Programming director Nachi Nachiyappon’s journey has been extremely interesting. Despite pursuing his MCA, he was always interested in media. So he studied audio engineering and landed a job as a sound engineer and later a programming head with a reputed station. Hugely influenced by AR Rahman and Illayaraja, he recalls visiting the legends’ studios to meet them. Having met the latter at his home several times, he believes Illayaraja isn’t celebrated enough. “There might be several musicians, but there will only be one composer,” he says. Nachiyappon looks forward to the growth of the medium and believes that in the next five years every remote village in India will have an FM station. He also supports the marriage of the digital space and radio. Talking about his 12-year journey and his current role at Big 92.7 FM, he shares his plans for programming. Here’s an excerpt from our chat.
How has your transition been?
It’s a little challenging to blend into a new brand after 11-odd years. But that said, radio is not new to me and it looks like I will be in the groove of things very soon. A bigger market, a bigger challenge.
How different is the ‘Big’ sound?
It sounds young and peppy, to suit our Top 100 hits. We really concentrate on our soundscape as that is our main differentiator.
How much has the medium changed in the last five years?
Due to exponential digital growth and innovation, listeners now carry the entire world in their pockets and, in the process, become well-informed and aware. However, radio has its own benefits in this cluttered environment. It’s a passive medium that lets you be entertained at no cost. Needless to say, it still remains the most powerful medium that can reach anyone in this country, anytime. An example of the medium being used effectively is hearing our prime minister’s weekly address, Mann ki Baat.
What are your plans with Big?
We are planning to introduce a few international music styles to our soundscape, to suit the Top 100 Kalakkal Hits that is our current format. We play only the top Kollywood hits and these get refreshed every week. Radio is all about consistently experimenting with new things at regular intervals. The Top 100 is one of the most successful formats across the globe and we are the first to experiment with it in Chennai. The initial buzz and feedback have been great.
A people’s person, that’s Nachiyappon for you. See you next week.
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The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.