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  • Writer's pictureSarah Myles

HOW I GOT HERE: Nirav Chande

(How I Got Here Artwork)

Connect with this season’s guests:

Special thanks to: Alex Court, Graeme Woodcock, Heleen Kist, Kate Bullivant, Maria Passingham, Mark Loftus, Natasha S. Chowdory and Tin Hinson for providing question recordings.

Artwork by Jack Jewers-

RISE & SHINE is about giving everyone a voice within the podcast and radio industries regardless of income.

Find out more about RISE & SHINE through the website- and twitter-


Nirav Chande: Hi, my name is Nirav, I'm a junior year content creator, for reform radio pronouns are he him.I'm also a DJ and presenter and I'm hosting and producing and developing the podcasts for a collective that I've come apart of called Daytimers, where we'll be interviewing some prominent and like up and coming South Asian creatives and just kind of providing a platform for that perspective and those issues.

That was pretty much my main role within audio. But I also dabble in hosting radio shows, producing audio has become like a big part of being a DJ and submitting mixes nowadays is it's not about turning up and doing stuff live. So that's become a big thing for me. The story of how I got into audio starts with me coming to Manchester for union and studying at university here, getting involved basically through.

The university radio, which was fuse FM, finding that as like a real crave output for me, that I just kind of was my calling because I'd always listened to a lot of radio and then began to also listen to podcasts, being a bit of a mass consumer of like all types of media, like January. I feel like maybe I was a bit, yeah.

Ahead of it in terms of like listening to podcasts compared to my peers. And I used to produce a radio show there, like every week. So I got to know that side of things and I was also involved with deejaying. Then from that point on, I just fell into that world a bit more and kind of just said to myself, that's where I kind of want it to be.

Found myself like involved creatively with a couple like projects with, with some of my peers that we just used to do for fun, we would always end up like inventing different podcast ideas, even before it became a meme. As I graduated, I was like looking to like really find a way to make this my world and make this my career.

And, you know, if you're in Manchester, for me, that was really the best place to go is where I work now, reform radio, that one of those organizations that I like to do loads here to bring people in and like, Train them up and give them skills and put them on courses. And if you're lucky or if they have the capacity to even work for them.

And that was really, yeah. I remember going on a course, like maybe a bit before I graduated and just being a part of, one of their trainings and realizing like it's something I could do then finding my way, just hanging out there, doing some studio production. I now. It's the place where I work, joined funnily enough, at the beginning of the pandemic.

Yeah. Obviously radio and podcasting and audio has become a real focus. We all want to connect with people right now. I've had the fortune of taking part and developing some interviews and podcasts and stuff for them, but it was really like the connections I was able to make with this collective that I've kind of grown a part of called Daytimers

We wanted to just represent people like us and put a platform for people like us. And I think we kept having these conversations and it was like this group of like young, British, South Asian DJs and musicians and different kinds of craves. And we kept having these cools that were full of like, you know, some just amazing.

Moments of like discussion because we will share this perspective that hadn't really been spoken upon for any of us. And so from that, it was like, right, well, we got to do a podcast from that point. Like now I've had equipment at home and I'm just kind of like seeing whenever I can to just produce audio, whether that's through, for radio shows that are prerecorded or.

Different podcasts ideas. And I just think I'm still on my way to living more in that world and, and, you know, seeing how I can go about building my own space for myself. Why audio of why audio seemed like the place for me and part of my path, like it kind of was a bit of a no brainer once I learned. You know, that there was more to audio than just live radio and stuff like that, the podcasts exist.

And then even then like, you know, stuff like radio dramas and being able to create like different worlds as well. And narratives is something that I'm really intrigued by and have kind of begun to progress into specifically kind of exploring that, like with music being another part of my, like, you know, what, I'm what I kind of focus on.

And. For me, I mostly, like I only really learn and am able to engage with a lot of stuff just like through audio and podcasts. It was just such a massive part of everything. You know, even just my downtime was just listening to things, listening to podcasts, listening to interviews. And so it just felt like a natural pace, finding that for myself, you know, I was trying, I've been trying to do like writing and just struggling, but.

I learned that, like, I know I have a bit more of a voice when I'm just speaking to people. Audio is just like a really great way for me to be able to deliver that. Whereas Ryan was, has always just been like a real struggle and I kind of want to see that happen for people like myself who are neurodivergent.

I was diagnosed with ADHD like a couple of years ago. And, you know, I've learned that like, there are other ways that content can just be a bit more accessible and, you know, even for people who are dyslexic or have other kinds of issues with it. So that's something for me. I, I really think, is why audio can be powerful and why I think, you know, I'd like to continue to make that journey into it.

Tell us a secret about breaking into the audio industry?

I think my secret from pathways in general is wherever your fire burns and wherever your passion burns, especially if people like me have ADHD. That's where, you know, we're most kind of successful is really just like following that. And I know that kind of is a bit of a cliche, but I mean, it's very, very easy to feel.

Oh, these things aren't realistic, but really like the most realistic thing is surely where you have your most interested in your most in-depth passions. At the moment, really? It's all about the things that stand now, because audio and podcasts are just kind of, you know, having a bit of a moment where like, everyone's kind of jumping on them.

It's that point in time where like, businesses are like, Oh, we should do one for most people. I think it's the case that wherever their passions are, there's usually something quite specific and a specific vision and their perspective. And so that is what I would say is the real secret. And then as well, a big, big secret is really building a community in a sense that for me has been essential.

And whether that's just being like my circle of friends, you know, we all are excited about what each other's doing. We all kind of fire each other up and create every drive each other and you know, same for even. Was it like the fortune I have of being able to work at a place where there's a lot of creative people and even the stuff I do day to day, it has that, that excitement to it, being able to do that as part of my like careers, pretty crazy, I would say seek those out and really, like, I think some people have been able to carve out their own spaces successfully and just doing it by myself and it kind of grew from there and yeah.

I don't know for me, I'm a firm believer of how things have worked out for me is connecting to other people, other groups, other communities. I think it's all about having that support there. I don't think I would have been able to do anything without having the support of my peers, having the support of you know those around me and like a place like reform. And you know, of course there are other groups about there's funding and really just learning that you deserve, that support you deserve to be paid. You deserve to have these opportunities. He's like, no, you're not selling yourself short and not believing it’s all down to you and not expecting that you're going to get any help from anyone because you can I'd say that. Yeah, that's a top secret.

What's the best mistake you've ever made?

The best mistake I've made, um, in relation to this journey is, is saying yes, there is a lot of good reason to have caution with what you say yes to and what you take on. It's something I've learned, you know, I'm, I'm still kind of learning that being said, like, I have operated in a way until maybe finding, you know, some actual work and like kind of structure and income to my career.

There was a real need to just say yes to a lot of things and dive into a lot of projects and you know, that doesn't always work out and there's a good reason not to, but for a time, You know, until I was able to get on a placement and reform and continue working there, there was just a lot going on. I'd managed to find a bit of an equilibrium, but, you know, I hadn't seen my family for quite a while, but during that time I was delving into a lot of different projects and ideas and all of those taught me so much.

And you know, like a lot of them. Had problems and things went wrong. And, and specifically, I guess, like in a lot of these being collaborations and learning that like what you can do and like how. Communication can be just something that you take for granted. It was valuable lessons, but through that, like there were incredible things that were achieved thought, you know, I wouldn't have forced myself to do that for me was like a real, you know, affirmation of like, okay, you know, I've got something to contribute in this cryosphere and, and, you know, obviously through audio, Whatever's happened and having things have gone, it's still being something that's like a farm that I'm part of a group of people.

And just being my age. I'm 24 now, I guess, but like being kind of the new generation of creators and realizing like, you know, we have a specific way of doing things that some people have to learn from us. That's an incredible feeling. And I wouldn't have happened if I hadn't said yes to these things. And I've said yes to things since, and that's been another mistake was learning that like, okay, you know, you also have a day job and you have to have to learn that like there's only so much time you can contribute yourself in a day, especially in these recent months, but even still like.

They've all helped formulate and develop ideas that I foresee will become big parts of like future projects, really. Um, but hopefully I can go about that in a way that doesn't just point people as much and, and, and, you know, let people down. So I would say, you know, make sure you also try and communicate, communicate, communicate, communicate.

That's how I've learned from all of these mistakes.

Tell us about the person in the audio industry who helped you most when building your career.

Kind of difficult to tell you just about one person in the audio industry. Who's taught me a lot. There are two that rings in mine, and to be honest, they aren't strictly audio producers or audio people.

They kind of multidisciplinary is, and I guess, I think it still rings true because audio, as I've come to learn, like covers, you know, multiple different facets, you know, you can be anyone from someone who has like a really in-depth idea about different topics and you're a researcher, or maybe you're like an actual music producer and you're into some sound design for me, it's probably someone like my.

Line manager, Natasha Maxim over who's the head of content and marketing at reform. And as well, one of my good friends, Cuba Spangler, he's the owner of, uh, an internet label called overthink mob. Both of these people are what I'd call bit machines or just Swiss army human beings because they both. We'll be able to land in pretty much any type of creative output and tool themselves and bring literally everything and we'll work harder than anyone I've ever seen.

You know, it shows with everything they do for me, both of them is kind of like learning how that is done and watching them, how that's done, because, you know, I think in this, in the world of audio, You know, you can be doing so many different projects. And so that, that's something that I've been able to learn from them about how to manage that.

And also even stuff like, do you know, how do you communicate with people that you're working with? I think there's a lot of stuff that I was able to really learn from just being a consumer of. Culture and being fascinated by stuff and listening to interviews and podcasts and radio dramas and all sorts.

So that stuff wasn't really much what I felt I needed to learn. Obviously I'm still always, always feeling like I'm learning, but like that stuff kind of came naturally. I feel it's everything else. There's so much more to how you're supposed to operate. Right. And how, you know, how much can you really do?

And I'd say that. And he used to play with people who do so much. And I don't know if I can do that much. They can, they are kind of special beings in us fair, but they're both people who will deliver and commit to that word and will do so with flying colors.

And yeah, I'm still trying to figure out whether that's a sustainable thing for me to be able to achieve or whether I am like them. But yeah, everything they do is, is quite, uh, admirable, but there's so many more around me. And, uh, I still think I have a lot to learn.

What's the one piece of advice that you would give to anyone starting out in audio?

Find somewhere that will help you learn and have the tools to do this. Obviously there's great resources that exist online and you can find a lot of their stuff online. If you wanted to, you could do all this yourself, but for me, I think you can gain so much from doing it with other people, especially I think some of the best project is really, you know, Come from collaborative efforts and obviously like vision and all that is something that might be compromised or might be better.

But like, if you're in, not just to take part in, in a reform course, because you know, you'll meet people, you'll be able to gain this experience, human experience from different people, and you'll be able to learn so much, or maybe it's a discord community, or maybe it's doing a podcast for your mates. I don't know whatever it is that you can do.

Staff with, with other people I think is where you will learn a lot more. And that's my advice because I, I just don't know how I would have done anything I've done without that other element. And like, I still put a lot of value in myself and I think you need to do that as well, but I was definitely, this is all about us trying to hear from each other and understand each other, speak to each other and.

That's just a particular spark that comes out of these collaborations and the advice that you get from a friend or advice you get from someone who's dad to help you, that you don't get from. Someone on YouTube because they might be trying to sell you a microphone. Well, they might be trying to get some sort of thing, you know, definitely like just kind searching out for those groups and people and whatever kind of structures and situations that are just really there to like help someone learn or help someone gain a skill.

You know, you will be contributing something to that space as well. That's really like what I think. Is a big key thing. And also just thinking about like, you know, what are you trying to achieve here if you want to just get into this game because podcasts is blowing up. Great. Okay. Do that for a while.

And maybe you'll be able to float through it, but the circus and the show moves everywhere. So think about what your purpose is here. Think about what you're trying to achieve and like, thinking about how audio can help maximize what those things are. I think lately, I also like, um, someone who's quite minded about just the world and, and, you know, goings on and politics and stuff like that.

And I've recently started a kind of radio show size podcast that is about trying to kind of communicate how we can be active and take an active role in things and, and organize that for me was learning that actually like audio is like a really effective way. We can learn and communicate that isn't something that really is being taken advantage of in this kind of grassroots way just yet.

But that might be something different for you. .


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