The last couple of weeks have been really tough - FYE has stepped up their game with more work - of which I am happy to get. The voice over business is a hard one to get in and even harder one to stay in.
So far this year only three of my spots have been rejected by record labels: LL Cool J ( they wanted a sexy female voice I ain't mad at that), Ice Cube and the Dogg Pound. Now the last two concern me because they said I sound like I'm from "the islands". Yeah right, which islands? Try Long Island! Yeah ok, I'm from Jamaica - Jamaica, New York. They need to getdafuckon with that shit. Honestly, i think its some petty ass shit they on, ain't no way in the world I sound like I'm from the islands, 99% of the time when people hear me speak whether it is on the phone, in person, on the radio they say, "Hey what part of New York are you from?" I haven't once in damn near 40 years heard I sound like I'm carribean. Except if I walk up to someone and say, "Hey mon, wha gwon and ting" - and that's rare. You gotta be a rasta for all that.
Almost lost the chance to do the Shawnna spot for FYE, the label wanted more music featured in the spot and felt my voice wasn't right for it. I have cut and recut that spot so many times - it is crazy. The record comapany people are buggin- I don't blame em though, they wanna sell the records. I have been getting off work and going home to cut spots every night this week, I am so tired. With all of the work that i have done on that spot in particular I can't stop now.
The thing about me is this: Unlike alot of other cats that do voicing for hip hop I don't shout nor do I exaggerate the 'Street quality" of my voice - alot of dudes do, and i ain't mad at em, you use what you got to get where you tryin to be. I want to be able to sell anything urban: Hip hop, smoothed out R&B, classic soul, grown folks music, hell, sneakers, cologne, cars whatever... When your doing voice over work you don't want to get thrown into a box - SHOUTING gets you thrown into that one box. It sounds good when selling a hyped up song, it speaks to that audience - but will you be able to sell a car with that type of delivery? Or advertise a Patti LaBelle concert? I don't think so. I could be wrong though.
Anyway, I re-cut the Shawnna spot, my man re equ'd my voice, we got approved, the spot starts playing sometime around June 27th. And all is right with the force.
I gotta find a way to upload video and audio so you can see and hear what i do. So far this year I have cut spots for Ne -Yo, Ghostface Killah, Pastor Troy, Busta Rhymes, Field Mobb, Christian Milian, Jagged Edge, Black Buddafly, Shawnna and so many others that I can't remember right now.