From Radio to Podcast with Ryo Wicaksono and Bobby Mandela

We met up with two of the three guys behind one of the most listened podcast channels: Podcast Boker, Ryo Wicaksono and Bobby Mandela.

Bouncing around from top radio stations to another, Ryo’s radio announcer days started at Trax FM with fellow podcaster from Boker and long time friend Molen Kasetra. Nine years after the infamous MTV Sky, Ryo worked as Content Director at Brikradio.com, then moved to Hard Rock FM in 2014, and currently work at JakFM. It was during his years at Trax that Ryo and Bobby met each other. The Communication and Media studies graduate started his working days in radio in 2011 as a Producer, Bobby worked at Hard Rock FM for five years until 2016 where his last title was as an Assistant Program Director.

Boker podcast was born mid 2019 and has since serving its listeners with funny, witty, sarcastic, and often pun-intended convo on weekly basis. In Boker, Ryo, Molen, and Bobby talk about relatable subjects from light to R-rated ones, such as dating style pre-mobile phone era, Jakarta’s automotive club, horror story with Tatjana Saphira, May 2019’s mass protests and riots, Q&A with Danilla Riyadi, podcast collab with RAPOT and more interesting topics like circumcision, make out sesh, and many other segments.

So, let’s open the interview with the most asked question: how did you start your career?
Ryo: “I started when I was 19 years old as a college student during my third semester. Honestly, I never thought of becoming a broadcaster, back then I thought that it was an easy job; that you had to walk there and played some music. But it wasn’t, after the song was played, you can’t just abruptly open up a discussion by blabbering. My first radio station was MTV Sky – now it’s called Trax. After nine years there, I moved to Hard Rock where I met Bobby who worked there first.”
Bobby: “Yeah, we actually met when you were still at Trax.”
Ryo: “Yes, because Trax and Hard Rock are in the same group. Now I work at JakFM, for almost two years now.”
Bobby: “I first started at Hard Rock FM as a Producer and then I got promoted as a Program Director in 2011. I met Ryo and Molen when they were in Trax. I often produced prime time show even though I wasn’t an announcer, I became a radio announcer when Ryo joined Hard Rock FM in ‘Hot Babes’. I tagged along and got used to be a broadcaster again. Earlier this year, Hard Rock asked me to be a broadcaster and so I become a broadcaster.”
Tell us more about Boker Podcast.
Ryo:

“There are actually three people in it. Molen is my broadcast partner since Trax era for around six years. He left the broadcasting world to pursue his own career, though he always wanted to be a broadcaster again because he missed it. Our schedule never seemed to match until I talked with Tyo from Box2Box, he was our producer at Trax. The thought of creating a podcast was pitched in by him, I asked Molen but since he was still working abroad, so we agreed to do it with other people. That’s when I thought of Bobby. We did three episodes and finally Molen wanted to join, he was finishing his master’s degree in Singapore. So, whenever he’s here, we take as much time as possible to produce contents for our podcast.”

You guys talked about various subjects that are real, rarely sugar coated, meaning just to really talking it as it is—but this what actually makes Boker stand out. And the three of you were also invited as speakers at the prestigious IdeaFest, did it ever occur to you guys that you’d reach that phase?
Bobby: “It’s beyond our wildest imagination, and honestly had we known that we’d make it this big, we wouldn’t have named our podcast as Boker.”
Ryo:

“We didn’t think it would be bigger like this. I wanted  to do podcast because I work as a radio announcer regularly from 10am-1pm, and I couldn’t do my usual talk set. That’s why I wanted to do podcast, I wanted to share my thoughts, and since the nature of podcast is more free. Though the topics may sound random, but we actually discuss it further before we make a podcast.”

Bobby:

“Yes, we usually do a video call first to talk about the topics and after we’d do meetings. Even though it may seem simple and easy, but we always think it through first. For example: topic A – what are the goals, the aim, and the stories we got surrounding that topic, maybe one of us has a better story to tell so we would let him tell it last.”

Ryo: “One of the listeners said that listening to our podcast feels like they were there and hanging out with us. It’s the sense of intimacy  that we created, and in return, how they feel. For me, the topics that we choose are the things that the three of us have been through, we believe people out there have experienced the same or at least heard of it. I feel like that’s the part where our listeners feel close to us.”
Bobby: “We didn’t plan to curse a lot or talk dirty, but that’s just how we are off air. So if you hang out with us and our friends, that’s how it would be like. It’s like our hangout sessions being recorded, that’s all.”
Aside from having your own podcasts, do you like listen to other’s podcast? Is there any personal favorites?
Bobby: “I like MaknaTalks by Iyas Lawrence. In his podcast, he does these in-depth interviews, but he’s actually different in real life. I usually listen to MaknaTalks and Rapot if I were in a long trip. Plus, we’re all actually co-workers anyway, we’re friends.”
Ryo: “There is one more, Lawless – Unfaedah.”
Bobby: “I also listened to Hanan Attaki almost every morning, and also Rintik Sedu. I love listening to monologs.”
What do you think the differences between podcast and radio in terms of content and technique?
Bobby: “It’s totally different in terms of treatment. What you talk freely on podcast couldn’t be uploaded to radio, you’d easily get a warning letter from KPI.”
Ryo:

“I think the difference is that podcast is entertainment on demand. Like what do you at that moment and what you hear about. Let’s say, you want to listen to horror, it’s there, or perhaps just football, it’s also there. On the other hand, with radio, there are still a lot of surprise elements to it. Let’s say, Radiohead was playing on the radio, it still brings a different sensation – which you can’t found it in podcast.”

Now let’s talk about your style. Is there any favorite fashion item that becomes an essential to your day to day basis?
Ryo: “Well, I can say that Bobby always wears black t-shirt from Monday to Sunday. It’s like if you open his wardrobe, it will surely be full of plain black t-shirts.”
Bobby: “Well because if you’re wearing black, people wouldn’t know whether I’ve changed or not.”
Ryo: “Well, for me it’s about being comfort, as long as it’s comfortable, then I like it. And there is a funny story, too, our listener said that between the three of us, Molen is always the one who always looks sharp, you know wearing white shirt, pants, and pantofel shoes. They said, ‘Molen always dresses nice like a man with a job, while Ryo and Bobby dress like a jobless man,’.”

Editor: Galuh Tathya
Writer: Ervina Michelle Liem
Photographer: Vicky Melly
Digital Imaging: Ari Angga
Wardrobe: available at TheFThing.com
Location: Ms Jackson Jakarta

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