Early mornings and going to work places is not much of a fun experience. Khalid Malik, lights up our mornings while we are on the go and made everyone tune into the radio in this age of technology. Nudrat Mustafa talked to everybody’s favourite RJ…
- Please tell us about your family, education and date of birth and zodiac sign.
We are a family of four. My father used to be in the air force and retired after 1971 war and he hails from a small village in interior Multan. My mom, a very desi woman is from Sialkot. My younger brother, an engineer. About education, I have done Masters in Business and Management from Swinburn University in Melburne and got working in the corporate world. However, while doing my masters I also did my diploma in acting (without telling my dad, *wink*). My date of birth is 21st of January.
- What sparked your interest to join the radio?
My interest in radio was very sudden. I went to a company, a media house that was based in Sydney in Australia, looking for some other work. They just started up a radio station and in the interview the CEO asked whether I can speak Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and English of course, I said yes I speak all of these languages and he asked me why don’t you go and give auditions for our company’s radio station being launched. So this is how it all started.
- How much do you think is necessary to have a good voice to become a RJ? Talent can slightly be ignored if a person has a good voice?
I hear a lot of radio, both here and abroad and I think having a good voice isn’t necessarily a criterion for being a good radio presenter. What actually is important for anyone getting in this field is to be real, to be yourself. Always remember you need to engage your listener and should have a genuine interest in people.
- You lived in KL, Malaysia and Australia. What made you pack your bags for Pakistan?
Pakistan happened to me in 2006, my friends in Melburne suggested that I need to check the market in Pakistan since they have good radio and television happening. Then I moved, worked for MTV too, which lasted for some months and then I got a call from FM 89 and then it started from there.
- Tell us about your experience in theatre? Do you plan to continue it?
I did a piece with Sania Saeed and Shahid Shafaat and the experience was wonderful. I would do theatre again, if something appropriate comes along.
- If a person wants to enter the field of radio as a RJ, what can be the procedure and what tips can you share?
Yeah, I get many messages in my inbox and people ask this question. I have two suggestions, if you really are passionate about earning a livelihood from something, then please get training for it. Secondly, make a demo; make a demo in a language that you are comfortable in. It’s very easy, just record something on your phone. Once you make a demo, send it out to as many people as you can in radio stations. I would also advice people not to lose patience.
- Has the radio industry improved over the past years? What changes should be there to make it a booming industry?
Yes, from revenue perspective, since there are now advertisers who are making commercials especially for radio stations. Plus, there are a number of radio stations as well as presenters too, which is a good thing. My only concern is radio is still not taken seriously by some of our presenters. They come, they speak and they leave but it’s not that- a person needs to be actually well-read, and you need to prepare seriously.
- Coming towards your personal life, how do you keep a balance between your personal and professional life?
Sometimes my schedule gets very hectic. In the morning I have my program, and then usually I am at some shoot. So after a long and tiring day, while going back to home, I want to just reach and relax, putting my legs at rest. However, what happens is, before even entering the house, I start feeling that my wife must have a much longer and harder day, so I need to be there for her and for my family. So it just not stops. I am a very hands-on kind of dad; I bathe my kids, change and play with my kids too.
- What is the secret behind being so fit? How often do you exercise or go to the gym?
Haha! What an honour to be called ‘fit’! First of all, my motivation to stay fit is my family. I don’t want to get old, hunched and unable to grab myself even a glass of water. I want to have the stamina throughout to be there, to keep up with my children. Secondly, my motivation is the industry I am in; when I do not have any shoot, I head to the gym thrice a week. I also am very careful about what I eat.
- Tell us about a fan encounter that completely overwhelmed you?
Well, there are many. The one that sticks to my mind is once I got a message in my inbox from a lady, who was suffering from cancer. She wrote that whenever she was to go for her chemo therapy, she used to listen to my show first and that made her so hopeful and positive about life. I got amazed and that was the day I felt proud of doing what I am doing. I want to get in touch with her to know how she’s doing but so far I am unable to.
- What do you enjoy most about your profession?
Meeting new people, every single day!
- When not working, what do you normally do?
Family, family, family! Watching movies and reading books.
- Any personal ambitions yet unattained?
Six pack I am really trying hard. Travelling and life coaching- I think I have a lot to share to guide people and tell about my experiences.
- The 5 things you can’t live without are…?
Family, travelling, Karela Gosht, Coffee and Radio!
- Name some of your really good friends in the industry.
Rehan Sheikh, Amina Sheikh- a genuine soul and Mohib as well, although we don’t get to meet very often, one can learn so much from Mohib and his experiences. Jaweriya Abbasi- a very dear friend, rather family now. So we all are very good friends.
- What advice would you give through the platform of Social Diary Magazine to the youngsters who look up to you as their inspiration?
Consistency is the key. You must get up and show up for work- remember there is no trying! When I came to Pakistan, I did not know anyone in the industry-I knew I have to do it. So there is either do or don’t, no such word as ‘trying’!