Spin to win

Night riders: With an explosion of nightlife in urban India, deejaying as a profession is witnessing the fastest growth. However, you need to be innovative to last long in this field

The lowdown

Vinyl discs, headphones, turntables, psychedelic lights and churning bodies — if all that, and music, of course, fires your enthusiasm, a career as a DJ is your calling. Deejaying is a performing art that overlaps music production. It involves remixing, music composition, arrangement and production. A professional DJ entertains revellers at clubs, does private shows for media houses and event management agencies and also performs at radio stations and a few TV channels. Apart from this, India now has a huge market for freelance deejaying. Such a DJ can get 15 to 20 private bashes a month in the party season, money being negotiable. Disc jockeying as a profession is witnessing the fastest growth in terms of youth participation. With an explosion of nightlife in urban India, the DJ can be the star of the evening in any Gen Y gathering. Established names in the circuit believe that glamour, too, lures youngsters to the console. But without innovation, one will not last long, they warn

11am: Wake up
11.30am: Sit with playlist for the night. Review the previous night’s performance
1.30pm: Lunch. Spend sometime in music production, reviewing music news and catch up with fellow DJs or friends and family
7pm: Reach lounge
7.30pm: Start playing for the early crowd. In a night club, a DJ normally takes over and drops his/her first track by about 10:30 pm. Not earlier
9.30pm: Warm ups. In a night club things start getting warmed up by about 11:30pm but if its a club in a five-star property where they have permissions till 2.30am, then the place gets going by 12.15am
Midnight: Start winding up
1am: Dinner
2am: Call it a night

The payoff
The average take-home for a disc jockey at the initial level is Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month. The hike in the package (as per the market condition and label/club/music composer involved) depends on one’s calibre

* An ear for good music, passion for music
* Basics of sound/recording
* Creativity with sound and rhythm
* Nocturnal body clock

Getting there
What you study in high school does not matter as long as you have a keen interest in music. While you can enroll for a basic (beginner) DJ course right after Class X, pros suggest taking it head-on only after school. Once through with the basics, you can assist a professional DJ or musician to learn the tricks of the trade. Graduate to a professional level course from any of the institutes in the Capital and approach nightclubs and event organisers with demo CDs of your mixes

Institutes and URLs
* School of Spin and Elite Sound Station, Mumbai www.djsuketu.co.in/contact-us or email at djsuketu.music@gmail.com
* Spin Gurus DJ & Remixing Academy, New Delhi spingurus.com
* Scratch DJ Academy, New York www.scratch.com
* Dubspot, New York  www.dubspot.com

Pros and cons
* Party while earning money
* Innovative work
* Involves extensive travel
* Have to work the graveyard shift. This makes it difficult to have a social life and keep in touch with family and friends
* Can be physically taxing

Unlike 15 years back, deejaying has now become a lucrative career. There is tremendous potential for deejaying, especially in India -- DJ Suketu, based in Mumbai


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