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CAREER IN RADIO JOCKEYING


Debajyoti Sarma Borbora

 

When I was young, I listened to the radio/ Waiting for my favourite songs…/
When they played, I would sing along/It made me smile…/ Those were such happy times/
And that’s so long ago/ How I wonder where they’ve gone! /
… But they are back again/Just like a long lost friend…/
It’s yesterday once more! Karen Carpenter (Vocalist, Carpenters band)

 

Yes, it’s yesterday once more… the radio is back, the good old days are back. The radio which had been the best friend of many a culturally inclined person had lost its popularity with the advent of the television. However, of late, the radio has started gaining the lost glory of the last few decades, thanks to the emergence of a livelier, more enthusiastic and youth-oriented FM culture. The introduction of FM broadcast is of special significance to developing countries. It has become popular in India within a short time. Its objective is qualitative improvement in broadcast. The growth in the FM sector has generated employment related to entertainment, management and electronics.
Many, especially the young, are much interested in making a career in the FM industry. Any person who has been gifted with an attractive radio-friendly voice may become a radio jockey provided the person has the gift of the gab and the knack in impressive entertaining oral presentation. Creativity, wit, presence of mind and sense of humour will help the person in becoming successful as radio jockey. Another requirement is vast knowledge of the music world – including biographies of music personalities, music history, essential data related to music and idea of the different genres of music. Not only of music, one must have significant information related to the world of entertainment, art, culture and current affairs.
The most important thing that must be in one who wants to be a radio jockey is love for the radio and passion for the job of radio jockey. Ask good radio jockeys about their work; they will react in surprise, “Work?” Then they will explain, “We don’t work. Rather we get six holidays a week. We just enjoy our time in the studio- talking, playing songs, listening to the songs with the listeners… and at the end, we get paid for enjoying ourselves!” Yes, one should choose this profession not just for the glamour associated to it but for the passion to get the sheer pleasure that it gives.

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It is true that if you have the passion and the gift of the gab and of voice, you can be a radio jockey but not without some training. The wrappers of the gifts that you possess must be removed so that the real gifts can be used productively. Training will help you in doing that. Training will help you in seeing, realizing and polishing your talents and becoming specifically equipped for the job. You may have a God-gifted voice but it is always better if you get trained in voice modulation, intonation, accentuation, articulation, projection, pronunciation and other paralinguistic features. It is like a person with an undoubtedly silvery voice but attending a few music lessons before becoming a professional singer. A radio jockey aspirant should have good and impressive writing skills too as radio jockeys often write their own scripts. A rich vocabulary, good grammar and correct use of language are some other strong pillars on which the artifice of a radio jockey career stands.
Though it is true that artistes are not made, they are born; but it is fact that those who are born artistes need some specific upbringing which is received through training. Training in a job-oriented institute can help the trainee in getting due placement too. Training facilitates contacts and helps in developing one’s personality in the right way for the job. A vocational training of a few months or a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism will help you land in an advantageous position.
As far as financial gains are concerned, a radio jockey can expect a good salary with incentives and increments. A radio jockey can later get promoted to the post of Program Head and other top posts. A radio jockey can earn extra money by anchoring stage shows, giving voice-overs to documentaries and advertisements, and also by training radio jockey aspirants as guest trainers in reputed institutes. Moreover, one may work part time as RJ and devote to another profession in the remaining hours. Several avenues get opened for the deserving versatile radio jockeys in due course of time.
However, the path may not be rosy in every case. The job has its own challenges. Study, diligence, smartness, innovativeness, some luck and energy in abundance are required to survive and succeed in this sector. So, before choosing this profession, ask yourself, “Am I passionate about it? Will I love doing it? Or have I chosen it just because I want what the RJs have got- popularity, stardom and dazzling glamour?” Remember, the last three are just like bubbles in a glass of water; but your passion to become an artiste in the form of RJ is the river that flows on to the sea of happiness, the ocean of bliss. If you have it, you can fly like a lark in the sky of your dreams with radio wings…!

 

The writer is RJ Deiv, Radio Gupshup 94.3 FM.
He is also an English Educator and Radio Person

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