Who's DJ Xiao Ma ??
Mah Jiann Min was born in 27th of October 1982 in Kluang, Johor. He has one elder brother and one elder sister. As the youngest in the house, Xiao Ma describes himself as being a child-never- grow-up.
Graduated from Chong Hwa High School in Kluang in the year 2000, Xiao Ma then started his degree in Broadcasting, TV & Film a year later at Shih Hsin University in Taiwan. While he was in the University, he joined numbers of others who were also fond of broadcasting in the Broadcasting Club. He believes that when you are keen of something, you must gain experience from it.
Xiao Ma graduated from Shih Hsin University in 2005 and started his first job at MY FM (a Chinese radio station belongs to Astro) as a News writer and presenter in April, 2006 to August, 2008. Before his first job here in Malaysia, he got himself a chance to do his internship in Hit FM (a famous Top 10 radio station in Taiwan) and gained experience in handling and producing a program as well as organizing big events like Global Chinese Music Award.
In August 2008, Xiao Ma was offered the chance to work at 5G Media as a Producer cum Host. He was there until November 2008. His 3rd job as a Deputy Editor was at Voice Media from November 2008 to June 2009.
Xiao Ma joined 98.8 in August 2009 till now. As a deejay, Xiao Ma is often described and known as a good husband to his wife, also a kind, friendly and fast-in-response person.
A. I remember when I was Standard five in primary school, I was picked by my Bahasa Melayu class teacher to join the inter-class speech competition. I am definitely not that type of person who can memorize word by word and then present it to a group of people. I was so paranoid that I even asked my mother to speak to the Principal about me not joining the contest. I didn’t join the competition in the end, it is important for people to realized that being a radio deejay, doesn’t mean that he or she is an expert in speech competition, and vice versa. It all depends on a person’s interest.
I started listening to radio when I was Form Five, and I realized that radio is very attractive in its own way. You don’t get to see or touch the deejay and you get to hear their voice as if like they are talking to you literally. I was fascinated by it. That was when my interest started to grow and hence my studies in Broadcasting, TV & Film in degree. That was also when I “mistakenly” thought I have an attractive voice, so I had my focus on broadcasting ever since then.
A. I am a programme executive here in the office. Other than being a deejay, I also in charge of the news. As a leader in the news department, my job is to make sure that for every slot of news in a day, there is a news presenter to present the news and also to arrange the schedule for every news presenter in the station (most of the time is actually fixed). While at the same time, as a news presenter, I come in to office everyday at 2pm, to gather news information from the web as well as the newspapers and then write a news script between 90 seconds to two minutes long.
I also gather traffic updates for traffic report in between certain programs. Other than that, I have a program at 8pm to 10pm on weekdays, partnering with DJ Mike. Our program is mainly about songs and music. We have few segments in our program, one of them is DJ Mix and the other, Singer’s Profile. I need to gather information and prepare for the program together with DJ Mike in order to share with the listeners, interaction is very important.
Then on Saturdays 7am to 10am, I have another program with DJ PM. This program is like a talk show and both of us deejays come up with 1 question every week to debate about and we open for listeners to vote to see who gets the most votes and at the same time we get to understand more about public’s thought through their votes and their comments.
A. Hosting a program alone is like you are the “Little Prince” in the conty, everything is in your hands, and you get to control the keys and the flow and rhythm of the program all by yourself.
While when you host with a partner, there are more “life” to the program as it is easier to create humor in your program when you have someone to answer you back and to laugh on a matter with. Other than that, it is also better to have a partner if you are having a talk show type of program. From my experience, I think both are enjoyable and if there is a partner to host a program with, I can learn from his or her strengths and to cover my own deficiencies.
A. Previously in broadcasting industry, deejays were not seen to have to come out from the conty to meet the listeners in the public as it is compared to now. As due to commercialized market requirements, deejays nowadays are not only required to have good talking skills, they need to do more than just talking and what comes after the skills is appearance. Hence, deejays are also categorized as artists.
A. To me, I think radio broadcasting is a companion in everyone’s life. It’s interesting, because when you tune in, you hear deejay talking to you, accompany you when you do your work, bringing you the latest international and local updates, as well as updates on traffic reports, songs and music, basically, it’s everywhere you are.
Like me for example, I treat my listeners as my friends, friends that are willing to listen as I “speak”. They are my friends, only thing I haven’t met some of them yet.
Q. Do you treat this job as your life time job or you have plans for the future? Do you think radio broadcasting will stay?
A. I definitely treat this as my life time job but you see, life always comes surprise us with changes and opportunities. Who knows I might end up being an owner to a shop, anything is possible. If there are greater challenges that come in the future, I would be more than happy to accept it. So far, I am really enjoying with what I am doing.
In my point of view, radio broadcasting will not be wiped out by the new media, it will only get better in the future, in terms of broadcast quality.
Q. What do you think are the fundamental requirements to be a deejay?
A. In my opinion, first, you must have the passion for radio broadcasting, it is very important that you are fond of what you do. Also, you mustn’t be full of yourself, don’t be over confident about yourself. Of course, always be a kind and friendly person, this draws you closer with your listeners.
From my own experience, I believe that as a deejay, you must be able to imagine that you are actually speaking to the crowd even though you are alone with four walls in the conty. Everyone speaks, but being a deejay, you must know what to speak and what not to speak. You must know when the listeners are listening and what are they “listening” as you speak.
Apart from that, one’s intension is very important. Therefore, we must always enrich ourselves with knowledge about everything available around us; we must have “input” in order to “output”. I mean, you must make sure you have content, when you want to deliver a certain message, right? And you can’t be talking about the same thing from day one to the end. Don’t come apart with the world, always update yourself with what is happening around us and in the world.
Other than only reading and listening to whatever we are interested, we have to learn to also read and listen to whatever we aren’t interested, in order to understand people who have different point of views from you.
We can’t be always saying about the good things, conversations that leave a space for deeper thoughts are more appreciated.
Q. What is your advice to the graduates?
A. I always believe that if you are interested in something, you must hold on to it, even though failures keep letting you down. If you really dream to be a deejay one day, then you have to hold on to your ambition and start making efforts. Don’t give up just because you’ve failed in the first time. Slowly fulfill your dream by working in the media first, maybe you can start by being a reporter. Allow yourself to explore and grab any chance that will bring you close to your ambition. For example, you have to show others that you have what it takes to be a deejay, show others your talent, and join contest or audition. Take every opportunity to speak, and to host.
Even if you have the biggest dream in the world, you can still achieve by taking the steps. Don’t be jealous of others, they are there for reasons. Don’t criticize, instead, find a successful role model and learn from him or her.
You can spend time on soup operas and facebook, but don’t be an addict. It’s better to spend time reading and watching movies and learn the moral values in it.
First of all, I must thank DJ Xiao Ma for allowing me to interview him. Throughout the whole session, I have learned and reminded once again by DJ Xiao Ma that persistence is indeed the only key to success. It is seen through so many other examples in life, but in order for us to be as successful as the others, we must put our efforts to start making things happen.
I had a great time interviewing DJ Xiao Ma as he was very friendly and kind. As I was writing down on whatever he was saying, he was caring enough to ask me if I can get whatever he is trying to say. He was more like a friend than a well-known deejay. This is very precious because we hardly get to talk to people like this in life.
At the same time, it was also interesting for me, to be able to hear him share about his experiences to reach to this point in life and to be able to understand more about the industry.
DJ Xiao Ma was sincere to answer every question that was being asked, and he also performed good ethics and professionalism during the session.
I appreciate the chance of being able to interview him and I will put his advice to work from now on, hoping to see that I will achieve my ambition in the near future. J