Jose Covaco AKA VJ Jose AKA @HoeZaay is unarguably one of the funniest men on Indian television right now. Not just a VJ, Jose is also a RJ at RED FM and an avid podcaster. Recently on a trip to Odisha to support his Drive with MTV team #NanoEast (and we had the pleasure of playing hosts to them in Odisha), Jose was kind enough to catch up with us for a chit chat by the picturesque sunset at Marine Drive, Puri.
The Broken Scooter: How do you find this place?
HoeZaay: Fantastic! This is the first time I’m actually coming to Odisha and it is so beautiful, man! I think this place is lovely and I’m leaving tomorrow morning, but I don’t want to go.
TBS: Thinking of a trip back again?
H: Yes. I’m going to come back alone and explore Odisha.
TBS: Yeah but first things first, give us a call before you come. We just realized we are great guides. 😛
Anyway, what’s up with Drive with MTV? It’s a pretty cool concept for a TV show. I mean the whole idea of a social road trip is pretty new..
H: Its one of its kind actually since its happening both on the television and the internet. It’s a really cool thing that the digital guys at MTV came up with. You know, the basic idea is four guys in a nano, going from one place to another and the cool part is that they have to keep using social networks (tweeting, sharing photos videos et al) to get them points. I’m supporting team #NanoEast and I’m pretty sure they’ll win.
TBS: Tell us something about your journey with MTV.
H: MTV has been great. Initially, I had been doing radio for a while and I didn’t want to join MTV actually. I didn’t think it was something I wanted to do, or something I could do. They liked my thing in radio and they were like, “hey! why don’t you join us?”
After a year later, I was like “Hey you know what? Lets do this!”
TBS: Prior to being a VJ, you were a RJ at Red FM and are still continuing with it. How you manage two jobs at a time?
H: It’s pretty easy actually. Shoots happen like this. If I’m travelling, I record in advance. Otherwise, I just go live!
TBS: Ok. This is something you’ve come up with very recently – Kaan Masti!
H: Wow, you guys have been following it? I started Kaan Masti something like seven episodes back and so far, its been great. Actually, I wanted to do it long back, probably sometime in 2004, when I had met Suresh (Menon). But then, we didn’t have the time and all you know.
TBS: And Podcasting as a trend is very new in the country.
H: Yeah! Not many podcasters are there in India. I know of three people who podcast and then there’s a football podcast too whose name I can’t recollect. There’s hardly anybody else doing it. But then, it is so easy you know. It’s like recording a conversation. Moreover, nobody uses a professional setup since it is for the Internet.
I think Podcasting as a platform is HUGE and I want to use this medium to establish myself of course but I also would like to see other people grow and make it a business maybe. Eventually, you could have advertisers, sponsors, et al. The possibilities are endless.
TBS: More than Facebook, you’re pretty active on Twitter. Do you feel like you’re reaching out to a larger mass there?
H: On a concept level, I find Twitter very cool, simple and mobile. It’s like, you type out a thought one second and the world knows about it the next second. I think it is a great tool to communicate, promote stuff online and bring about change. Unfortunately, Twitter’s only for people like you and me. There are still people out there who don’t been know what Internet is. TV and Radio are probably the only medium for such people to stay updated, but then again, television and Radio spend most of the time on pointless entertainment just to make money and the actual content is influenced. For example, you want to write something on the Internet, you don’t have a sponsor telling you what to write, what not to write and all. Internet stands for free speech.
TBS: But they plan to censor it and all. What do you think about it?
H: I am okay with it. I’m in fact pro anti-piracy. What I don’t like is that, this whole thing didn’t come from the Government but a corporate lobby. Firstly, they denied us our freedom of speech and secondly, they lied to us by not telling us that they were shutting down file-sharing networks overnight and that’s not the correct way to do it. Thanks to Anonymous and other hacktivists, we now know who is/are behind this.
TBS: You are kind of a youth icon. A lot of people here look up to you. How do deal with that kind of a responsibility/ burden or whatever you may call it? That apart, you are a major in Physics too and yet you ended up being a television personality..
H: They really do? I’m 30 years old now. Humble me!
On a serious note, I really don’t think like that. I just live my life trying a good person, trying to not harass people too much.
About majoring in Physics, I had to do it because of pressure from my folks.I even played the piano and managed complete my 6th grade of the Trinity college of music examinations.
Our parents want us to become engineers and doctors but hah! , the joke’s on them now! I’ve become a MTV VJ which is a complete waste of someone’s life. 🙂
Update: Team #NanoEast had a great journey all the way from Guwahati to Konark. You can check out videos from their trip on their YouTube playlist, support them and help them win!