Dou­ble dose of sun­shine

Pamela Chong and Jan­ice yap are mak­ing their pres­ence felt on the air­waves.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TV - By KEN­NETH CHAW en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

IT is 4.30am and Pamela Chong is awake with a grin on her face. “The first thing you should do when you wake up is smile. i might look like a mad woman smil­ing to my­self, but rather than feel­ing slug­gish, it helps me get on with the day,” said the chirpy 30-yearold ra­dio an­nouncer in an in­ter­view with Star2.

Chong was shar­ing about how she first found it hard wak­ing up for her 5.30am call time. The for­mer Amaz­ing Race Asia con­tes­tant, ac­tress and em­cee started co-an­chor­ing Cap­i­tal FM’s Cap­i­tal Break­fast show since last Oc­to­ber, her first foray into ra­dio broad­cast.

Chong, who pre­vi­ously spent most of her nights host­ing or at­tend­ing din­ner func­tions, shared that she has had to sac­ri­fice many night events since tak­ing on the job.

“Even when you’re out for din­ner with friends and ev­ery­one’s re­laxed and hav­ing a good time, you’re anx­ious, won­der­ing why the food isn’t here yet. And it’s only 8pm!” she said can­didly, adding that she tries to get to bed by 9.30pm on week­nights.

“We have no life!” Jan­ice Yap chimed in, half-jok­ingly. it is also Yap’s first time mak­ing her mark in ra­dio, an­chor­ing the Cap­i­tal Break­fast show along­side Chong.

The 32-year-old who wakes up jump­ing out of bed (“i lit­er­ally jump out of bed to make sure i wake up”) – is a vo­cal coach and the lead vo­cal­ist of lo­cal band Jan­ice And The su­per­tank.

Chong and Yap learned the ra­dio sta­tion was look­ing for fresh per­son­al­i­ties through a mu­tual friend and landed the gig af­ter nail­ing their au­di­tions and call backs.

“With this job, i can set the record straight. i’m not a man and my name is Jan­ice,” Yap said, trail­ing off with a laugh.

The singer-song­writer ex­plained she has of­ten been mis­taken for a man when call­ing cus­tomer ser­vice lines and has had her name mis­pro­nounced count­less times (“the worst one was Jan-ice”). But Yap isn’t in­se­cure about shar­ing her voice with the world, stat­ing in­stead, “i think a lower voice com­mands more at­ten­tion.”

Th­ese new ad­di­tions to Cap­i­tal FM – Chong, Yap as well as The Jam Break’s is­abel – are part of the ra­dio sta­tion’s ini­tia­tive to in­tro­duce new voices with varied back­grounds.

“For ex­am­ple,” Yap said, “some­times peo­ple don’t pay at­ten­tion to world is­sues be­cause they’re de­liv­ered in such a se­ri­ous way. so we present them from a layper­son’s point of view. We’re hon­est, cu­ri­ous and some­times, clue­less as well to what’s go­ing on ev­ery­where.”

“The Cap­i­tal Break­fast show is ba­si­cally two girls, hav­ing a chat, talk­ing about the world,” Chong summed up.

some of the seg­ments lis­ten­ers can look for­ward to in the week­day, 6am to 10am show in­clude World Hour where Chong and Yap will share news (in their own way, of course) from around the globe as well as topics that in­ter­est women – be it health, re­la­tion­ships or ca­reer. In Her Shoes see the dee­jays in­ter­view­ing women from all walks of life. And to un­der­stand the male psy­che bet­ter, the ladies will have a male guest over in Talk­ing To Mars. To bal­ance things out, there are light­hearted seg­ments like the Cool Cat Count­down fea­tur­ing the dee­jays’ very own count­down of cre­atively-themed songs (“Top 10 songs to ded­i­cate to the boss you hate”); Lol Hour com­pris­ing hi­lar­i­ous jokes, rid­dles and one­lin­ers; Trend­ing Hour fea­tur­ing trend­ing topics on so­cial me­dia; and a seg­ment for “weird” news sto­ries from around the world (“The woman who mar­ried a

fer­ris wheel”).

As the ra­dio dee­jays are given full con­trol over the show’s con­tent, the ladies are not at all mere talk­ing heads, pour­ing in hours of re­search for each show.

“When we first started out, we were very slow, spend­ing two hours just to pre­pare for a one-hour seg­ment. But we’re a lot quicker now,” Chong shared.

Another chal­lenge, nat­u­rally, was get­ting used to the medium.

“in ra­dio, there can­not be long pauses oth­er­wise lis­ten­ers will be won­der­ing what’s hap­pen­ing.

“And ev­ery­thing has to be con­cise and to-the-point. There was one time where we were only sup­posed to talk for a minute but ended up go­ing on for five min­utes,” Yap re­called.

still, the ul­ti­mate up­hill slope lies in chang­ing the ra­dio lis­tener’s per­cep­tion of a fe­male­cen­tric ra­dio sta­tion.

“When you think of Cap­i­tal FM, im­me­di­ately you think fem­i­nism, more power to women, or women are al­ways right. Where in fact, we’re not here to say women are the best; we’re here to be a friend, to help women un­der­stand them­selves and for men to un­der­stand them, too, and vice versa.”

“The chal­lenge also lies in the fact that we’re the only women’s sta­tion right now, so the ex­pec­ta­tion is quite high. Plus, ev­ery­one has a dif­fer­ent ex­pec­ta­tion of what it should be,” Yap chipped in.

Nev­er­the­less, the ladies are un­fazed by the ob­sta­cles laid on the jour­ney ahead. in fact, Chong be­lieves her stint at the ra­dio sta­tion is noth­ing short of a priv­i­lege: “How of­ten do peo­ple go to work and get to laugh so early in the morn­ing?”

Tune into the Cap­i­tal Break­fast show on week­days, 6am to 10am, on Cap­i­tal FM.

New dee­jays on the block: Pamela Chong (right) and Jan­ice yap are tak­ing their first step into ra­dio by host­ing their very first ra­dio show on Cap­i­tal FM.

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