‘My voice is my power’ – Career as a Radio Jockey

A Radio Jockey, The voice behind the curtains

So how many of you don’t know the very famous RJ Praveen of Red FM 93.5? I don’t know many people in India who won’t – he whirled the industry of Radio Jockey. And mind you, it was solely because of his voice which 1000’s of people wanted to hear daily. Well, who is going to beat the excitement when the channel said, ‘Morning No 1 pe aaya Praveen.

No exception to this is RJ Malishka, who had the courage to beat all the odds to become one of the most sought for women RJ’s (among the very few) in the industry. If you have also dreamt of being the most admirable voice of India, then let’s help you turn this dream into a reality.

What is a Radio Jockey?

Before I tell you, what a radio jockey is – you tell me what a jockey is? Well, A Jockey is the one who operates, pilots and race the horses. Similarly, a radio jockey is the maneuver of the radio but that’s not it, the main function of an RJ is to keep the audience so much entertained that when they wish to change the channel their hands wave back. And believe me its one hell of a job when you aren’t seen and your voice is all you have!

Now you are sure to ask me, ‘but how do I introspect if I am made for RJ?’ Well let me figure out some skills and characteristics that make you an RJ already. (And don’t worry if you don’t have them, you can always develop!)

  • Talk, Talk and Talk more: HAHA, so for all of them who wished if talking could be profession, they could earn millions – this is you stage, pick up the mic and start talking! But, remember people should love your voice as much you love it.
  • Think at your tip-toe: Usually, the saying goes like, thinking at your feet which means instant wise decisions, here I will say think at your ‘tip-toe.’ Yes, you have to be that active and prompt – your every word, every sentence is going to be live, So you can’t delay your punches, whole world will be listening to you.
  • Carry your own style: No one is going to remember you if you try to copy someone, mimicry is a different thing though. Radio is all about being ‘the only one who can be you.’
  • Entertaining, engaging and enthralling: Let these three ‘E’s be the ultimatum of your life and no one can stop you from being the next most talked about RJ. Your means of entertaining will not matter until the audience is loving it – play songs, crack jokes, interview people, troll them, host unique shows, imitate celebrities and do whatever it takes to make your auditor scream, ‘No, No, just don’t change the channel. I love him/her!’
  • Know your tools well: This is something you are going to learn on the job. But you very well need to learn all the features and techniques to handle your system because while you are live there is no scope for mistakes,

Pro Tip: If you make one don’t get nervous, either admit it afterall your audience is your family and like very human you can make some mistakes too or learn to hide it without even a hint left behind.

  • Your GK should be bang on: Very Very Important, you just have to be aware of everything that’s going around you. Otherwise what are you going to talk about? People are not going to waste their valuable time on you if you don’t give them some productive information.
  • Exceptional Voice Modulation: You should know which phrase will be better heard in a low pitch and which sentence will have a better influence when it’s said at a high tone – and this isn’t possible if your voice modulation skills aren’t exceptional. Professionals will also guide you with this if you plan on taking a career course of RJing.
  • Accurate pronunciation:  You need to pronounce your chosen words in the right manner. A few verbal exercise and tongue twister might help you develop this skill.

Related Article:  Communication is an art – Some tips to help you ace that speech!

Now when you know that, RJ is your-thing, where will you begin with? Studies, Ofcourse. So let’s see, what are the educational qualifications you will need to pursue this career of ‘Voice:’

RJ’ing doesn’t call for a specialized degree neither there are many institutes that host a proper degree course in degree course. But you need to be a graduate, be it from any stream (preferably mass communication) to crack a decent job.

Also, there are few institutes which provide diploma or certifications in radio-jockey, it will be a great choice to apply for them – it will teach you different voice modulations and techniques to be fabulous at your work.

RJ, is one of those professions which you learn majorly while you work. So your work experience will be a major reasoning whether or not you will get your dream job. So consider internships while you are still studying so that you build a string work-base.

Preparation: If you want to ace your audition the next day, give you voice enough rest so that it doesn’t sound cracked or weary. Drink sufficient water and practice your session virtually, like in your mind. If you want to have a live practice, do it a week before the actual audition. Think of all the creative phrases which can mark your presence and of course give your best and I assure you nothing can stop you from reaching the sky.

All India Radio..

In India, AIR or All India Radio holds auditions every three months and if you are selected you are also given a two-month training, post which you can work under them too. So if you are in India, this is one of your best choices!

What more?

The times have evolved when the Rjs only did the talking, now they are supposed to do a lot lot more. They are expected to write scripts for their shows and necessarily be as fluent as water in their command over language. A lot of times you can also be hired for voice-overs for advertisements, documentaries and even movies!

One of your job role will also be Music programming – it’s basically a form of music production where you use electronic devices to generate music. And rest everything depends on your creativity and passion, and how you sow the seeds of curiosity in your audience to carve to listen to you!

And now when you know what your job will be and what will you need for it, there’s just one thing that must be holding you back and that is ‘Will I be paid enough so that I can earn myself a good living?’ Right? So here’s your answer –

In Us dollars, the median salary of all the RJ’s was $35,000 and is expected a huge growth in coming years.

And in India, with so many radio channels popping up everyday, the career growth of Radio jockey is to take quite a plunge in the coming years and so will the demand and salary. At present, a fresher earns Rs 10,000 per month. But the sooner you gain popularity the sooner you will find yourself earning in six digits.

So here I am, at the end of this exciting career course just like every other article, and the worst part of this is that I have to bid you goodbye until I find another unconventional career which has so many undiscovered opportunities.

And until the next time we meet, keep charming people with your Oh-so-amazing voice and I hope to listen to you soon when I switch on my radio the next time. Just, don’t forget to tell me the channel in the comments below. HAHA! 😛

All the best, RJs. Keep rocking, the world is your stage!

(Article contributed by Surabhi Kedia)

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