It might be hard to put a name to the voice of a radio jockey, especially to one who gained his fame back when there was only one official radio station and not yet a billion listeners waiting to be entertained. Nevertheless, the Tuesday speaker doesn’t necessarily suffer the inadequacy of such a vocation because his ascent in the radio industry began at the intersection of the single-frequency and multi-frequency broadcast period. By that time, he had also begun to build an equity value that transcended radio jockeying; He was not just a voice to reckon with, but a force to reckon with in the fields of event management, radio, music retail, and stage. He is none other than Brian Tellis.
If you believed he made an appearance at our weekly meeting to discuss the haphazard history of radio in India, you are, unfortunately, horribly mistaken. He revolutionized the music retail business, brought international artists to our shores, and, in more ways than one, made music awards a thing in India. Therefore, to speak solely about radio would have been a missed opportunity in getting to know what motivates one man to wear so many hats.
“I thought this would be a great opportunity to share something straight from the heart,” began Tellis, which gives you an idea of how informal the conversation was, just like the 9 to 10 radio show he hosted back in the 90s.
In school, Tellis prides himself for have mastered the skill set required to earn him a 37%, which was a percent above the minimum required to get to the next year. In college, he was a hippie, the details of which he chose not to get into, except for the fact that “it was an exciting journey, and it continues to be an exciting journey.” He still considers himself a hippie, just that he now spells it as hippy. “The component of H-I-P-P-Y that I’ve adopted most is Happiness.” The other components being Integrity, Passion, Purpose and Yearning.
To have him remind us from time to time that he wasn’t “afraid to tell the truth” – the truth being that, at present, we face a “tragedy in communication” because “a large part of the media is manipulative” – was indicative of his firm belief in preserving one’s integrity. Thereafter, when someone in the audience asked him to define purpose, he said he wouldn’t be able to define it for anyone except himself, but asked everyone in the audience “to set your own yardstick” without setting parameters based off of other people’s success.
“And of course the Y.” In his books, the Y stands for yearning, and “if our yearning can be channelised, married, and aligned with a sense of purpose, then we are sitting on a hippy equation.” However, hippy isn’t complete without the second P, which stood for and will continue to stand for this speaker’s immense passion to lend his voice for every opportunity that he is given.