Interested in the World of Jockeying? Read what these Legends have to say about this dynamic career choice

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Have you ever grooved to the beats of DJ Aqeel or been mesmerized by the confident voice dominating a Radio Channel? Whether its a Disk Jockey, Video Jockey or Radio Jockey, everyone wanted to be them because of the cool vibes they exuded. Even though it might seem like every 90s kid’s dream job, not many people are aware of the life of Jockey. What does the job profile of a Jockey usual entail? What makes it so different from other jobs? Delve into the lives of these pop and youth icons to know about their fabulous lives.

The world of jockeying saw a revolution around the 2000s. Radio, in particular, saw a sea of change. But today, the radio is no longer what it used to be. From the sober sounds of Akashvani, radio has metamorphosed into the non-stop lively, witty monologue of new players such as Radio Mirchi, Red FM, Radio City, etc. FM Radio had already bought in a brand new style of radio presentation, making it interactive and a lot more fun.
While RJs took over the radio world, it was all about the VJs on TV. With the advent and rapid rise in popularity of music channels like MTV and Channel V, the youth got new idols to look up to like Nikhil Chinappa, Cyrus Broacha and Cyrus Sahukar. Not only did they become pop idols, but they also went on to become household names.

Opportunities grew not only for RJs and VJs but for jockeying in general. All you needed to become a part of this world was the gift of gab and a passion for music and entertainment.
All work, some play Music jockeys broadly work in three areas—as DJs, RJs and VJs. But even as they fall under the same category, their aspects of music are very different from each other.

Disc Jockeys: A disc jockey or a DJ is someone who is mostly seen in discotheques and nightclubs, banging up the tunes for the crowd. They typically play from a selection of music that’s in tune with the rhythm of the audience. But that’s not all. It is not uncommon to see DJs at everything from private marriage celebrations to music concerts. They are quite literally your musical fix for everything.

Video Jockeys: Though we haven’t seen them for a long time now, VJs were the ‘It’ crowd of the youth back in the days. They used to host TV shows and live music programmes. The success of a VJ depended not only on how well they could speak, but also on how presentable they were.

Radio Jockeys: The coming of FM ushered in a new genre of the radio jockeys or RJs. Though their job is only to anchor music shows on the radio, while playing requests from listeners and interviewing guests, it is not uncommon to find them heavily involved in social causes due to the immense number of listeners they have a following with.

Spin That Disc

Parties and music encompass a DJ’s world, but the experience is far more than that. World-renowned DJ Bosco tells us more about his life as a DJ

YOU STARTED YOUR JOURNEY AS A DJ WAY BACK IN THE 90’S. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY GOT YOU INTO DJING? WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION BACK THEN?
It all started in college. I firmly remember that moment in my early college days. We had this afternoon jam session which I had happened to go for. I just kept watching this guy behind the console playing music and making the whole crowd dance with his tunes. It was at that moment that I thought I should this try too. The impact that I got from that Disc Jockey was so immense that I knew instantly that this was something I wanted to do as well.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT TO CONSIDER WHILE PERFORMING FOR A NEW CROWD?
I’ve been a freelancer for the last 20 years of my career, out of which for the last 15 years, I have personally been doing my own thing as a DJ for private parties. Through my experience, I have gained this power where I can read people’s mind and soul. Being spontaneous is my forte, but it was through reading the crowd’s tastes that I was successful in being able to play for any given crowd in any part of the globe.

WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE GENRE TO PERFORM?
Being an old school DJ, I have always liked retro from the late 70s to 90s. I love playing this genre as you can make anyone of any age dance to it. But if you ask me my favourite genre now, it would be pure House music. It just gives me lots of energy to play and make the crowd dance until the end of the night.

YOU HAVE BEEN AROUND THE GLOBE. HAVE YOU SEEN ANY SPECIFIC CROWD PREFERENCES IN MUSICAL TASTES ACROSS VARIOUS COUNTRIES?
Yes, I have seen various tastes in various countries. For e.g. In Spain, there are so many Indians that besides playing Bollywood, like Spanish music, which is also one of my personal favourites. In America RNB, hiphop and Hip House are the popular genres while in Asia, we mostly have a mixed genre ranging from commercial to EDM and Bollywood is like a must-play.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE TILL DATE?
I try to make all of my gigs memorable because I put a lot of hard work in to make it memorable for my clients. For me personally, though, my most memorable experience has been the moment when I played for Abhishek Bachchan’s sangeet ceremony and made whole film industry dance till wee hours. I remember Mr Bachchan coming over to me and hugging me, saying that I was the right person for tonight’s entertainment; I was so overjoyed when I heard that from him. I can honestly say it was the best moment in my career as a DJ so far.

DO YOU THINK IT IS NECESSARY TO GO THROUGH TRAINING INSTITUTES TO BECOME A DJ?
Yes, any newcomer now has to go through proper training to become a DJ. It helps you gain momentum and confidence and learn the basics of DJing.

WITH THE NEW RAGE OF EDM ARTISTS BECOMING POPULAR WORLD OVER, DO INDIAN DJ’S HAVE THE SAME POTENTIAL?
To be honest, I’m not an EDM fan. I’ve always respected pure House music. But I’m very happy to hear about these few Indian DJs out there who have even gone ahead to enter Beatport charts in EDM music.

Your favourite song:
How Deep is your Love – Calvin Harris
Your favourite video:
Lean On- Major Lazer
Favourite genre of music:
Pure House music
What do you love doing besides your job?
Spending time with my family, especially my kids
What has been the craziest request you received from your audience?
Someone from the audience at a corporate event asked me to play a Tamil song once. I played Apdi Pode Pode which turned out to be a Madrasi song, but he was happy at the end of it.

Radio Life

RJing is not all fun and games. Hrishikesh Kannan, popularly known as Hrishi K., producer and radio host for 94.3 Radio One tells us what it’s all about

YOU MADE A SHIFT FROM A BOLLYWOOD RJ TO AND ENGLISH MUSIC RJ. HOW HAS THIS TRANSITION BEEN?
Actually, life comes full circle. It is a little known fact that I actually started my career in the 90s doing English/International radio. My first radio presentation job was at the Times FM when the government first opened the airwaves to private players. When the big radio boom happened, I moved to regular Bollywood heavy, desi CHR (current hit radio) format stations as that are what seemed popular at that time. Having grown up with Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar blaring out of my speakers along with Sting, Bryan Adams, The Doors and Led Zeppelin is what helped in my move across the genres of music.
And now, in the fourth year of Radio One’s international format, I’m back doing what I started my career with! So that’s the story, morning glory!

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE MOST POPULAR CONTENT OF YOUR SHOW AND YOUR INSPIRATIONS FOR IT?
Every day is unique – it’s a 5-hour daily show so a world of content is covered. The idea is to curate conversations for listeners that can add value to their lives. We start off on Monday with my favourite part of the week, the finance show where we simplify numbers and financial concepts. Come Tuesday I talk current affairs and city happenings – anything from the Sheena Bora murder case to storm water drains. Everything from gadget and app reviews, food trails and book reviews, movie comparisons and backpack travel take up the rest of the week. Apart from all of this, we also cover inspirational people for the corporate, media, sports and entertainment worlds. Personalities like Adi Godrej, Gautam Singhania, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Salman Rushdie, Chetan Bhagat, Amish have all been on the air with me. Anu Aga, Flavia Agnes, Bittu Sehgal; people who make a difference to society have also shared their life and times with me.

WOULD YOU SAY BEING SPONTANEOUS IS A PREREQUISITE OF BECOMING A RADIO JOCKEY? WHICH OTHER QUALITIES WOULD ONE NEED TO BE A GREAT RJ?
Constantly reading and keeping abreast of what’s happening in the city and world and listening to music – in particular, the format that you are working in. Work hard and create a foundation and then use that knowledge to improvise intuitively on the spot/mike.

DON’T YOU THINK RADIO HAS BECOME TOO COMMERCIAL WITH HEAPS OF BRAND ACTIVATIONS AND IS TAKING AWAY FROM PURE MUSIC?
There is space for all formats – pure music or pure talk or a hybrid of music and talk like we do at Radio One – the trick is to do it right. In fact, brand activations, if done intelligently help decongest the inventory of ads and add value to mainstream programming.

Your favourite song:
Charlie Brown – Coldplay
Your favourite video:
Digging in The Dirt – Peter Gabriel
Favourite genre of music:
Rock
What do you love doing besides your job?
Eating and travelling
What has been the craziest request you received from your audience?
A girl once professed love to me on air; so that was the craziest thing that has happened to me till date.

jockeying


Where Are All The VJs?

In a time where VJs have almost disappeared, we talk to VJ Gaelyn Mendonca about what VJing was all about, and what happened to them

YOU WON THE MTV VJ HUNT IN 2013. TELL US MORE ABOUT THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE.
The VJ Hunt was amazing in every way for me. It was a great way for me to go out there, be myself and be appreciated for it. I made some great friends through the process and I’m eternally grateful for that.

WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN THE VJ HUNT IN 2013, BY WHEN VJS HAD BECOME QUITE SCARCE?
Much like most people my age, I’ve grown up watching MTV. I’ve even tried calling Nikhil several times on Select. I loved the fact that VJs were these young, energetic, uber cool people; so different from everyone that was on television at that time. So when I got the opportunity to give it a shot, it was only natural that I went all out.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT BEING A VJ?
If you’re a good VJ, no challenge is big enough. A host of VJs are known to host events or reality TV shows. What is the reason behind this correlation? The thing that separates VJs from scripted TV anchors is spontaneity and the fact that they are more relatable. The audiences like a person who they feel they could actually have a conversation with. This is why VJs end up hosting events and reality shows a lot more than others. VJs are not as popular today as they were in earlier days.

WHAT, ACCORDING TO YOU IS THE REASON FOR THAT?
Well, that’s not entirely true. We still have a lot of people rooting for us. But having said that, the programming on music channels has changed immensely which most definitely has led to VJs not being as out there as they used to be.

MUSIC CHANNELS ACROSS THE COUNTRY BECOMING MORE ENTERTAINMENT-RELATED AND LESS MUSIC-ORIENTED. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS?
Personally, music trumps everything for me. However, the audiences viewing music channels have changed immensely, and so the network is trying to maintain a balance between both music and entertainment. I’m just glad that we still go out there and make shows like Coke Studio, Bloc Party and Unplugged which keep the music alive.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOU AN ASPIRING VJ?
Be yourself and be confident. You’re good enough. You always were.

Your favourite song:
Stay by Rihanna/ Latch by Sam Smith.
Your favourite video:
Run the world (Girls) by Beyonce.
Favourite genre of music:
Blues and Bollywood.
What do you love doing besides your job?
Baking! I make really good healthy treats.
What has been the craziest request you received from your audience?
To do my Rakhi Sawant impersonation at a formal live gig.