Get paid to play your favourite music

Get paid to play your favourite music


RJ Melodee at the Radio Indigo studio

You love music. When you went to a party or a pub you always wanted to be at the DJ console and play better music than the DJ there. When you heard your favorite RJ saying “This is Rohit (  or whatever the name is) and you’re listening to Radio One 94.3 (if its barker, then its Radio Indigo 91.9) FM” you drift into a day dream where you imagine the voice on the radio is yours and feel on top of the world with an involuntary smile !

Lets take a tour into the DJ and RJ world to understand what one needs to take on these exciting, emerging careers..

DJ or Disc Jockeys

Disc Jockey, DJ or Deejays, play music of his choice to entertain an audience. DJ’s  specialise in different genres of music like : House , hip-hop, R&B, pop , raggaeton, old school, lounge , pop etc…

The DJ industry offers may opportunities. In fact, one of the world’s fastest growing music markets is DJ related music. It is possible for DJing — beyond the pubs, clubs and parties.

There are a number of related occupations that DJ’s can take up like  music production, music journalism, DJ equipment designing, music store owner, DJ agent, DJ lighting director , DJ on a cruise ship ,copyright and licensing manager, recording studio technician and more!

What does it take to be a DJ? Being a DJ can be both fun and challenging. DJ’s get a lot of attention, they speak to celebrities, have a fan following and have the pleasure of entertaining people who share the common love of music. DJ’s have the opportunity to express themselves and showcase their personality.

To be a DJ one must have a few essential qualities like being a natural orator, outgoing , trustworthy ,well informed and is able to speak about a wide range of topics. A good DJ is someone who can build a rapport quickly with a variety of people from celebrities to the general public. However the most important qualities that one must have to be a DJ is passion for music, consistency to work hard and the insight to understand what the audience wants .

Also people are not born DJs. Yes they may be extempore speakers but a DJ reaches perfection over years of performance. It’s a boon for DJ’s to be witty , patient and ready for last minute changes . A good DJ is also conscious of time.

There are many challenges of being a DJ. DJ’s are under pressure of not letting their audience down. A DJ, for example, cannot let his mood or personal issues affect his performance and its not always easy to work alone. Even the working hours can be erratic and one need to be an excellent time manager.

RJ or Radio Jockey

Typically a Radio Jockey ( RJ ) is a person who hosts a radio talk / chat show where one person or group of people come together to discuss different subjects put forth by the RJ.

The RJ plays music selected by him/her or requested by the audience or music on popular demand.

Or a RJ hosts call-in show where they take live phone calls from callers listening in from home, cars, etc. RJ’s take requests via telephone or emails. However an RJ may or may not play music as he or she can also educate and inform the listeners.

Radio Jockeying is considered to be a ‘hot’ profession and a sought after career.

Radio industry in India

Radio, which till less than a decade ago was in the privy domain of the state broadcaster (All India Radio), has now been open to private investment for the last seven years. It has become the hottest sector for investment in the entertainment and media industry due to the following reasons:

*Huge growth potential due to the miniscule contribution of the Indian radio industry to the global radio industry which is estimated to be a staggering $ 58.8 billion

*As many as 300 FM radio licenses have been granted to private players. These cover about 91 cities, most of which till now were being serviced only by the state broadcaster.

*Increase in the number of radio stations due — around 700 new licenses expected to be issued to private FM stations in Phase 3.

*According to the FICCI-KPMG2009 Media & Entertainment Industry Report, the Indian radio industry is estimated to be Rs 16.3 billion by 2013.

*890 channels have got license this year ( 2009 ) and hence there is a growing need for RJ’s

*Discussions are on to increase the FDI limits in this sector from 20 per cent currently    to 49 per cent.  With the influx of so many radio channels setting up across India, there is an ever growing need for trained professionals who are ace radio programmers and have mastered the art of radio jockeying. At the in-house Radio Studio equipped with RCS software provides students a hands on experience to master the necessary skills.

Said a spokes person of Radio Indigo, the only full English channel in Bangalore, “Radio Jockeying is an exciting, promising and challenging career for those who have a passion for music. It is the only profession in which one may be recognised by their voice.”

The task of a RJ is to entertain the listeners by playing music or conveying messages in a most attractive and sophisticated way. This is a profession which requires a lot of hard work and presence of mind.

Mostly youngsters are preferred in this field as they have new ideas, concepts and are bubbling with enthusiasm.  Radio Indigo had floated a RJ hunt for which it had received thousands of applications and finally only two were selected.

The job

The job of a RJ  is not  a regular 9 to 5 one. RJ’s can be assigned to anchor a show anytime of the day or night. An RJ needs to select music, script and present radio shows. The personal style with which the RJ presents a programme, will increase or decrease the listener base for that show. Radio jockeys need to be familiar with sound equipment and computers.

One who is interested in this field must keep on observing how the RJ’s handle the themselves, interact with the listeners, how they answer sometimes tricky and awkward questions and comments from the listeners etc. Prospective candidates must listen to a lot of radio, try and come up with innovative ideas and pack their voice with energy.

It is definitely an advantage to have a professional degree to become a RJ. To be an RJ one needs very superior language skills (English as well as regional). Every successful Radio Jockey has their own style of communicating. To make an imprint in the listeners heart, apart from a good voice, the Radio Jockey should be warm, friendly, spontaneous, dynamic and must possess good communication skills. RJ’s must have a strong presence of mind, should be a sharp listener and have the ability to grab attention. They must have good voice control and be completely updated with knowledge of the latest music /songs .

The RJ must reflect the personality of the Radio Station. Organisations like  AIR (All India Radio), FM, Radio One , Radio Indigo and other independent radio stations hire RJ’s. Radio stations hold auditions frequently in various cities that one can appear for.

However the selection process is very competitive. Once selected RJ’s are usually given in-house training.

What else can the RJs do?

RJ’s can also do voice-overs for television, radio advertisements and documentaries. RJs can anchor TV shows and live events. RJ’s also have the scope of taking up the overall radio station management.

Got to work hard

Which ever career you choose there is no shortcut to success. Being and RJ or DJ is no different. But one must be ready for plenty of challenges, hard work and patience. One can, of course get professional training  for DJ or  RJ`s from some specialised institutes. Some better known names in India are as follows:

For DJ Schools: ILM Academy/ Soundskool- Bangalore, Azaredo Acoustics, Mumbai, Spin Gurus DJ and Remixing Academy, New Delhi, EMDI, Bangalore. And for RJ Schools: Academy of Broadcasting- Bangalore, Access Atlantec Edutainment, Big FM 92.7, Bangalore, EMDI, Bangalore, EMDI Encompass Institute of Radio Management and Center for Research in Art of Film and Television, New Delhi.

The writer is Head of South India, EMDI Institute of Media and Communication

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