Is Mental Health a stigma in the world of media – meet Jay Acharya aka Jazzy J to know more

Being a Radio Presenter or an RJ seems to be a tought and a glamourous profession. Even today, in India, we also except men to behave in a certain way, thus, limiting their scope of communication with others or not considering their mental health. One of the mindset that we still have in our society existing for Men is about their career. The higher income a man earns, by working in a good company, his social status raises automatically. How many times, have we thought of doing something for ourselves, along with our daily job ?

Here is presenting to you Jay Acharya, who is working for a Multinational Financial Organisation and also hosts the Desi Beats Show for Asian Sound Radio Network and was also my senior in school. Let us have a small chat with him on taking care of your mental health, handling stress at work and difference between life in India and in London in general.

Tell us about your journey from Vasai to London.

After finishing my Diploma in Computer Engineering I took a break from education and started working as an intern for an IT support organization in Mumbai. After covering support for clients such as All India Radio, INHS Asvini, Bombay Hospital for almost 2 years I moved to the UK for further studies. I moved on to completed my Bachelor’s in IT from London and proceeded to do my PG Diploma in Management studies in order to aid my colleagues and subordinates in their field to achieve their full potential.

On the work front after graduating I worked for several IT firms in Technical Support and also working as a Human resource manager for a retail chain I moved on to work for a Web Design and Mobile Apps team as a Digital Project Manager. The role although new at the time came naturally to me and I proceeded to stick to the same role for 10 years and counting. I am currently working for a multinational financial organization which focuses on client security and online and mobile app UX journey for their users.  

Did you always want to be an RJ? 

Being a radio jockey was definitely not in the plan at all for me. I always wanted to be an artist and a part of me always knew but I will end up doing something. But a Radio Presenter, that was a surprise and I thank my lucky stars daily for this.

How does your typical day look like ?

My day starts at 07 am with a 25 minute HIIT workout at home, followed by a local commute to work and a 09:00 am to 05:00 pm job battling clients, stakeholders and managing a team of designers, developers and testers.
Lunch is usually an hour which includes either a home packed leftover from the night before or a short walk to Manchester Arndale Centre for a quick Thai Curry and Rice. The 30 minutes spare after is spent taking a walk around the Northern Quarter with phone calls to family in India and then back to the grind it is.

And finally, the day ends with a journey back home whilst listening to an audiobook on the way back and then cooking food whilst catching up on the latest episode of the most up to date series which I currently am following.

How do you prepare for a show?

Ahh, my wonderful DesiBeats show. I think prepping for my show begins at the beginning of the week. Every day when I come across an interesting article on the latest ongoings in Bollywood I start to bookmark the articles for follow-ups and research on the day before the show. With so much going on in Bollywood through the week there are only a few articles within a limited time which I can feature on my show.
This quite often results in me redoing the featured segments to be edited whilst I am live on the show sometimes as the steady mind needs to pick the one that’s most relevant at the time. 
As for film reviews I generally catch all the latest films on the weekends before the show so I can start writing my film review the morning after the film whilst the story and film is fresh in my head so I can provide my listeners with an honest unbiased review. 

5. With the #Metoo movement last year, there is a general perception that Men in Media are bad and they always make life miserable for women in this field. Please comment.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall !! . No matter how bigger you are in stature and position your downfall will be swift and it will be the one to remember for years to come.
I have worked with several men in the industry and yes there are several so-called “people” (I would not call them men as that would be an insult to all mankind) who have not only abused their stature, their power but also their trust with their fellow artists for their own horrible selfish carnal needs.  The perception is bad because of a few handfuls of such “people” who have not only tarnished the image of such an industry that not only provides a mean of information and entertainment but a source livelihood for millions. 
In being fair I will say this that “Men in media” at present are not bad at all, but such animals who exist need to be punished and banished so the new generation of women artists can work with ease and excel at their art for which they have worked so hard for. 

Media is a 24/7 field, wherein you need to take care of every minute detail, one wrong statement and it can be a huge mess, how do you take care of details?

This is an interesting question as this is something which I face on a day to day basis on a more higher level. My show caters to all generations of Asians and when I say Asians I mean South Asians who are Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, etc. Every so often there will be something which happens on the news front where there will be a conflict between 2 rivaling nations which creates an atmosphere of tension in the masses and my audiences. 
At such an instance we at Asian Sound Radio take extreme care to all our listeners believe that we truly are a radio station without borders. We always have an open forum for discussion for all our listeners but we use music as a tool to bind them all to one love and one emotion.

A lot of youngsters these days are unable to handle emotions professionally and therefore end up encouraging a lot of unprofessional activity at work. How can they handle the same?

The answer to this question is quite simple, think of yourself in 5 years’ time. Now imagine yourself sitting at your fav position, in your fav job role and being where you want to be. Then look back, rewind your steps back to where you are right now and contemplate. 
Will your actions at present help you be where you want to be in 5 years time, will you get the same respect that you deserve? Will you even be where you want to be in 5 years time if you go down the route right now?
If any of the above gets a No then you need to stop what you are doing and think how can you rise above the noise. 
My mantra for this is quite simple -Be considerate, Be Calm, Be Focused but most importantly… Be You!

How do you vent out your anger, sadness, jealousy given that you are in Media and your every word and action matter a lot? 

I hope I don’t sound like a cliche here when I say this but I genuinely do not jealous if any of my peers achieve success. I mean in an industry which started off being a minority in a foreign country to now being one of the largest industries there is. This in itself is an achievement that was only possible when all the South Asians came together and worked together irrespective of race, creed, caste or religion and made this happen. Every day a colleague gets a reward its a slap on the back for equality and its a moment of pride for me. 
In order to vent any negativity which I come across, I shut myself off after I get home for 15 – 20 minutes and simply lie back and listen to old Kishore da songs. I let the music do the healing and let the happy melodies replace the negative noise.

Do you feel homesick ? What do you do when you feel homesick ?

Homesickness is a common consistent friend for all us desis settled abroad and now thanks to social media it is ever-present around us. Nothing can beat the Diwali in my home town Vasai, The Eid feast at Mohammad Ali Road in Mumbai and Christmas celebrations at Bangli, Vasai.
But all you can do is try and find it’s next best thing and spread love with all your fellow desi’s here as much as possible. We celebrate all the festivals here with more fervor and more pomp and splendor so that we never get a chance to get homesick again. Heck, I recently celebrated Diwali by attending more than 3 Diwali parties this year.

Jay with his parents

How is your relationship with your parents?

My relationship with my parents has evolved over the years. They evolved from being over caring to be ultra attentive to now being my closest of friends with whom I can share anything and everything that goes in my life.
Similarly, their relationship with me has been from “what the heck are you doing with this radio thing” to “Is this even a career” to “I watched your show last week and I think you should do this and that and bla bla bla…”
Regardless of what comes may they always have been my inspiration and my pillars of strength throughout.

What does being Independence mean to you ? Till what age should parents look after the business of their children and to what extent?

There is a difference between “Independence” and “Self Dependence”.

You are from the day you are born “Independent”, you are free to think as you please, talk as you feel like, act as you feel like and do as you feel like.
Are you “Self Dependent” from the day you are born? The answer is a big fat no. You are dependent on your mom to feed you to nurture you to teach you the 1st words, you are dependent on your dad to teach you how to ride a bike, how to swing a bat, how to defend yourself and so on.

With English parents, the “Self Dependent” period starts from the moment you enter your teens. After this, you are on your own. They believe in the concept of pushing the baby bird off the nest so they can learn to fly on their own.  Does this have a con to it, certainly it does? The baby bird may fall into bad company, bad learn bad habits, make mistakes and so on but it will learn from its mistakes and grown into an adult on its own.

With Asian parents, the “Self Dependent” period starts when the kid finishes their school and they leave for “Uni” (a slang for university). This is where the baby bird learns how to iron the clothes, wash your own dishes, cook your own food, etc. 

To round this entire summary up, when parents encourage the baby birds during these periods to make the decisions for their own then why would do they want to make decisions for them later on their life. \

Parents should make their kids independent from the day they are born, free to question, free to think, free to act and never be afraid to come to their parents for anything or ask anything any time of the day or night. The parents should be the mighty tree where the kids can come sit in its shade and ask the wise old tree for any wisdom then they need it and then off they go into the sun again to face the world. 

Any tips for Single guys who stay away from their family ?

A simple tip for an “independent guy or girl” here is that if you are independent if you have chosen to be self-dependent then, first of all, be thankful to your parents who provided for you and looked after you for so many years. And then, be a sponge and learn it all. Learn to cook, learn to clean, learn to paint. You will end up having some weird smudges on the walls due to uneven painting but you will learn to make mistakes and you will learn how to correct those and improve on them all by yourself.

Anything you want to say to the men out there. 

All I have to say to all my fellow men out there is this. Be considerate, be loving and mainly look after yourself as well. Look after your bros and your pals and give equal love to one and all. 
Talk things through and remember…
Be a M.A.R.D (Men Against Rape and Discrimination)

You can follow your favourite Jazzy J on his Social Media.

Facebook Personal profile –

Facebook Artist profile –

Facebook Radio profile –

Instagram –

The copyright to this article belongs exclusively to Ms.Aishwarya Sandeep. Any copying or reproduction of the same would amount to copyright infringement and would attract legal action under the Indian Laws.

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