Ulfat Sultan of RadioOne gets candid off air
RJ Rakesh talks about his big break, his experience as a RJ, his first love and much more...
RJ Rakesh never thought he would ever be on a mike that would be heard by millions. But then his voice was destined to be heard and it slowly paved its way into the hearts of Bangaloreans. RJ Rakesh is the voice behind the extremely popular professor ‘Ulfat Sultan’ and also the official RJ for the ICC World Cup 2011. He always tickles our funny bone every Saturday morning along with RJ Prithvi, and also hosts One Bangalore One Music, every Sunday featuring few of the best bands in our country.
All this and much more ….
RJ Rakesh had his first stint with the mike during his school days. “I've always had a connection with the mike since my school days but then I never thought I would make it till here ever! RJing was just not on my mind at that point of time,” he explains whose impromptu decision of being a RJ happened at crossroads.
His big break
Soon after college Rakesh took up his first job at HP as a Process Associate and simultaneously he was also MCing at corporate events. Erratic timings and hectic work schedules took a toll on his health. “Night shifts and irregular eating habits affected my health and there was a time when I was hospitalised without my knowledge. And the day I got discharged I was standing at the Lifestyle junction when I heard someone talking about the All India Radio auditions. I was juggling between my thoughts whether to head home or take a left turn which would lead me to the AIR studio. At that spur of the moment I decided to go for the auditions and I was lucky enough to get selected,” recalls Rakesh.
And after a while he got his big break at Radio One 94.3 FM, where he was part of the team who took care of the auditions. And since then there has been no stopping him. He now heads four shows at the station, he RJ’s, and is the most humorous person on radio who can have you in splits with his wittiest best and awe you with his facts.
Personal traits to be a RJ
“Come train with me and I will make you a good RJ professional,” he chuckles. If you thought that good voice and a mere love for music can buy you your ticket to this exciting profession then think again. Rakesh believes that ‘personality’ is not just about good voice. “What you speak definitely matters. You need to have stuff to talk on radio if you’re doing a regular show on air. You need to be opinionated and keep your eyes and ears open and stand for who you really are. You cannot build a personality overnight,” he explains further by saying that one needs to be quick witted effortlessly.
“It’s a 24/7 job” he says. Rakesh can go all night long writing scripts for ‘Ulfat Sutan’. He is always behind the mike either at the station or otherwise. He does a lot of corporate events, award nights; he also conducts team building workshops with various corporate houses. “Being Professor Ulfat Sultan gives me a celebrity image. There is a different vibe to it and I truly enjoy that experience. Also the best part is I can get creative beyond my own imagination. There is always something happening at my end to get the ball rolling all the time.”
One important Angle
This is a job which requires you to be on the prowl all the time. One undoubtedly needs to be verbose but also reflect a dimension of your personality. "It's very important to know who you are. If you take RJ Prithvi he always has a humorous angle to everything he says and that defines his personality. And I am a man of facts and statistics. So you need to find that one 'thing' that amuses you and will in turn amuse your listeners, you need to have an eye for details. “Rakesh thinks that clarity of speech, voice modulation can be worked upon at a given stage but you cannot build a personality overnight.
Lucrative Career Or Not
RJing definitely has no limits to creativity. The more creative you get the more number of listeners will tune in to hear you. “If you can are able to strike a chord with the listener’s and entertain them then there are no limits to your earnings. And the amount you earn is always directly proportionate to the amount of your creativity,” declares Rakesh who says that it’s a very infant industry and there are no set rules to climb the ladder here. Its all about creating your own niche in the industry.
Rakesh In Person
Being a RJ is definitely something he is passionate about, but then his first love is to be in the field every Sunday and play with the boys, (don’t get us wrong). Rakesh loves playing cricket and is also the captain of his team Blaze 11, where they play matches at various tournaments across the year. Though Rakesh has a close connection to music thanks to his profession but on a day when he has to de-stress, you will always find him behind the wheels. “You will always find me on the roads late nights. That’s the time I take off from the cacophony of the world and sync with myself,” he concludes saying that he has a huge library in his car and loves listening to different genres of music, be it Sufi Blues, Carnatic Rock or romantic Bollywood.