Radio over the Years: Nirnaya NSK

Text By Shreeti Pandey

Nirnaya Shrestha, also known as Nirnaya Da NSK, who is well-known for his hip-hop music, was firstly a radio jockey at Image FM 97.9. As a hip-hop music enthusiast, he joined Image FM in 1999 to introduce the genre in Nepal. It is interesting to know that, in 1998, Image FM was Kath FM, and broadcast in 100 MHz, which was shared with Radio Nepal.

Basically, radio has evolved vastly through the nineteen years of his career as an RJ. During his initial phase, there were only three radio stations: Kantipur FM, Hits FM, and Kath FM (Image FM), all broadcast in Kathmandu. But, in today's scenario, more than forty radio stations have been established, and radio programs are made available globally.

Through these years, radio listeners are not decreasing; one generation of listeners is just replaced by another. The world might have gone digital, but listeners still reach out to radio programs. Yes, it is true that social media has taken away the analog medium of mass communication, but radio has still continued is legacy as the easiest means of communication. Transistors are replaced by smartphones, making radio listening more flexible.

From then to now, community-based radio programs are also growing that are specifically targeted to a group of audience. Let's take Newari radio programs as an example, their targeted audience is the Newari community. These programs are mostly hosted to bring awareness to a specific community.

When Nirnaya joined Image FM, no hip-hop programs were broadcast. So, he came up with "Bring the House Down" as his first show. Through it, he played his hip-hop tracks to the listeners. It really was innovative, and an initiation to bring a new culture in the music industry and present a new genre of music to Nepali listeners.

"I get to listen to what I want and share my taste of music, which has been the best part of being an RJ," says Nirnaya. It is also to be appreciated that he has provided a platform to many young rappers of Nepal, such as Yama Buddha, Nepsydaz, and Madzone, all of whom grew up listening to "Bring the House Down". This show was dedicated to the urban youth, mostly hip-hop music enthusiasts. "Bring the House Down" was also his first recorded song, and the start of his musical journey.

Through the nineteen years of his journey with Image FM, Nirnaya has also contributed to the social sector. In 2006, he started "Tour for Education" to teach the value of education. It was an entertainment and awareness program aimed at collecting and distributing stationery material to social organizations and rural area schools. He has done wonders in his life, and he is still entertaining us on air with his two shows—"Bring the House Down" and "Saturday Melt Down".