"Veejaying is not a frivolous career":MTV VJ Cyrus Sahukar

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All of six feet and three inches, quite attractive, and with great sense of humour The last of the Cyrus troika to join the MTV clan (some six years ago) is Cyrus Sahukar.

After dabbling in theatre in school and college, he carved a niche for himself as a MTV VJ gratis a dead pan face and zany sense of humour. After the heavy promotions and audition rounds for MTV's adventure and reality show Roadies, Cyrus is all set and raring to cruise on the ride that begins 15 August.

This true Leo, who celebrates his birthday on 7 August, has just turned 23, is quite intelligent and yet very grounded despite the glitz and glamour.



Sahu, as he is fondly known, met up with indiantelevision.com's
Trupti Ghag at the MTV Office in Mumbai for an interview. Excerpts:

 

Was being a VJ, something that you always wanted to do?

Dad was in the army, so in a way we have been visiting a lot of places, so I always enjoyed traveling. Being a VJ I got a great opportunity to do that. But I guess that wasn't my first choice, so to speak.

I have been mostly based in Delhi and Indore and acting was something that I really enjoyed doing. So right through school and college, I was an active participant in theatre. I joined the Barry John's theatre group when I was 15 and acted in quite a few productions. They include adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express, Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Graffiti - Postcards from School.

Besides, I have also dabbled as a radio jockey. I used to host Radio Rampage at TGIF (Thank God it's Friday) at Delhi. That is where I had an idea that I had a good voice and I also took a liking for anchoring.

 

What prompted you to join the MTV VJ hunt?

A very clichéd story, I just accompanied a friend who was quite keen on becoming a VJ. When we reached there, there were just couple of guys and a whole lot of girl contestants. Both auditioned. I made it he didn't.

Nonetheless we had a blast, we were 17-year-old Delhiites, who had come to visit Mumbai with an open mind. We spent some time walking around Mumbai. Since I had never seen the sea, Juhu beach was a treat.

 



"Veejaying is sort of like Jim Carrey's brand of acting. Just because it looks like a lot of fun doesn't mean, it is an easy job"

 

What do you think really helped you clinch the job?

Frankly, I have no idea. Six years in the job and I am still trying to figure out that.

 

How has the journey been so far?

Well, I am paid for having a blast. Truly speaking, all I ever wanted to do as a kid was to face the camera and travel. During the course of my job, I have had to travel to far-flung places like Rishikesh, camp out in the wilderness, and meet interesting people.

 
" I am paid for having a blast"
 

Care to tell us something about your music tastes?

Bizarre is the word to describe my music tastes. While I have grown up on Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkel, and Leonard Cohen, courtesy my sister who is 14 years elder to me. She kept on drumming the song into my head till the time I grew fond of them. But I also love old Kishore Kumar and RD Burman numbers, the melody is extremely endearing.

 

What is a veejay's contribution to the Music Channel?

Besides the obvious presenter job, the VJ can make an effort introducing newer music to the masses. Check out Nikhil on MTV Request for instance, even though it's a request show he will try and talk about his favourite music and introduce the audience to different music genres. With my taste for the 70's and 80's music, I try and impose my taste on the audience during shows. I also used to host Classics, which played the music from 50s and 60s. It was quite an educative move. Ever since then, I have been talking about the retro music to the junta.

 

Seems like you are having a great time. Is it always this hunky-dory or did you ever thought that you need a switch in career?

No I never really felt that I was in a wrong profession. But it isn't really a fun job either. Most of the VJs that I have interacted with are an intelligent lot. They have a great idea what is going around plus they have a trained ear for music. Unlike the normal perception, veejaying is not a frivolous career. What people don't know is that lots of hard work also goes into being a VJ. We need to be updated on current affairs and also be abreast of the current music scene.



Veejaying is sort of like Jim Carrey's brand of acting. Just because it looks like a lot of fun doesn't mean it is an easy job. Making people laugh is a hard job, people don't seem to understand that.

 

"Check out Nikhil on 'MTV Request' for instance, even though it's a request show he will try and talk about his favourite music and introduce the audience to different music genres"

 

What is the VJ fraternity like?

We are a crazy mix. There are some like who are extremely normal yet there is a Cyrus. That guy is a live talent and he is genuinely funny. One thing that I can guarantee you that none of us is a fake. We are on the screen what we are in real life, may be a little more live wire but that's about it. It is absolutely not true that we put on an act. Usually there are no scripts either. We just ad-lib our way through.

 
What kind of homework is a must for a VJ?

I usual begin my day with a complete scan of the newspapers. I read quite a lot and have a fair idea of the music. Being a VJ is a serious job and we have to be constantly on our toes.
 
How is your rapport with other VJs?

Great! We are a united lot. During the early years, when I was flitting back and fro from Delhi, they were my family in Mumbai. I used to be a constant lunch guest at most of the girls' places.
 
What about the VJs from the rival channels?

What about them! Our relation is just as cordial as any other professionals.
 

What is the current music scenario like?

Exploding! Frankly, I don't really mind the remixes. If golden music era is reintroduced to the newer generation, who otherwise wouldn't have given it a ear, than what's the harm.

As for the pop music Adnan Sami, Euphoria are quite popular, if not more at least as much as the foreign counterparts. Maybe the scene isn't as good as it was five years ago, but we are getting there. According to me the scene should look up in a couple years time.

 
"I don't really mind the remixes. If golden music era is reintroduced to the newer generation, who otherwise wouldn't have given it a ear, than what's the harm"
 
Was your love for traveling the reason you were chosen to anchor 'Roadies'?

Well, that and my persistent lobbying (laughs). Seriously it has been great. I have been wanting to do this for a really long time. It just broadened my horizons. Frankly, I wasn't really expecting such a turn out. I am not talking about numbers here. We had everybody from 18-year-old youngsters to 60-year-old grandfathers auditioning. The energy that these people exuded was amazing.
 

What can we expect from the selected 'Roadies'?

It is not the dare-devil stuff that we do with Bum Mein Dum. What we are looking out for are people who love riding and are keen on meeting new people. It is not going to be a fancy ride either. Participants will have to live a day like people of that region. In a village in south in India, the contestants will have to fish. There will be no luxury, people will have to camp in tents.

 
What next for Cyrus Sahukar?

Don't know as yet. Maybe try out my luck in movies.

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