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Viju Jeremiah Traven is a Contemporary Christian Recording Artist, Prophetic Worship Minister, Gospel Preacher, People Trainer and Author. To lead the God seeking generations to a deep and intimate relationship with Christ, His disciple VJ has received the fullness of grace and wisdom to proclaim the supremacy of Christ to the nations through his songs and messages. He is a passionate worshiper of Christ who believes, the true devotion brings out a joyful celebration of praise from the heart of a worshiper. His is anointed with a consuming passion of Christ, for restoring the intimacy, Divinity and Glory for building the spotless Church of this generation and next. The original Chemistry of his soulful sound of music has intricately chosen shades of Classic Rock, Contemporary Blues and Light Jazz. This rich combination of sound is again delicately spiced, beautifully colored and flavored with strong under currents of Indian Folk and Classical elements. VJ has completed twenty five long years as a creative musician and his Christ centered Albums in Malayalam has become the Contemporary Christian Classics of the last decade. The love of Christ touched millions of souls in India and abroad through His Music videos, “Yeshuve Karunamayane”, "Ente Yeshu Nayakane" and "Arms of Mercy".

Northfields label revolutionized the Christian Artist promotion in India by first making the 16mm videos shot for VJ in South Africa, Oman and Mumbai. Through MTV, GOD Channel, other Secular and Christian TV Channels, the message of Christ was portrayed to young people worldwide. Transformed people from all walks of life, inspired multitudes of youth and Children adoring Christ reflects the amazing work of God’s grace through the ministry. Through a decade of union with Christ, God has empowered VJ to inspire the nations with the surpassing greatness of the Revelation of Christ. These days Holy Spirit draws the God seeking souls to the Throne of Grace where they fall deeply in love with Jesus and kiss the Son to live a Christ centered life. God is gathering His people for the glorious celebration of Praise and Worship for bonding this generation and next with Christ the King.

VJ Traven - the person

Born on the 26th November 1965 to a middle class Roman Catholic family in the State of Kerala, South India, Viju Jeremiah Traven (officially known as Viju George Kattapuram Varghese) is the only child to his parents Varghese and Gracy. Very early in his childhood days itself, Viju was talented in painting and singing. Never keen on intimately following Christ, he grew up in the Catholic faith. In 1978 his dad got healed miraculously from cancer and became a committed [Pentecostal] believer in Christ. One night during the college days, Viju heard God asking him "Where are you going away from Me?" From then, Viju was drawn to an intimate relationship with God, he accepted the Lordship of Jesus Christ. After water baptism in September 1981, he began to learn the Bible under Pr. P.K. Chacko, the one who wrote the first Malayalam Bible dictionary. He spend quality time in prayer with Vaariyapuram Yonnachayan, one of the greatest prophets ever lived in the State of Kerala. These men of God laid hands and blessed and separated him for the call of God in his life.

For the next three years Viju walked in close communion with God, but when he saw hypocrisy in people around, he lost his focus on Christ. It broke his heart badly, and this led him to slowly slip out from the local church. Young Viju couldn't stand the leaders who preached only for their own personal benefit. Viju was disheartened and started losing his first love for Christ and didn't know what to do and where to go. At the age of twenty he felt terrible about losing his five golden years of youthfulness, where he became a specialist in nothing. He found solace in a box guitar and would spend time strumming it. He thought music maybe the right thing which can rescue him. In 1985, he chose music as a career for the rest of his life. He music began with a ministry named “YOUNG LIFE”. Later he formed his first band Exodus with his friends Reji, Abe, Shibu, Benoy and Mathew. Later, he went to Bombay in search of better opportunities, but was unable to find a breakthrough there. In the midst of the struggles, he was getting drawn back to the Lord little by little. He met a Christian worship leader from England named Ian White in Bombay during a worship conference. He recognized the depth and talent of his voice and was fascinated by his sense of creativity in music. This empowered Viju to fearlessly take music as a career.

VJ the front line vocalist in the Rock Band Shiva

In 1990 he came to Bangalore and started 'Rock Clef' with Sash George his drummer friend and Viju became famous as the new Rock vocalist in town. In Bangalore he met one of the most outstanding bands in the Indian Rock music history, 'Shiva' and got invited to join them. In September 1991 he joined Shiva in Calcutta and started performing at the biggest rock arenas all over India. Shiva became the most wanted rock band in the college and club circuits. In major events, more than thirty thousand spectators used to attend the famous 'Shiva' concerts. In Calcutta, first time he released his own composition 'In your arms' through the Rock Street Journal, which became a big hit all over the nation. His career as a rock singer peaked and had developed a tremendous fan following nationally. His own compositions received great reviews in national and international magazines like Cutting Edge in USA. Viju even received a fax message from Peter Jenner [Sincere Management UK], the ex-manager of the world famous Rock Band Pink Floyd, appreciating the quality of his voice and music. These positive international responses encouraged him to work hard on developing his original sound of music.

The days of madness, rejection and pain

Viju became a celebrity in the Indian Rock music scenario. Everything was going fine till he finished three great years with Shiva. Suddenly one day while cerebral malaria was spreading in Calcutta, he was down with a high fever. The preventive medicines for malaria prescribed by a doctor left Viju half dead. By the side effect of the medicine, Viju had a hallucination and he nearly lost the balance of his mind for three weeks. He was brought back to his home and by God’s grace after a month he totally regained his mental and physical health. After this sad episode, unfortunately the most unexpected thing happened; the celebrity of Rock lost his job. The band was shaken by the act of madness while he was sick for few days in Calcutta. To ice the cake, after his total recovery he heard about some band member saying, "Shiva cannot have a lunatic fronting this professional band". The rejection from his Band became unbearable to him; the Band started performing without Viju. When asked the reason for the Band’s action, a raw financial deal [which was 60% pay cut] was given for continuing in Shiva along with a new recruit who was not at all match to Viju’s singing standards. Viju disagreed to take the new disgusting deal, he was totally dejected and broken; he parted ways with Shiva. In September 1994 he felt like a zero and said good bye to Calcutta, a City which made Viju a hero. Later he wrote a song called “This could be my destiny, but why should it be”.

The re-emerging Musician

Viju was slowly entering into the predestined purposes of God without him knowing it. Never did he realize that God was patiently waiting for his return to the first love regardless of all these ups and downs. He came back to Cochin, like an eagle with broken wings. There he found no band was professional enough to join, because he has simply become the India’s most accomplished Rock Vocalist of that time. For an year from then he had a few guest appearances with the local bands like Firefly and Stone Cold, but it was not anywhere near the quality of music performed by his old band.

In 1995 Viju re-emerged as a voice trainer and successful composer and singer for T.V. Commercials with the encouragement he received from his old friends like Uttam Joe, a famous Copy Writer and Poet who helped Viju to develop his writing skills. Viju’s advertising jingles created great waves in the market place and even won gold and silver awards. Here he felt the need of making a professional name for himself, because people and media started calling him ‘Shiva Biju’ as he was identified with his old Band. So he established himself as VJ Traven from 1996. Then he joined the "Living Theater" and started composing original music scores for major English plays like the “House of Bernada Alba” and “Animal Farm”, which won critical acclaim from the mainstream media. During this time the Hollywood actress Persis Khambatta hired him for the launch of 'Pride of India' her coffee table book about Miss India's. This was a landmark in his career; he composed and recorded three songs, and also performed live on stage with nearly sixty Miss India's on stage for the launch program at Taj Mahal Hotel, Bombay. In the early 1998 in Cochin, he started to attend the Highland Pilgrim’s Church led by Pr. Jacob Ninan. During this time, VJ met the girl of his life and got engaged to Junie from Orissa and he got married to her in Cochin. The same year he went back to Bombay to work as a composer and singer for the advertising industry. His most outstanding works are Wipro corporate, Healthy world, 7UP, Britannia, Lux, etc. In Bombay VJ attended the Bandra New Life Fellowship. Whenever he is in Cochin he sang with his same old friends in Exodus, which became a Christian youth ministry in 1997. This association led to the spiritual restoration of VJ.

The death of his Dad and the turning point to a new direction

One year later God blessed VJ and Junie with their first son Johnnie, born in Junie's home town Cuttack. In 2000 June VJ’s dad was down with lung cancer and after six weeks in the hospital he passed away while VJ was away in Bombay. This tragic event brought the turning point in VJ’s life. His beloved father always dreamed about VJ becoming a committed minister of the Gospel of Christ and prayed over this matter fervently till his last day on earth. The absence of his father was the absence of his strong prayers for VJ. Now he felt the intense need to get right with God more intimately than ever and started seeking God more intimately. He returned to Cochin and got involved in the ministry passionately.

Exodus celebrated their fourth anniversary as a “Festival of Praise and Worship” in September 2001. In 2002 Exodus become a Church fellowship. God appointed Regi, Abe, Mathew and VJ as the four senior leaders for planting and leading the Exodus Church in Cochin.

The loss of voice,a Miracle and commitment for full time in ministry

From this time, due to the over strain from training singers in the Church and voice workshops, VJ started constantly getting affected by acute Laryngitis, a disease that is a nightmare to all voice workers. Various treatments done were ineffective, medicines failed to heal. His voice was in serious trouble every now and then. This tormented him and broke him deep inside. He told his wife "I'd rather die than living without my voice". In his agony he spent time alone with God and this formed a heart of worship in him. By the grace he received, he created a new breed of intimate worship songs in Malayalam and English. Holy Spirit made him understand that he should earnestly seek the purpose of God in his life, more than the restoration of his voice. He became passionate to come in union with Christ inseparably. Seeking God he fasted and prayed along with the Church and said "Lord I am available if you need me in the ministry full time” and also asked God for a complete healing and restoration. VJ also prayed, for recording his songs with the best musicians in the finest studios in India". The Lord was kind to VJ and God healed him and also blessed him with a breakthrough in his music and ministry.

Sam Thomas of Hope Givers International and then later Ron Mathews and Rejju Mathews of Northfields Corporation stepped in to promote him. His debut album was recorded in 2002 at Chennai in the studio of K.S. Chitra, and Mumbai. The famous Deepak Dev did the orchestration for his first two albums. The first album also had two songs orchestrated by Dhruv Ghanekar and Ashutosh Patak. Suresh Natarajan [shillvassa] and C Radhakrisnan did the album cover photography for Viju’s albums. He did two world class music videos; one was shot in Durban, South Africa and the second one in Muscat and Mumbai. The first 16mm Christian Music videos were directed by C. Radhakirshnan and it was produced in world class quality. This created history in the Christian Music scenario in India is still in broadcast in Christian and secular TV Channels.

What is impossible to man is possible to God!

In the two decade old career in music, what was impossible by man was made possible by God. In 2005 July VJ did a mega program named “VJ TRAVEN live in Concert” in Le-Meridian Hotel at Cochin. Cindy Wilcox and The Liberty University Students USA did the opening act for VJ. After this special event, God was leading VJ in a special way like never before. It was a new season where he was more involved in writing blogs than anything else.

God’s Vision for the Ministry

In 2006 VJ saw a vision and God said, “Gather My people for Worship” [to know more read...United Adoration]. This influenced his life towards a new direction in the ministry. To execute the vision from the Lord, VJ launched United Adoration under the VJ Traven Ministry to witness God bonding a generation with Christ. VJ conducts UNITED ADORATION Prophetic Worship Concerts, SGPW seminars and preaches in Church Conventions, Youth meetings and Leadership Conferences in India and abroad. Currently he is also authoring a book named “Rediscovering the Act of Worship”.

Holy Spirit says, "This generation will fall deeply in love with Christ and will fully celebrate a life of adoration and worship more intimately than all other generations ever lived on earth." Our Lord is coming soon, and Jesus said, "I will build my Church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it". Now globally, God is mightily moving to restore the depth of intimacy, integrity, Divinity and the weight of His Glory in the Church. In these last days, Father God is gathering His people for worship to revive the Church for bonding this generation and next with Christ inseparably. The heart of God is for saving the masses and preparing the saints as the spotless Bride of the Lamb. The time is near; Christ the Bridegroom is coming to take His Bride away !!! With Him, are we ready to fly away ?!!!

By living a Christ centered life, let every local Church grow fully strong, mature and perfect in Christ the King of Glory. May all God seeking people be blessed and Let our Lord Jesus be glorified!!! Amen!!!

VJ's family : VJ and Junie have three sons, Johnnie, Daniel and Nathan. His mother Gracy is with them.