DJ Rafi's voice has been a familiar one for the local masses over the last 22 years, especially for the Indian community that tunes in to Oli 96.8FM. The one and only Tamil language, Mediacorp-owned radio station playing for the Indian community, Oli 96.8FM provides the latest Tamil hits, regional Indian songs, news and lifestyle features 24 hours a day.
Currently, the veteran DJ co-hosts Vanakkam Singai every morning from 6am to 10am. Apart from radio commitments, he has also hosted numerous stage shows, private functions and TV shows.
In 2002 and 2003, he won the Most Popular Radio Presenter award at Pradhana Vizha, a television award ceremony presented by Mediacorp Vasantham to honour rapidly growing Tamil television artists. For four consecutive years from 2004 to 2007, he also clinched the Favourite Tamil Radio Personality award at the Singapore Radio Awards. He also won the Radio Personality of the Year – Media’s Choice award in 2005.
What’s one album you still listen to from start to finish and why?
All songs from Uyire. I strongly feel that the '90s was the period A R Rahman really shone as a music director. This album by him is simply splendid.
How important is it to you to have music playing as you go about your day?
Music is very important to me. Music has the ability to instantly brighten my mood and day.
What’s one song that’s never gotten old for you?
It's a Hindi song, 'Mere Bhigi Bhigi Seh' by Kishore Kumar. This song is very special to me as it reminds me of the times I spent with my late dad and my childhood. It brings tears to my eyes whenever I listen to it.
What’s one local song you really love?
'Thodarkathaiyaa' by Mohamed Rafi. The rendition by Rafi and Vikneswary is simply beautiful and it tugs at my heartstrings.
Who’s one artist from whom you always look out for new music?
D Imman. His music, though simple, has the ability to reach out to all age groups. He explores folk music really well.
What’s one song you’ve listened to recently that the world should know about?
'Sevandhi Poove' from Kanne Kalaimaane. Although it came out this year, it has a very '80s and '90s feel to it which I really appreciate as it flows beautifully with the storyline.