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    Chennai Live’s new RJ brings indie artists, celebrities and more, on air

    When RJ Tausif announced last year that he was leaving Chennai Live to join Fever FM, he got an unprecedented number of calls from fans on the last day of his show, The Drive. So when Sandeep John took his place, he had some pretty big shoes to fill. Three months after his on-air debut, one can say he has found his niche. So much so that one caller said he is a “good replacement for Tausif”. John admits it was a big moment. “I come from a theatre background (The Ku Ku Company and 9th Step Entertainment) and I also sing, which helped in fine-tuning my voice,” he says.

    Looking at radio jockeying as a new challenge, John admits he is more comfortable with English than Tamil. He is also part of Chennai Live’s new bi-lingual show, Jigarthanda. “The show is aired on Tuesdays (7 pm to 10 pm), where seven RJs—including Jane Jeyakumar, Harish and me—interact with the audience. Although the interactions are in both English and Tamil, the songs played are only English,” he informs. As for his own show, The Drive, John reveals plans to bring in changes in the format, perhaps by introducing a theatre connect. “I am working on ideas like impersonating a character on air, an area that I am familiar with,” he says, adding that it will continue playing trending chart busters by artistes like Major Lazer, Justin Bieber and others.

    For now you can find John playing tribute songs to yesteryear musicians (think Bowie, Guns N’ Roses) on Wednesdays, inviting guests like Madhavan on Mondays and talking to independent artistes like Rohith Fernandes on Fridays. “Most of my callers are working professionals returning home, and I must say it is fun talking to them and helping them unwind,” he smiles.

     The Drive airs from Monday-Friday, from 6 pm to 9 pm. You can catch him on Twitter (@thesandeepjohn) and Facebook (facebook.com/sandeepjohn1983), too.

    —Karan Pillai

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