She may be only 26, but Sruthi Raju is a busy woman. Despite not having any Family footsteps in the voice industry, she followed her passion and is now the voice of the industry.
In a candid chat, she speaks about her journey. If you are a budding voice over artist, I am sure you will get a few golden nuggets through this interview.
Hi, Sruthi! Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi, My Name is Sruthi Raju. I am a Malayali but born and brought up in Mumbai.
I am a Computer Engineer by qualification. I had worked as a Software Test Engineer in an IT firm for about a year.
Then I started following my passion, i.e., Voicing. There, I began as Radio Jockey and TVCs in Malayalam (Malayalam being my mother tongue),
Then went on to doing E-learning, Corporate videos, Audiobooks, IVRs, Movies, Web Series, etc. in English, Hindi, and Malayalam.
After which, I also started taking Translation works. I started translating IVRs, and Official Documents and went on to Translating Movies for Dubbing.
I also do Language Supervision and Dubbing Direction for the Movies I have translated. All this while I have been a Freelancer.
And now, with all the previous experiences, I work as a Director – Dubbing at Shemaroo Entertainment.
Did you always want to be a voice-over artist?
Yes. I always had this dream in my mind that I want to lend my voice to at least 1 TVC, in my life.
I did not know how to get there because the media, for me, was almost unreachable as I did not have any connection from the field. None of my family members or friends were connected to the media field.
Also, this is not a regular job that you get after specific course completion. All you need is the required talent, which I was not sure if I had.
But I kept looking for ways and continued working for it. And finally, I got what I always wanted.
Did you undergo professional training?
No. I never underwent any professional training. I learnt while working. Every new recording taught me unique aspects of voicing and recording.
Also, I worked with a Voice training academy with the Voice Coach Vandana Sengupta. Working with her taught me a lot about Voice over industry.
In what languages do you work? Which is your comfort language?
I mainly work in Hindi, English, and Malayalam. I have also been a Language supervisor for Tamil and Marathi.
I am most comfortable in Hindi and Malayalam, as I use Hindi in my day to day conversation, and Malayalam is my mother tongue.
Can you tell us a little about the recording process?
Well, it is a fun process. Being a Voice Artist, the process is as follows
- The client or the Coordinator approaches you for a particular voice and asks for the availability.
- Then the client asks for a Voice sample. They may ask you to record and send a portion of their script.
- Client checks if your voice and modulations match the character requirement.
- If yes, they will set a date and time when the recording can be done and will ask you to come to the studio where the record is supposed to happen.
- While recording, there would be a dubbing director who directs you as per the client requirement for the character.
- You may have to re-record as many times until the dubbing director is OK with the given requirement.
- Once you are done with your recording process, a sound engineer arranges the whole recordings.
How do you prepare yourself before a recording?
Once I get the script to be recorded, it is essential to understand the character requirement (if it’s a character dub) or the product requirement (if it’s a product video or narration).
This helps to understand the feel and tone required. Also, reading the script once before recording helps me know the pauses and stresses required. This process makes it more comfortable while recording and thus saves the recording time.
Also, it’s necessary to keep exercising my voice by humming. It helps to keep my voice texture smooth.
You do Voice Modulation Training Workshops as well. Tell us about that!
The voice modulation training workshops are conducted mainly for public speakers and singers. People who need speech therapy also attend my workshops.
We focus mainly on the structure of voice, pitch, voice counseling, and intensive training on various aspects of voice production. The participant’s voice issues are analysed to suggest remedial measures, followed by exercises for self-practice.
Few follow up online sessions are provided to check the results for further suggestions.
What challenges did you face before you became successful in your career?
Getting a big project or the big break is a challenge, especially if you don’t have any prior connections in the field. I have faced that challenge too.
Networking is a big part of this work. Getting the right work and connection is the most challenging part. I have made a few mistakes in choosing the right work during my initial days.
But every new experience teaches you something, and that helps us to get better. Things worked the same way for me too.
Slowly and steadily, I learnt how to connect with people and how to identify legitimate works.
Would you recommend this profession? What advice would you give someone who is just getting started as a voice-over artist?
Definitely yes. This is a wonderful profession for anybody with interest.
One thing that I would like to say to the people who have just started their career in this field, “Don’t Rush !!!” Don’t set a time limit to achieve success.
It takes time, genuine efforts, and patience. Things won’t happen over night.
Keep practicing even if you do not get a project. Keep breathing correctly because Voicing requires you to breathe properly.
Your message for our readers…
Don’t stop yourself from what your heart wants. At first, you may not receive a big break, but believe in yourself and keep working on it.
There would be several obstacles that you will have to face in this process, but stick to what you believe in; you will definitely reach there.
Thank you, Sruthi, for taking the time from your busy schedule to speak to us and share a little bit about your journey! We can’t wait to see what successes are in store for you in the future!