The down to earth Humayun Kabir Neerob, popularly known as ‘RJ Neerob’, has carved a distinct niche for himself in the radio fraternity and is today one of the most sought after RJs (radio jockey) of our country. Though presently RJing for Radio Today, he is at the same time producing a programme for the same radio station. He has also taken to part time acting as a hobby, hosts a campus-based television show, takes classes for grooming new and aspirant RJs and also participates in a variety of programmes and activities. Nevertheless the journey to the top has not been smooth for Neerob — only sheer grit and talent have taken him to the heights of his career. Despite his hectic schedule, the RJ didn’t hesitate to share his views on a wide range of topics. Excerpts from that lively conversation:
TDS: How did you embark on your journey in the media?
Neerob: Actually I was a student of the Mass Communication and Journalism Department of Dhaka University. As I always stood first in debate competitions, it helped me a great deal to become an RJ.
However, when I applied at Radio Today, there were no popular slots left for me. So I had to take on the stiff task of RJing at midnight. My show “Raat Vor Gaan” was a huge challenge for me since globally it has become a trend that shows aired in the afternoons become popular. This was evident with our popular afternoon drive show “U-turn”.
I would say that it was the blessings of Almighty Allah that from the very first episode of “Raat Vor Gaan” to date, my show has the most radio listeners.
TDS: Apparently writing is your passion and you have worked for several newspapers and magazines. You have also sung in a mixed audio album…
Neerob (smilingly): You heard right. Singing has also become one of my passions these days. My song “Jodi” from the album “Asheq featuring Firay Asha” is an output of this. Actually, composer Asheq is a very good friend of mine and it’s at his insistence that I recorded this song. What is amazing is that although I’m not a trained singer, I’ve received positive feedback from listeners. This has encouraged me a lot and I wish to sing in the days to come.
TDS: You’ve won the Media Journalists Association of Bangladesh (MEJAB) Award second time in a row as the best RJ. You have also been selected as the best RJ by the direct sms voting competition. How does it feel?
Neerob: It always feels great to receive awards; it is a form of recognition for the hard work one puts in. I’m especially thankful to the people who have given me the honour. It was a unanimous decision by the jury board. But at the same time this award has increased my responsibility manifold and I have to deliver my best in order to pay back the honour which has been bestowed upon me.
TDS: Who are your favourite RJs?
Neerob: From Radio Today, I like RJ Nousheen, RJ Mehran. RJ Opu from Radio Foorti and RJ Raju, RJ Iraj from Radio Aamar are also my favourites.
TDS: What’s your observation about the present state of the FM radio stations and the quality of their programmes?
Neerob: I’m very optimistic about the FM culture, which has already developed a great deal, and the competition has already got the desired momentum. The real test will begin from now on. I feel so far it’s been good but only the better ones will survive in the long run. In this age of immense competition, you have to come up with unique programmes and ideas to satisfy the tastes of the masses. Moreover, the arrival of new stations is making the competition even tougher.
TDS: What is your advice for people who are interested in taking up RJing as a profession?
Neerob: My advice is very simple. If you have good pronunciation and the courage to explore new challenges, then you should join this profession. To be an RJ, you need to be confident and have to believe in yourself. You have to have the power to interact with your listeners. That’s all that is required.
The writer is a freelance contributor