A day in the life of a DJ

Metro FM Radio presenter,DJ Zeal shares some pointers on the life of a presenter and club DJ and how she juggles both jobs.

Job title: Radio Presenter and Club DJ and MC

Job description:

I present on METRO FM (Fri&Sat:10pm-1am); it’s all about dance music and the local social scene. Then, as spin-offs to that, I do voiceovers, MC at functions, motivational speaking for youth, mix and dj at clubs and events. I love it.

How did you get into your line of work?


It all started at varsity while I did an International Relations & Anthropology. I also did campus radio and I sent around demos to big radio stations. And thank God it was METRO FM who picked me out through a presenters' competition I had entered! It’s been a humbling journey since then.

What's the first thing you do when you get into the office?

I’m at the studio before I'm on the microphone. I take the time to set my head and my emotions straight – picturing the numbers of people who are expecting excellent-good feel entertainment from my voice and personality! On the technical side, I make sure my ON AIR team is in order as well. Then I check on music and schedules.

To do my job, you have to love…

You have to love people as much as you love yourself. You have to have to have a natural and an unpretentious friendliness (otherwise people can pick it up if you don't have it), and also love music and the power it holds. One must also love exploring new things (destinations/gadgets etc.) because that's the nature of media. It’s forever changing. And you also need to love creativity completely!

I spend most of my day…

Usually putting something together. It could be an event or recording a promo or just creating something and seeing it to the end. I'm currently doing my own administration – quotes and invoices can take some time and effort but definitely must be done! Currently, my mind day and night is working on my brand "ZEAL4LIFE". It’s at start-up level but growing rapidly.

What is the worst aspect of your job?

Delayed gratification. Yes, this can be a good thing but it truly stretches your patience and builds character.

What is the best thing about your job?

The people; they're like a gold mine. From the guys I work with – Christos, Vinny Da Vinci – they have big hearts and passion for music! The people I interact with daily who love the work I present to them.Travelling can be fun coz wherever I am in South Africa, I am never really stranded. It’s awesome! And one day I hope that I can feel this way about the rest of the world.

The next job up from yours is…

Radio Station Manager/Programmes Manager at a national level.

What's the one thing no-one knows about your job?

Your family and close  friends suddenly mean the world to you, more than ever, because you do most things alone (like travelling). Having a sound relationship with God, family and friends is number one because it’s a bit of a steep and sacrificial climb when you start out in the entertainment sector. You work odd hours (graveyard shift) and when people are on holiday, you're not! All in all, family and close friends are God sent to support you and they are always cheering you on and inspiring your work as a whole. Love them to bits.


What is the starting salary of a DJ?

Back in the days I started at R4800. I was a student and that was seemingly a bit to get me going. But now you can get up to R50K+ (excluding the spin-offs) depending... You measure the value you add on radio or at events, you also look at brand association and exposure etc. and then you can name your fee. It grows with experience, I promise.

What’s your dream job? Tell us in which industry you want to work, in our comments below.

 
DJ Zeal will be at the Vodacom Unlimited Urban Beat House Afrika Tour taking place on Friday, 27 January at the Marimba Lounge (CTICC) in Cape Town. For more information, click here.

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