TNT: Being a radio person, what is it that you hate being on air?
Qasim: Can’t think of anything, in fact I hate not being on air.
TNT: Tell about the kind of audience you have. When you started radio and now, is there any change in your audience?
Qasim: I’ve always taken pride in being a young energetic presenter and that’s the type of listeners I’ve attracted. I started on Pakistani FM on a new radio station called Drive FM 89.6 (Islamabad) where I hosted “Music Patrol” during the evening drive home. Most of my listeners were folks who needed to take their mind off serious issues in life and get something fun to hear with lots of music. On the weekends I turned it on with a show that highlighted the hottest Dance, Trance, Techno, Electro & House music on a show called “The Party Mix” this was purely for the young or the young at heart.
Recently I have had the privilege of joining Radio One FM 91 and host a weekly countdown show nationwide. In essence my listenership has always increased but the minute I find I am not doing something different on-air I start losing it as easily.
TNT: Say a few words on current state of radio in Pakistan.
Qasim: Radio in Pakistan has come a long way but has yet to reach its potential. To me radio is supposed to connect to a community, city, town, locality etc. Radio music and programming is quite broad, as a listener you don’t have much to choose from, wouldn’t it be nice if I could tune into Rock FM and listen to my favorite Rock music. Music stations need to find their identity and brand it as an option to listeners.
Every radio listener asks “Why do all radio shows and hosts sound the same”. It’s true and its time we have a paradigm shift in how we view the success of a radio show, as it stands every show is trying to get you to call or text in, which is nice for participation but that limits RJs and producer to think out of the box and bring new programming that isn’t focused on getting you to text or call in. I say set the texting and calling to when it’s necessary and give listeners what they really want.
TNT: What acts as your inspiration?
Qasim: The joy of creating something for people out there
& my elder brother who has been in radio since FM 101 came to being. You all know him as Wes Malik.
TNT: Share one very pleasant experience and one very unpleasant experience that you had on radio?
Qasim: It’s always fun to meet someone new and find out they are a long time listener, makes me see the physical form of what we refer to in our studios as a “Listener”. Unpleasant experience: being told to my face that radio does nothing and being on radio is a useless profession. But it’s all water under the bridge.
TNT: How would you compare TV and radio?
Qasim: TV is for everyone whereas radio can connect a community. TV is for national advertisers, whereas radio can help bring people to that really cool new bakery in your favorite market. TV is for you to sit down and watch, whereas radio can go along with you. Oh and did I forget the music. Filling the entertainment gap for listeners comes first. We need new people with fresh ideas that can take radio to the next level. Don’t aspire to be an RJ. Aspire to be a “Next Level RJ”
TNT: How do you manage criticism?
Qasim: Unfortunately we don’t get enough constructive criticism as an industry, but I appreciate any that I get and try to keep it in mind. It’s also important to move on quickly and not over think about criticism.
TNT: Is there any suggestion or advice to youngsters who want to join radio?
Qasim: Ask yourselves “What can I do that others can’t”. Having a big voice isn’t going to cut it anymore. Be creative and think about how you can bring something new to radio to stand out.
TNT: What is your message?
Qasim: There is a lot of work to be done. Let’s get started!
Love Live Radio.