With the advent of various music channels on TV, Video jockeying is becoming an exciting career option for the music crazy generation. The main job of the VJ is to introduce music videos and host music related shows on Television. But as competition increases, music channels are on the trend of incorporating many diverse shows to attract the public, especially the youth. So the VJ's area of work involves apart from introducing videos; hosting game to travel shows to youth forums, chatting with the public, doing interviews with artists and music celebrities etc. In short, they act as intermediary figures between the audience and the musicians or music videos. It may also involve off- camera work like deciding on the theme and choosing the songs to suit the theme of the show, participating in promotionals like road shows, attending theme parties and with experience, even writing script for the show at times.
VJs must constantly keep up-to-date on the latest trends in music, all the latest videos and information about music stars and other celebrities. In that sense, they take upon a more journalistic role. They also should have a well-rounded knowledge of all types of music and also should be informed about a bit of everything from films to politics to travel whatever the theme the show demands. Some of them specialize in a particular area or genre of music. They must be able to answer any queries about music and must fulfill their roles as experts. Vj's interact with the viewers through telephone, e-mail or fax.
Jockeying generally involves three areas and as such Jockeys are called a Video Jockey (VJ), Radio Jockey (RJ) and Disc Jockey (DJ). They all deal with music but while VJ's present shows on TV, RJ's do it on Radio and DJ's in live shows in clubs, restaurants, Music stores etc.
No specific educational background or formal training is required to be a VJ, except some personal attributes. However a background in mass communication, visual communication or the performing arts comes in handy.
An interest and love for music is an essential aspect. Along with that, excellent body language and dress sense, a pleasant voice, good command over the required language depending on the medium, presence of mind and a good knowledge of music anyone can aspire to be a VJ. One has to get to know about the various styles of music, musicians and albums. With the changing trends one also needs to be well informed generally on topics like politics, travel and what is new.
Command over language is important as video jockey needs to talk a lot. Some amount of voice training would definitely help as VJs need a voice that's clear, pleasant and strong. He should be able to take split second decisions, answer promptly, be energetic and have a wonderful sense of humour to make the show interesting. He may also need to work erratic hours and travel extensively.
VJs are mainly employed by Music channels, Producers of music shows and film based programmes.
Besides popular prospective employers like MTV, Channel V, B4U music, MCM Asia etc, there are many number of channels including regional ones who are in demand of VJ's. But it is not easy to get a break in the field. You may be employed on a contract basis per show or on a full time basis. There will be paper adds calling VJ's or VJ hunts advertised on TV. The selection will be tough, which may include a test on paper, on voice modulation or facing the camera. Your screen presence, physique and voice, and ability to stand out in the crowd will go a long way in being selected.
Once you are selected, there is no such thing as hierarchy in this profession. Beginners with talent may get to handle their own shows within the first 6 months. It mainly depends on your ability. Besides the excellent pay, you get to host shows in the country or abroad, meet celebrities, and be on the glam walk of life. Keeping up the popularity for long is not easy and as such this profession is a short lived one. The rule is make hay while it lasts. But the profession gives you ample scope to diversify to various fields such as Modeling, Theatre (direction/acting), Film (acting), Music videos (directing/acting/choreography), Anchoring, News casting, PR etc. that generally VJ's do. The more popular you get through veejaying the more the choices you may have.
There is a great scope for the profession with the explosion of satellite channels and more and more music channels being launched. The success of the music show depends entirely on the VJ's ability to connect with the audience and make them come back for more. Although this is a short lived career, within that short time span, a successful VJ can earn between 10,000 to 25000, running up to lakhs depending upon the popularity of the show. Apart from the earnings, the glamour and popularity associated with the profession attracts youngsters to the field.