If you think you like talking to people and you can raise your voice on a platform where thousands of people will hear you, then being an RJ is your call for life. RJing as a profession seems like a fun job, but it has so many nuisances that a person can only experience once he/she enters this field. It is not what it may seem to you as a listener. So to answer all these queries we contacted RJ Abhilash from Fever 104, who will answer all your queries related to this profession.
RJ Abhilash who hosts the the morning show called ‘Dilli Ke Do Dabang’ with RJ Manu on Fever 104 is a multi talented person. He is a full time RJ, along with that he has hosted Formula F1 in India, he has hosted all the IPL matches last season in Delhi, and now he is hosting World Kabaddi League as well. With such extensive experience in so less time, Abhilash is like one man army in the world of entertainment. Our Correspondent Priyanka Tiwari had an Interview with him to decode the ' What & How' of career in the field of Radio.
Priyanka : If a youngster is aspiring to become an RJ, at what point he/she should start putting serious efforts?
Abhilash : (Laughs) First of all you don’t have to be serious to become an RJ. People listen to radio since their childhood, so if they have an interest in becoming an RJ they should start preparing right after they complete their 12th. People should not waste their time doing engineering and then suddenly think of becoming an RJ. An RJ is a very well informed person, you should pursue Journalism or Mass communication in your graduation so that you have a good know how of what is going around in the world. Then you can evaluate yourself well before opting for a career in radio, because radio is not only about being an RJ, it has multiple other dimensions as well.
Priyanka: What are the skills of an RJ and what is the role of a professional degree in such a career?
Abhilash: As I said earlier, a Mass Communication or Journalism graduate has an edge over other graduates. A student of mass comm. is well aware of a console, fader, editing, going live etc, all technical details related to radio, which a layman won’t know. They are well informed, they know current, affairs general knowledge etc, and they can indulge well in discussions. So if you ask an RJ who is the president of India and he replies ‘let me Google it’ then he/she is a lost cause. An RJ is a fun person but at the same time he should be very intelligent and informed. Now if we talk about skills, you should be able to talk, that’s a priority, and the person you are talking with should get completely comfortable talking to you. So interpersonal communication and being friendly are two major skills a person should have to become an RJ.
Priyanka: Usually feshers think, they’ll become an RJ on the first day of their job.. Is that possible? If not, then what should be the strategy they should move on with?
Abhilash: I became an Rj on the first day of my job, so it is 100% possible to become and RJ on the first day of your job, but for that you need to be exceptional. But if we go by conventions, the standard way to do it is to take up internships in a radio station, so that you can know how a radio station functions. In the internship you are not only observing the RJ’s work but you are also seeing how the producer, copywriter, a sound engineer and all the technical staff works. You can be a sound engineer, you can be a music manager, you can be a producer, you can get into broadcasting and obviously you can be a Radio Jockey. So an internships provides you with an opportunity to explore and decide for yourself.
Priyanka: What activities or hobbies should an aspiring RJ develop to do better in his/her career?
Abhilash: The best hobby you can develop is theatre. In theater you play with emotions and expressions, so you can modulate your speech accordingly. Theatre makes you bold and vocal, it teaches you a thousand ways to express. So your voice is your identity, a lot of RJs are not very good looking but they have a character in their voice. You identify them with that character. Whatever you perceive of them is because of that voice and character.
Priyanka: An RJ’s USP is his voice, so are there any voice exercises or tricks that a person can use to improve his/ her voice quality?
Abhilash: It is a sham that gargling can improve your voice and make it sweeter. You will hear a lot of RJs with terrible voices, but they have a character with which they play on radio. It is a completely wrong perception that you should have a very deep or husky voice or a very sweet melodious voice to become an RJ. You need to have a character, for example you can be very quirky, or very serious and deep. Every RJ has his own identity and that’s what make them unique, a good voice is an added advantage but it definitely not the only thing that can make you an RJ. You should have conviction to engage your audience.
Priyanka: What are other career options that a person can purse along with being an RJ?
Abhilash: To answer this question, I can tell you about myself, I have given my voice to Cartoon Network, Hungama Channel, Disney, National geographic, History Channel, NDTV, all the big names you can think of, as a voice over artist. Currently I am hosting world kabbadi league on Sony Six. I have also shot two movies in Bollywood. So from this you can figure out what all arenas you can explore in this industry. The scope is endless if you are good.
Priyanka: How easy or difficult it gets to manage so many tasks at one time?
Abhilash: It gets very difficult to manage, I host a show early in the morning and then at night I have to host World kabaddi league from 7 to 11, so it gets a bit hectic, but that’s what I always wanted to do in life. So, life is good so far. Anybody who loves to work, like I do, can easily manage all of that. I am enjoying it!
Priyanka: What do you think is the future of radio industry?
Abhilash: Radio is going to get huge, with the phase 3 of radio in India, a lot of radio stations will come up in big cities as well as smaller ones. People who have been listening to only AIR in smaller cities will now have access to upcoming private channels. So of course with rising demands, the scope for radio professionals will rise. A lot of jobs will be generated and the scope will be massive.
Priyanka: What is the minimum salary a fresher can expect in this field and how much can he/she earn after gaining good experience?
Abhilash: An experienced radio jockey can earn 8-10 lakhs a month and a fresher who is potential and good enough can make 35-40 thousands in big cities like Delhi, Mumbai etc. But of course the picture differs in smaller cities, a fresher in smaller cities can get 15-20 thousands.
Priyanka: Can you share some tips for aspiring RJs?
Abhilash: I have learnt a lot from listening to radio. I used to listen to almost all RJs, what they said and how they said it. I used to read a lot about radio and kept tiny details in mind. So if you are an aspiring RJ, start listening to radio, observe and learn. Only having a degree is not going to help you. Apply to all the radio stations for internships and gain experience while you are at it.
Priyanka: When you were planning to become an RJ, what kind of advice might have helped you.
Abhilash: I have been lucky enough to be learning while earning. Not everybody is so lucky, so never needed an advice. I started working in radio when I was in second year of my college and I figured out my ways on my own. I have learnt a lot on my own, and things have been great so far.
Priyanka: Is there any advice/tip that would like to give to our readers.
Abhilash: First and foremost, start listening to radio. Apply to every possible internship if you want to work in a radio station. There is no dearth of opportunities. So start early and don’t wait for opportunities, keep trying you’ll get one soon.