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The `VJ' factor

VJ Vijay is all ready to live it up and `Spice' up the music scene


THE LAST two months have been a roller coaster ride for this engineering graduate. He has been partying hard and sweating it out in Chennai, Kochi and Singapore. "All for the travel show `What's Up'," says Vijay Abraham, the new VJ on the block. He is one of three VJs short-listed by the Southern Spice Music channel from its nationwide hunt `VJ factor'.

Vijay took part in the contest for a lark. "I saw the advertisement in a Kochi newspaper and walked in for the audition. And, here I am as VJ," the Keralite says.

But, was he confident about making it? "Oh! Yes. I've always been talking non-stop, so, I knew I would fit the groove and I'm enjoying it every minute."

In Coimbatore as part of the SS music Fanta Voice Hunt team, he spoke to Metroplus about how being a VJ is not a cakewalk. "No doubt, you get a lot of publicity, but in VJing, you have to work hard, non-stop. It's not a 9-5 job that will promise you security for another 30 years; it is a short-lived career," the VJ says.

"We enjoy music not just with our ears, but our eyes too. So, looks matter. And, faces come with an expiry date." But, one can always branch into editing, production and direction. "The number of contacts you get in this profession is phenomenal," he says.

Does he have any background in music? "No. I just enjoy `alternative rock' music. The lyrics in this music just grow on you," says Vijay, who currently anchors the weekend show `What's up' and `Timeout" on weekdays.

A new look

But why is the `outsider' look? (Vijay has long, plaited hair rolled into a bun) "I have been groomed to sport that look. It gives you a new identity and that matters," he adds, recalling the recent shoot for the travel show at Dilse, a home for destitute children in Kochi. "It was part of a charity show and I was there with 15 children in the pool having unlimited fun. I was touched by the happiness I saw on their faces, all thanks to this `outsider' look," Vijay says.

The younger generation looks at VJs as their role model and expect them to be well informed. So, how does he update himself? "I'm a voracious reader." "Reading begins with the newspaper. You can present yourself confidently when you have a backup of information."

A bookworm?

He also reads Frederick Forsyth and catches up with books on philosophy as well. "I am currently reading `Vedanta' by Swami Parthasarathy.

It deals with the Indian way of life and I thought it would come in handy for the travel show," he adds. Mention Malayalam movies and his face droops. "The Malayalam film industry has lost its charm. I still enjoy those movies that hit the theatres 10 years ago when Mohanlal was in his prime... "

Does he have any role model? "Not really. I follow different individuals for different aspects. For language and style, I love to emulate Abhishek Bachchan. In VJing, I think Ramona of Channel V is doing a great job."

K. JESHI

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