You will be sitting in a booth, surrounded by audio equipment and your voice will be filling up the airwaves. All radio shows are packaged keeping a certain audience in mind. You will be wooing this target audience with your persona. A radio jockey is different from a disc jockey as you will not just introduce the tracks but you will also talk about them.
The role of a radio jockey is not restricted to playing music. You will be called upon to read the news and make important announcements. Conducting interviews with celebrities and moderating group discussions also form a part of your responsibilities.
A lot of work goes on before a show is aired. You will have to do the initial research, prepare your script and decide as to how you want the programme to run. Of course you will be assisted by scriptwriters, producers and other executives. But at the end of the day it is your show.
Hey good news folks! For once looks really do not matter. The requirements of a Radio Jockey are far different than that for a television jockey. Here what matters is your voice. Now, everybody doesn't have the voice of an Amitabh Bachchan or a James Earl Jones. But that is not important. You should have a clear diction. This means that you should be able to talk clearly and be understood. No formal education is required as such (although you should be able to read and write!).
What however is very essential is the ability to modulate your voice. No, this is not some great science that you have to master. It is just that you should be able to control the pitches of your voice and learn to use them to the best effects. More than voice, one must also have good communication skills. At the end of the day an RJ must know his/her audience & talk accordingly For instance, if you are hosting a programme for teenagers, you have to sound bouncy and bubbly. On the other hand you need to sound serious and mature for an older audience.
Radio requires a passion for music. Knowledge of music is not as much a necessity as love for music. You also must be able to put across your personality through your voice. This is important as your attitude and persona will set you apart from others and cultivate a loyal audience. You will need to be well-read and keep yourself updated.
Then there are the technical aspects that you need to know like operating the CD players, the Sound Mixers and other digital equipments. Then there are aspects of being on a live show like blending in your voice to the background music and cutting your chatter right before the lyrics begin. These are some of the stuff that you learn by trial and error.
Presence of mind is required in this business. From covering up audio goof-ups to calming down nervous wrecks, you will have to utilise those grey cells to the maximum. Work timings are erratic and you should be prepared to be up at four O' clock on a Sunday morning to do a show at 6.00 am.
AIR has a two-month in-house training course for its radio jockeys, auditions for which are held every three months. Radio Mirchi recruits RJ’s through an annual RJ hunt, where auditions are followed by a screening process.
You could train at EMDI- Encompass Institute of Radio Management, Noel K’s Radio Jockeying classes or the Xavier Institute of Communication.
The first thing that you have to do is audition. Your voice is tested to see how it sounds over the radio. But it is not just your voice but your personality that will also be taken into consideration. You could work for radio stations like AIR (All India Radio), Times FM, Radio Mid-Day and other such independent radio stations.
But that's not the only avenue for you. You could do voice-overs for Ad films and even host events and shows. Of course there is also the option of turning into a Video Jockey. Then there is the emerging arena of online jockeying.
The radio industry is expected to grow at a rate of 32 per cent per annum over the next 5 years, opening up a plethora of opportunities for those who aspire for a career in the field. Previously, there was only AIR. This meant that the government had monopoly over the airwaves. Then FM (Frequency Modulation) was opened to the private sector in the same way as satellite television was allowed and suddenly there was a big boom. FM is growing and the demand for people to fill up the ever-increasing number of slots is increasing proportionately.
Players in the Indian publishing industry such as the Times Group and Mid-Day group too have taken a keen interest in FM, which indicate a healthy growth in this industry.
If you want to be a part of the Radio Industry, you could also try your hand in Programme Direction where you will decide the “sound” of the station and lead the programming team. You could also be a Radio Producer where you will work closely with the Programming Director. Your duties will include developing programmes and coordinating technical requirements like equipment and the radio set-up etc. You could also be employed as a script writer at a radio station. Other options include Station Manager, Studio/sound Engineer. On the corporate aspect you could be a part of the marketing team which deals with studying consumer tastes, target segments and market trends. The sales team, on the other hand, has to sell air time to advertisers.