Devina Joshi
Who's that

Who's That: Karan Singh – The 'Interesting' RJ

Mumbai based RJ Karan Singh (Fever 104 FM) is known for his soulful 'shairis' and mellow thoughts. A look at the making of this RJ

When Karan Singh told his family 13 years ago about his decision to make a career out of his voice, pandemonium erupted. "My parents were afraid that I'll end up as some singer in an orchestra!" laughs Karan Singh Rathore aka Karan Singh, a Mumbai based RJ (radio jockey).

Singh hosts Rubaroo, a soulful three hour night show on Fever 104 FM. He started his career with Times FM in 1996 and has since worked with radio stations such as Radio City 91.1 FM (he hosted the romantic show, Yaadein) and two stations in the UAE – ARN (Arabian Radio Network) and Radio 4FM.

Who's That: Karan Singh – The 'Interesting' RJ
"I used to sing in college and during a ghazal competition, the judge told me I should consider becoming a radio announcer," recalls Singh, speaking about the first time he thought of it. With most RJs on private stations talking nineteen to the dozen, doesn't Singh feel out of place?

"Earlier, I used to be apprehensive that I don't bring the kind of energy that other RJs do," says Singh. "But the mind and soul are always hungry. We may love watching an Andaz Apna Apna but we also like to read The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari." The new generation is more open now to soulful things – perhaps it is the stress, feels Singh. "I once had a 12th standard girl telling me that she was able to remember her exam answers on the basis of the song she recollected listening to at the time of studying! That was one of the most interesting answers I have received," he smiles.

How has radio jockeying changed from when he started out? "Today's RJs are brands in themselves; one even sees them on hoardings. Earlier, talent helped us sail through. Today, marketing has a lot to do with it," he says. "If one is creating a personality on radio, then the voice and the words should belong to the same person. If someone else writes your script, the personality isn't yours, only the voice is," opines Singh. He believes an interesting RJ is born out of an interesting person.

Singh has also tried his hand at a music album, Intezaar Mein, with HOM Records. He was the composer, singer and lyricist. "I learnt music while making music!" he grins. The album had eight songs, including one with Sunidhi Chauhan. But it didn't do well commercially. Now, Singh is focussing on his second solo album. Also on the cards is a music album with Saregama, called Rubaroo Hits, which will be a compilation of his favourite songs on the show and why he likes them.

Singh, who is a writer, composer, singer, painter and sculptor, too, is fascinated with the story of Meera and Lord Krishna, and has made several paintings on the subject of losing yourself for someone you love. He has also interviewed celebrities such as Jagjit Singh, Asha Bhonsle, Ismail Darbar, Gulzar, Pankaj Udhas, Shaan and Hariharan and dreams of a career in playback singing for movies someday.