7 Questions: Ros Sophy

7 Questions: Ros Sophy

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DJ Buffy (far R) out on the town with her socialite friends. Photos: Post staff

DJ Buffy (far R) out on the town with her socialite friends. Photos: Post staff

Ros Sophy - AKA DJ Buffy - has many fans Ros Sophy is also known as 25-year-old DJ Buffy on 97.5 Love FM, and is the standout presenter on Cambodia’s only English radio station.

She is ear-candy to both local and foreign listeners and is best known for the first show she hosted called ‘Rise and Shine’. Now she has two other programs - the love chat show, every Tuesday and Thursday evenings and the Rock School show every Saturday afternoon.

DJ Buffy has now been invited to do radio and TV commercials for clients like the Advanced Bank of Asia. She also DJ’d at the Naga World New Year party in 2010.

1. How did you become a radio presenter?
I didn’t want to be a DJ when I was young. I didn’t want that at all. I didn’t imagine I could be like that now. My dad is German and my mom is Cambodian. They always played English songs and that’s what I grew up listening to. When Love FM started to open, it was late 1990s and early 2000s, it was the best time of pop music and boy bands. I kept listening to Love FM until 2004 when Alex, a DJ there, and I became friends and that’s how I got a chance to be a DJ in 2007. You have to make sure why you want to do it. I knew it myself that I liked it and I could do it.

2. What are the challenges you have encountered doing your job as a DJ?
The first show was called ‘Rise and Shine’. It was from 6am to 7am from Monday to Friday. Then I got a chance to do Studio L, love chat show. That was a talk show. It was really hard for me at first to do a talk show as I had to change my style from the request show. On the request show you just talk about whatever you want to. You read emails and phone messages from listeners requesting the songs, but at talk show, you need to interact with people and you need to maintain the conversations and keep the people talking. I was kind of scared to do it at first, but I think I’m OK now.

3. The third show you host is Rock School. What distinguishes it from the others you do?
The Rock School show is every Saturday afternoon from 1pm to 3pm. The show was kind of special. Not every DJ can do the show. You have to know rock songs and love them. You can’t host a show like that when you don’t like the music. To me, I love rock music. I believe I do the show well. That’s what makes it unique.

4. How do you compare your English show with others in the Khmer language?
It’s s not like I try to preach about westernised stuff. No. I just want them to know what’s happening there and what’s happening here. Which one is better? My Tuesday love chat show is harder because I have to bring up questions regarding love, and a problem with Cambodian listeners is that they don’t call you to tell what’s going on until you ask them on the air to call in.

However, I also have to be careful with my questions as they cover two cultures. For example, what do you think of couples staying together before marriage? Some people say it’s wrong while others think it is OK they love each other. I’m pretty sure that some other Khmer radio show have the same theme.

5. What kind of personality do you need to become a DJ?
You have to be able to talk and understand. For example in Studio L, you have to have your mind set into the show, and not get involved. People are emotional, and if you just broke up, you can’t tell people on the radio show what to do. People can spark rumours about you because you are on the radio all the time. They know you. It’s also about the tone of your voice, what kind of tone you should use at the show. If it’s the love show, you can’t shout. Another thing is you have to be able to speak English well and know what you are talking about. If you talk about Michael Jackson, you have to know about him.

You don’t have to speak great English, just good English. I’m not a native, but I can try. I want proud Cambodian listeners who are able to communicate like everyone else does.

6. What kind of education or training would you recommend for people who want to be a DJ?
I had no training at all. We don’t even have school to train us to be a DJ here, but how do you learn? First of all, you have to practise yourself at home. Just pretend to record your voice as you are on the radio. That’s what I did. I wrote scripts to practise speaking as you would on radio. Everybody has to start somewhere. In the radio, people don’t see you, but they hear you. They can tell by your voice if you’re not up to it. So just practise and practise.

7. What would be some insider tips to landing a job like this?
Again, being able to speak English well. And having a belief in yourself to do the job. You need to know lots of music. Some general knowledge about music, movies, film stars and anything pop culture.

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