."

Malishka adds, "I think radio as a medium has to evolve with the times. Yes you play radio in your car, during traffic jams and while walking on the streets, but it has got competition. Let's not shy away from that. That's where the game has to be edgier. It has to be more on point," adding about digital, "Digital is a content driven medium... we're very happy that digital is the other arm of radio," adding, "... we have a bunch of guys who are constantly thinking of new stuff to do. Everytime we come up with something we think of putting it up on digital. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. We are still in the nascent stages of digital, like 12 years back I felt we were in the nascent stages of radio..."

She goes on, "I have been one of those people who has kept radio as my mainstay while doing other stuff, be it red carpets for films or travel shows, Jhalak Dikhlaja or a show on Zee TV where I had to shoot my own life... digital is something I want to explore."

Currently, she is working on a feature film called 'Tumhari Sulu', starring Vidya Balan and Neha Dhupia, scheduled for release on December 1. The plot involves a radio station. Malishka plays herself.

Before Red FM, Malishka worked with Win 94.6 FM. She did her Political Science from St. Xaviers Mumbai and Media (arts) from Sophia Polytechnic.

What next for RJ Malishka? "I want to act, host a show, be India's Oprah, do more films, keep talking on radio... this is just the beginning," she answers.

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First Published : August 01, 2017


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