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Disc jockey

Every party has its own centre of gravity which fortunately or unfortunately happens to be the guy who does best with his fingers- Your friendly neighborhood D.J. And for all those people who have that wide eyed look of awe every time this dude (not to sound sexist but they usually are dudes) grabs the microphone, please read on!

P.S – If you do become a D.J, please play GOOD music and most of all PLAY JUNTA’S REQUESTS!

Pehla Break
The only way to get into this profession is as assistant to the big boss DJs. Unless of course your papaji decides to open a discotheque for you! So be prepared to pass CDs from the rack and check the mixer every time it goes kaput and also when the CDs skips watch out for the ‘ What the f*** are you doing maan?’ line from your superior. Remember- only a DJ can teach you to be a DJ. Did you even understand what is a mixer? If you did, you must be a DJ or a party animal, if you did not and want to be one real bad then you need help! There are some training institutes but they will only tell you all about the technicalities and equipment involved. The balls that you have to juggle are knowing the musical taste of the crowd that you are playing for. That is the most crucial detail because a very common chant that your listeners adopt is ‘Start the f***ing music’. It will freak you out! eg in Mumbai the suburbs have more of a commercial taste in music and the town- side have an inclination towards techno. See the difference in one city only?!

Words That Make You Go Oooh…
C.D Players, Mixers, the rack, turn-tables, the system, the console etc. The essential equipment that a D.J needs costs anywhere between rupees 10,000 to 2,00,000. In the beginning you can hire it but in the long run it pays to invest in your own.

Very Very Important
Concentrate on mastering the wiring, your future and your life (our life also) depends on it. Kindly don’t blow up the discotheque!

In Mumbai we have the ‘Spin DJ’ (D.J Lloyd (exCyclone) cellphone-9820007028) at Bandra, Splinters (DJ Suresh – Tel: 022-444 2294, Pager: 9624 – 284644) and another called Joe Azavedo’s in town. The training period could be anything between 3 weeks to 1 year. There’s also FTII in Pune for those who want to study Sound Engineering. Though the best place to study that is London and Germany. But if you have that kind of cash to spare on a very expensive course, you may as well open a tech out here!

The Course
The sessions vary between 5 to 10 weeks covering the basics of sound (a sound engineering background helps), confidence building, how to make connections, crowd handling, knowledge of lights, mixing, scratching on the turn-tables etc. Also keeping in mind the variance in this profession you’re taught how to play at Catholic weddings, live show performances, finding the fault with the equipment and other troubleshooting.

Starters And More
The pay depends in this line, if you have your own equipment you can pull the strings. You may have to do your first few gigs free to get known. Assistant DJs usually work 3-4 nights a week and earn 6-7 k a month. There’s more money in private parties where big name DJs can earn a cool 15-20 k in a single night. Small fry have to bargain 1-4k is the usual range u can expect You also have an option of playing for private parties. Coming out with remix albums also offers an extra career option. The age factor also counts here – a D.J over 30 is rare. Your body clock just goes berserk with the odd hours. Events like the ‘War of the DJs’ gives a certain kind of recognition to this profession.

Music That Digs
Retro, Hip-hop, Rap, Jazz, Transcendental and all the basic commercial stuff. Just get your rhythm and tempo in accord. If you don’t have that, you never will, you cannot pretend you tap your feet on a song.

You can see yourself in the music industry and maybe even release an album or two. eg DJ Amit who’s done the “Rang Barse” remix Just don’t let all the lights dazzle you. It’s not only music, booze, girls/guys and nights out. It’s a lot of hard work. Glamour only looks good from a distance. If all this is too much of an ordeal to go through, just play a good song once in a while. You’re the one lucky person whose tunes people shake their booty’s to! Now, for some life saving tips:
1. Have your ears left unclean with lots of wax for weeks so you don’t go deaf!
2. Wear lots of rings because that is sooo… cool and it will catch all the flashing lights of the disco and the girls may then notice you even if you play bad music!
3. Don’t shave and if you’re a female D.J wear a nose ring and chew some gum, it gives you a dopey eyed look, people will take you seriously.
4. Watch some mythological stuff on T.V, esp ones that feature Krishna…you’ll start feeling like him after sometime with the chakra on your finger.
5. Keep a CD at home that contains some Beethoven or maybe Mohammad Rafi songs.It will help you unwind.

To Be The “Baap Of All Djs”
1. Hold the microphone real close and speak…nope, I mean… breathe air…oops, snort from your nostrils into it. That’ll get their attention.
2. Keep paging for people who were never even called in the first place. You will gain a kind and considerate reputation all around. he chicks will love you!
3. Read requests and dedications that can never be understood and then finally play what you like because it will imply the feeling of authority.
4. Use a lot of swear words and look very sozzled, smile once in a while. That’ll just about do it.

Smirnoff And Times War Of The Dj’s
Venue- The Club (Andheri)
DJing has finally made it into the well-paid professions after 3 years of repeated recognition. Smirnoff and Times music’s ‘War of the DJs’ had it’s third regional finals in Mumbai on the 30th of Nov . Skill display included live remixing (Hindi commercial songs into dance numbers) which saves the day at any discotech. It all depends on the crowd support, if they find your music booty-shakeable, you’re the winner. Remixes have to be done in a fixed time limit and you have to be on the beat. 3 or more songs in the fixed time frame add to the points. Other winning criteria was looping samples on CDs, scratching records, rapping on the mike, crowd handling, body language etc. Qualifying rounds cut short 6 Regional finalists. The judges were DJ Whosane? (What would he be without Manisha Koirala), DJ Akhtar (from Beyond 1900s) and twice-winner DJ Nasha. DJ Roussell was the winner and DJ Farokh and DJ Sunil were the runner ups. All-India finals will be held on December 15th. Inside stories say that it’s all rigged but that’s always the story with the losers. Or is it??

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