Chatterbox Chaitu, is no less a chatterbox offair. Chaitanya Basava aka RJ Chaitu lets us into his world, and gives us a peak into his journey. Turning 29 today, RJ Chaitu is full of life as he chats us up...
HYDERABAD: He is a burst of energy the moment he enters a room. Even when he isn’t present in the room, his voice does the trick just fine. RJ Chaitu of Red FM - or Chaitanya Basava as no one knows him - has made a name for himself through the years not only for being one of the most entertaining RJs but also for being loved by his listeners. Why would he not? Afterall, he is awarded the Most Popular RJ by the Excellence in Radio Awards this year. His personality precedes his presence as he walks up to sit down for a chat with City Express. After a long work day, he doesn’t have a hint of fatigue in his demeanour.
Always on the toes
For the fun-loving attitude that Chaitu flaunts, it can be a little surprising to know that his days and sometimes even weekends go by working. Besides juggling two shows on Red FM - Zabardasth Masthi and Midnight Biryani - Chaitu also emcees, hosts events, appears on TV shows and is a voice artist. But donning so many hats is no biggie to him. He describes his typical day nonchalantly, “I wake up late and reach office about 10:30 am every morning, figure out the fabric for my show at 11 am and am at office till 3:30 pm. I come back to office at night about 9 pm for the midnight show I host and between that I go for recording voice overs that I signed up for. Weekends mostly are free except for when I have events to host.” What might sound like a hustle to most is just a regular day for Chaitu. “It’s not like I don’t have fun,” he assures adding, “I go out to hang out with friends on free weekends, catch a live band somewhere and have a blast.”
Hard Work Pays Off
All the love and opportunity is not a stroke of luck. Chaitu is a great example for the power of perseverance, and in his case even a tad bit of stubbornness. “I was rejected as an RJ six times before I finally got the job in 2009,” he says. His journey wasn’t an easy one, although he makes it seem like a piece of cake with his cheeriness. He set out to earn his own money by delivering couriers when he was barely 12 after his father’s demise. By the time he was a teenager he attended college alongside working at a gift shop. He moved to Hyderabad for opportunities and joined an animation course. His early days in Hyderabad did not let him sleep. “ I would go to the animation course in the morning, college in the afternoon and worked at a call centre at night. I barely slept during that period of life,” he laughs it off. Chaitu however, never could shake off the love for being in front of the mic. “My biggest love in life is the mic,” he says showing off the tattoo of one on his forearm.
Power of Perseverance
So how did RJing happen? “RJing was a new fad that was growing in that period. I took a liking to it, started listening to it and found that I had it in me to be in that position. All the auditions I went to, I got rejected because of the accent I had developed because of the call centre training. But the seventh time, RJ Kajal called me asking if I would audition for the Outdoor Broadcast RJ and I did. I took permission from office and went for the audition. Just when I thought this one would go in vain, the programme head noticed me and asked why she kept seeing me here. I told her abt the audition, she heard it on the spot and sent me for an OB show right then and there,” he says.
Family is strength
It isn’t unheard of for a concerned parent or family to interfere when a youngster picks n unusual career route. But Chaitu never had to encounter that. “I started earning very early in life. So, my mother and brother, even though they didnt know what the hell I was doing, they always believed that I would figure something out. ‘Edo okati chesesthadu le veedu,’ they thought,” quips Chaitu. And it looks like their family is super proud too! He shares, “My mother can be embarrassing at times. As all mothers do, she goes around announcing that her son is an RJ and comes on TV. She once video called me when she was on the train to show me off to the other passengers!”
Love of fans
Being one of the handful of RJs that Hyderabadis accept as one of them, RJ Chaitu obviously gets a lot of love from his fans. But he wasn’t accustomed to it. “I used to see the other RJs get cakes, and gifts and have people come over to wish them but I never experienced it earlier. But once in my midnight show, in an attempt to cheer up my friend I went out of character and said soothing motivating words into the mic. The next morning I had 250 mails of people telling me that they deeply connected to what I said that night,” he says. In his own little way, Chaitu tries to change people’s world. “I realised that there are certain emotions people connect to and need someone to voice them. The catharsis is what everyone needs.So if through my medium I’m able to make someone’s day better, I will keep doing that,” says Chaitu, who ensures that he adds a motivational message everyday at the end of his show.
Love transcends mediums
As it seems, Chaitu’s fans adore him enough to even send out marriage proposals! “I randomly shared on air once that my family was looking for matches for me and I was flooded with pictures and profiles asking my hand in marriage,” he exclaims. Sometimes it does go overboard he admits. He narrates, “One of my fans somehow reached my family, approached them with her family to ask me for marrying her. It was a mini pellichoopulu without my knowledge! But my mother knows I will ultimately make the pick. I am 29 now and I don’t mind waiting even till 35 to find the right girl.” So does this sought-after bachelor have a girlfriend, we ask. “No. But if someone reads this and thinks I’m interesting, they can hit me up,” he winks signing off.
QUICK TAKE WITH RJ CHAITU
My hidden talent: I am a small-time singer.
I sing jingles for our channel!
My most priced possession: I share my birthday with DSp and I’m a big fan. In 2012 he gave me a bracelet when I met him on our birthday. I treasure the memory and the gift.
My pet peeve:
I can’t stand it if others’ cars aren’t clean
or are smelly... Others’ Not mine!
Quality I hate in people:
When people are selfish knowing it would hurt another person