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Top Hindi takes a higher percentage of play time because of the demographics. The North Indian and Punjabi community is significant in Vancouver
 
 
 
 
 
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Console room in Vancouver: radio diversity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview

An Indian bouquet for Vancouver


Rhythm India, earlier called Geetanjali, is a long-running radio show based entirely on Indian music and distinguished by its informed style

Rhythm India is a weekly programme broadcast from Vancouver, Canada. It plays Indian music of all genres, and has made a name for its critically informed content.

The programme can be heard on CitR , the radio station of the University of British Columbia. It is run by university alumni and volunteers. The radio station, in its own words, "attempts to provide a listening experience unlike that found elsewhere on the dial." Its fare includes music, news, and sports.

Rhythm India, a two-hour weekly slot, was earlier called Geetanjali. It got its new name after it merged with a programme called Hello India, and after Geetanjali had completed 12 years.

Rhythm India is hosted by Ameen Merchant and Anoop Sharma, both Indian immigrants to Canada. Their show is broadcast from 8 to 10 p.m. (PST) on Sunday.

Anoop, originally from Agra, is a business school graduate. He is in his early thirties. Ameen is a graduate in English and cultural studies. Both are alumni of University of British Columbia.

"Our content is pan-Indian," Ameen told The Music Magazine in an e-mail interview.

Do you produce original music or play recorded stuff from tapes and CDs?

The content is music by Indians from India and abroad. We use CDs and tapes and direct play (Real Audio) from the Net for our broadcasts. We try to include Canadian content -- Indian musicians from Canada -- and also at times do interviews with visiting artistes. The programme is not pre-recorded and is presented live by the DJ. We also take on-air live requests. The content includes film music (all Indian languages), classical, folk, bhajans, fusion, ghazals and qawwalis.

What is your listener profile? What radius do you reach?

Our listener profile is diverse. The Indo-Canadian community is a large chunk of it -- but the programme is also appreciated by Canadians of all races and cultural backgrounds. All the shows on the station are commercial-free as CiTR is a non-profit society committed to playing "alternative" music not heard on commercial/advertising-based radio stations. It does not depend on advertising revenue at all! We also try to play non-commercial labels. Sony, EMI, HMV -- the biggies -- don't get too much exposure here. The programme can be heard all over Vancouver and beyond in its suburbs. We have been on air as Geetanjali for more than a decade and have a committed audience. The programme is appreciated for its discernment, and its detailed presentation of music. We receive many complimentary calls when the show is on air.

Does Hindi take the biggest chunk of your broadcast time? How well is Indian regional music represented?

Hindi does seem to take a higher percentage of play time -- only because of the demographics. The North Indian and Punjabi community is significant in Vancouver. We also make an effort to play Karnatak and regional music as much as we can. We have a growing Tamil and Sri Lankan population in Vancouver as well.

Published on 11 October 2001



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