Disc Jockeys DJs


"It's not about what the equipment does; it's about what you can do through that equipment. That's where the soul is." - Ritchie Hawtin

Disc Jockeys are professionals who entertain an audience by playing recorded music for them. Disc Jockeys are more popularly known as ‘DJs’. There are many types of Disc Jockeys; some play music at parties and concerts. They are known as Club DJs. Their main purpose is to entertain the audience and make them dance through mixing music and sounds. Radio Disc Jockeys are professionals who interact with listeners, organize contests, conduct interviews and disseminate information apart from playing music for a wide audience. They are also known as ‘RJs’ or ‘Radio Jockeys’. Video Jockeys are anchors and presenters on popular music channels on the television. They face the camera and interact with a huge audience while introducing them to new music. They are also responsible for playing video songs.

DJs, RJs and VJs are extremely talented professionals with a lot of similarities. All three of them rely on their understanding of the likes and dislikes of the audience. They face a lot of competition in their respective fields. Usually, VJs are paid the most, then the RJs and then the DJs. But this massively depends on your reputation and ability rather than your career. The future of all three careers is considered to be bright due to the advent of new music and radio channels as well as the growing awareness about different types of music amongst the masses.

What do DJs/RJs/VJs do?

The main aim of all the three is to entertain the audience by playing good music. RJs and VJs use their sense of humor and social skills to interact with the audience through live phone – in interviews as well as by talking about various topics that the audience will be interested in. Disc Jockeys also use their social skills during performances to gather the mood of the audience and interact with them. All three professionals mostly focus on talking without a complete script, even though they pre – plan the topics they’re going to talk about during the show.

The main job of a DJ/RJ/VJ is to entertain the audience by playing music of their choice. There are some DJs who focus on a particular genre of music as per their interests. RJs and VJs on the other hand choose to play popular music so as to entertain the widest possible audience.
All three professionals are organized and come with pre – planned playlists to shows and programs. They make playlists at home that are mostly a compilation of songs that they will be playing during the event or the program. These songs are chosen keeping in mind the likes and dislikes of the audience as well as the theme of the show.

Interacting with the audience is a major part of the job for RJs and VJs. Even though DJs also interact with the audience, but the interaction is minimal. RJs and VJs are constantly interacting with the audience through polls, live interviews, prank calls etc.

A task that all DJs, RJs and VJs have to perform is to take requests. DJs are often bombarded with requests during any party or event. Even though it is difficult for them to comply to these requests every time, they have to adhere to them as much as possible so as to keep the audience happy. RJs and VJs have special song request shows where listeners and viewers from a vast area call and request songs.

A lot of DJs create their own sounds and songs, even though this is not applicable in a major sense to RJs and VJs. DJs use their equipment like turntables, mixers and music software to come up with new sounds and new beats. Disc ‘scratching’ is an example of a DJ – created sound.

RJs and VJs constantly inform and update the audience about a wide variety of topics such as weather, traffic, news etc. They also conduct interviews of eminent personalities. DJs are also involved in giving information to the audience, but that is on a minimal level and is limited to topics like the venue for the next gig, the time the club will shut down etc.

DJs and VJs have to constantly handle the video part of music as well. This is not applicable to RJs as the medium of radio does not have scope for any video transmission. DJs have to constantly handle the graphics that are displayed on giant screens during concerts and parties. VJs constantly look for good music videos and play them for the audience.

How to become a DJ / RJ / VJ ?

DJs/RJs/VJs are confident and outgoing people who have the ability to keep a track of time and the audience’s mood. RJs and VJs focus on broadcasting whereas DJs normally focus on entertaining a smaller audience within a smaller space. RJs and VJs select the music they have to broadcast and come up with program schedules. As the three careers are similar, the way to becoming a professional is also similar.

Even though there are no necessary educational qualifications required for DJs, RJs and VJs, most companies do not prefer to hire professionals who are not graduates. In school, you should concentrate on all subjects and co – curricular activities. This will help develop your overall personality. Participating in debates and theater can help develop public speaking skills and an interesting personality.

Once you complete your schooling, you should choose to pursue a graduation in Radio Broadcasting or related fields. You can also choose to pursue diploma courses that offer specific training for DJs, RJs and VJs. Formal education in your specific field will help you gain an in – depth knowledge of the subject and make it easier for you to climb the ladder of success.

To get into any of the three fields, you should work as an intern in as many places as possible. Aspiring RJs and VJs should work as an intern in radio stations and music channels. Aspiring DJs should preferably assist a DJ or start practicing on your own through computer based mixing software.

Networking is very, very essential in all three fields. As there is massive competition, establishing good relationships with important people can help people be aware of your abilities and talent, as well as convince them in preferring you over others.

To become a DJ, you need to have your equipment. Even though most places have their own DJ setups, owning your own equipment will provide with more flexibility while choosing jobs. It is important to invest as little as possible during the initial years. Working with free software, buying normal laptops and cheaper equipment that includes only turntables and a mixer are some cost – cutting options. RJs and VJs should become well versed with the equipment that is present in radio studios and television studios respectively.

Gaining musical knowledge is absolutely essential if you want to be a part of any of these three fields. Listen to all kinds of music, including the recent songs as well as really old songs. You should research about musicians and the history of music. This will help you while chatting with the audience. A strong knowledge base in the technical basics of music can be a great help.

You need to develop an interesting personality if you want to get into any of the three professions. People should develop an instant liking towards you. You should come across as confident, funny and intelligent. Working on your public speaking skills and diction can help in becoming more confident and likeable.


There are many reputed institutions in India that offer courses in fields related to Disc Jockeying, Radio Jockeying and Video Jockeying. Courses in mass communication and journalism can be helpful for all three professions. Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi and St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai offer great post graduate courses in Mass Communication. Lady Shriram College, Delhi and the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune are really good institutions for undergraduate courses in Mass Communication.

You can also join courses for any of the three disciplines. Spin Gurus DJ and Remixing Academy is a reputed institute that offers training in Disc Jockeying. For RJs, Academy of Radio and Mobile in Delhi is a good institute. The University of Mumbai also offers certificate courses in Radio Jockeying. The Amity School of Communication, Uttar Pradesh offers a good Post Graduate course in Visual Communication.

What are the skills required to become DJ/RJ/VJ?

Similar skills are required to become a part of any of the three professions. They need to have a very strong knowledge base in music and its technicalities, genres and styles. They should also know about the technicalities of their respective professions and how to operate equipment. They should be creative, talented, spontaneous and confident. Excellent communication and social skills are a necessity in any of the three professions. They should have good public speaking skills and should possess the ability to entertain the audience through their sense of humor. They should have excellent organizational skills so that there are no problems during a performance or a show. They should also be ready to practice and hone their skills constantly. Most importantly, they should have a genuine desire to know more about music and its types, and use their knowledge to entertain and enthrall the audience.

Is this the right career for me?

DJs, RJs and VJs lead very similar lives. They have to often work for long, irregular hours. All three are physically tiring jobs that need constant concentration. Neither of the three professions offers job security and professionals often tend to feel lonely as they have to work alone. On the other hand, all three are jobs that offer creative freedom, good pay, fame and glamour.

Competition is almost a constant in the lives of DJs, RJs and VJs. If you’re a person who’s interested in a career that will offer him job security and regular income, and if you’re not okay with working for long and irregular hours, then none of the three careers is for you. But if you are creative and interested in music, and want to use your musical knowledge to entertain people without caring for long hours, then this is the perfect career for you.


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