Disc Jockeys or DJs are the heart and soul of a radio station or wherever music needs to be played. Apart from radio stations, DJs are much in demand at internet radio stations, local bars and dance clubs as well as wedding receptions. Depending on the venue and event, a disc jockey will select the tracks to be played. However, the general perception that the work of a DJ is all fun and games and music is not correct. The work of a DJ is extremely demanding and challenging and requires long hours to be spent in soundproof studios or open venues at events.
Even though a passion and a good year for music are the essential prerequisites of a good DJ, a bachelors or associates degree in radio broadcasting can ensure that the career starts on a high note. Further employers prefer some form of experience of those freshly breaking into the industry and hence a job or an internship at a college radio station will definitely be helpful. A DJ should typically have a strong personality and a clear and well modulated voice. A quick wit too is necessary to deal with awkward questions and comments that are often thrown at DJs at live interactive sessions with listeners.
Disc Jockeys work in soundproof settings in a radio station and in open events at other places. Most DJs specialise in one area of music such as classic rock, R&B, contemporary, pop or country. Those starting out usually get the early morning or late night shifts but the experienced ones get to choose the time slot they want to be in. DJs that are self employed have their own equipment and bring them along to night clubs and restaurants.
The manual role of DJs of yesteryears has today been heavily curtailed with the introduction of technologically advanced and cutting edge equipment. Most radio broadcasts are pre-timed and fully automated today with the duties of a DJ reduced to ensuring that the programme is running smoothly, taking song requests, holding radio contests and interacting with callers. DJs also take part in promotional contests in shopping malls, special events and radio station sponsored parties.
A bachelors or associates degree is preferable as it helps aspiring DJs to get familiarised with the latest equipment and modern software and hardware being used at modern studios. Further, classes in marketing and business enables them to quickly ascertain the population mix at events and play tracks accordingly. A DJ should also have excellent communication skills and have good pronunciation skills and word timing.
These are some of the attributes that a DJ should have. Those who have made a name for themselves are much in demand, earning handsomely in their profession.