By Kishori Sud
New Delhi: The moment music channels started becoming money churners, they lost their “cool” quotient and eventually led to the decline in popularity of video jockeys (VJ), says actor Purab Kohli, who was one of the most popular Indian VJs of the 1990s.
VJs like late Nafisa Joseph, Cyrus Broacha, Nikhil Chinappa, Keith Sequeira and Shenaz Treasurywala were role models for many teenagers and the youngsters aspired to be like them.
Asked why that era faded, Purab said that he himself thinks about it some times.
“At that time, I don’t think music channels made money for their networks. When networks had music channels, it was more of a branding exercise for the them. Those channels did not make more money for the network per se.
“So when those channels got into the business of making money, it (VJing) kind of just plummeted because then they started having to do what the other channels did to make money,” he told IANS.
Purab said that for trendsetting channels such as Channel V, where his journey began, it was more about exploring new concepts, which need more concentration on money investment than money minting.
“We had to really explore things, and for that you have to spend money, not mint money. So you have to have a network which has that on the agenda,” said the “Rock on!!” actor.
He pointed out how now networks “have got a bandwidth of many channels and most of the channels make them money and they have one separate channel which helps them build a brand”.
“Channel V did that for Star network for a long time, till of course it became such a big money churner for them because they changed their programming. But because they changed their programming, they completely lost the whole identity of cool and trendsetting,” he added.
Nowadays, most youth-oriented channels, including Channel V and MTV, dish out less music shows and more reality entertainment coupled with fiction shows, and sometimes movies too.
Sharing that nothing can be as cool as what it was in the 1990s, when shows like “Select”, “MTV’s Most Wanted” and “Bakra” were a rage, the 36-year-old said that “seekers of cool, find the breeze somewhere”.
“There is definitely an audience… youngsters who are looking out for cool and trendy new things. They seek it in different mediums in television. But none of the networks offer something as cool… although ‘MTV Indies’ is trying to achieve that but we also have internet now. The seekers of cool always find it somewhere,” the actor, who is part of the web series space with “Sense8”, said.
Last seen on the big screen in Akshay Kumar-starrer “Airlift”, Purab will be seen next in Farhan Akhtar’s “Rock On 2” and is also part of the second season of Netflix’s series “Sense8”.