Disc Jockeys have been around in Indian metros for quite some time now, many pursuing it as a part-time opportunity to earn some extra money. But DJing has now become a serious career option with women too joining the scene and a special school being launched to train youngsters.
"When I decided to take up DJing as a career, people didn't take me seriously because the profession was not considered a viable option at that time. But now things have changed and people are not only warming up to the idea but accepting women DJs as well," Megha, a Mumbai-based DJ, told IANS over phone.
"I had friends who were earning a reasonable amount working as part-time DJs. Even I had a keen interest in music and while I was studying, I took up the job of a DJ just to earn pocket money," said Atul Khanna, who is now a full-time DJ in Delhi.
Most DJs say they enjoy their job as they get to liven up parties by mixing tunes, forming beats and creating the right ambience in the club. And with an increase in parties and party hoppers in metros, DJing has evolved as a profession.
"Djing as a profession is evolving in India with more and more people taking the plunge. The rise has been reflected in the last three-four years. People today want entertainment and with an increasing number of people going out to party and scores of clubs opening, the profession has gained a lot of potential," said DJ Aqeel.
Aqeel is now launching his own school for DJ training in Mumbai. Called Future DJ Academy, it offers both full-time and part-time courses that start April 20.
"Earlier, not many people wanted to be DJs. But in the past few years I have been flooded with queries about the profession. A lot of people had been sending me mails and asking me to come up with my own school and teach the art. Looking at the demand, I decided to open the school," said Aqeel, who is the only DJ to have played twice at the World Economic Forum in Davos entertaining the likes of Bill Clinton and Kofi Annan.
"In the next five-10 years, the profession is going to become even bigger. A lot of International DJs tour India, but very soon we will have the same quality Djs in India," said DJ Assad Namazi, Aqeel's partner in the institute.
One of the most attractive parts of being a DJ is the money factor, Aqeel told IANS.
"There are a lot of perks when you become a DJ. Most importantly, when you can earn a particular amount in one night, why would you want to slog the whole month in an office. The profession pays well," he quipped.
While DJing is becoming a lucrative career option, DJ Hamza said it was always good to have a few additional skills like producing one's own music in the long run.
"Being a DJ can fetch you great money, but it has its limitations. If you are just a DJ, then the scope is less. It's important that you know music production as well. All the well-known DJs in India as well as abroad produce music," said Hamza, who has collaborated with Taz of Stereo Nation fame for an electronic dance music album.
"So to do well one has to take a slightly different course. It takes a lot of time and training to be able to produce music. But to grow, it is important," he added.