Here’s one thing that’s common to prominent people- doctors, singers, voiceover artists, actors; anyone successful in any field…
We look at their lives and see their accomplishments, influence and success but we fail to see the years of hard work and struggle behind them.
Meet Oluwatobi Joel Oladipo; Voiceover Artist and CEO of iVoiceAfrica.
Take a trip down his life and see how he rose from grass to grace; realizing his calling and achieving success.
Tobi didn’t wake up one morning to discover that he had a talent for voiceovers, neither was he born with the dream of establishing a voiceover and translation company that cuts across all African languages…
Instead, he walked a path full of trials, errors and most importantly, learning, which fostered his growth.
Where it all began…
“When I was in school I used to be in this little acapella group; I’m not a good singer but my bass was really strong…” – Tobi Oladipo.
Like most people, we discover a lot of our talents in school and Tobi is no exception. It was here that he realized he had a voice decent enough to sing but it didn’t stop there…
He became a presenter but he didn’t really have a breakthrough as a TV presenter…
“I remember in the early days of my presenting career I’d go for a number of presenting auditions in TV stations and radio stations, and I wasn’t exactly going past the first stage.”
Nevertheless, he didn’t give up…
He pushed and finally he got a callback…
A callback that revealed to him his true calling:
“I got a call and they asked me ‘do you do voiceovers?’ And it was weird because before then, I’d probably done only one or two voiceovers in my life which were very unprofessional ones…”
Your Voice as Your Biggest Strength
“If I were to pride myself in the very skill I have; I think I trust how I speak so much. I feel like my greatest strength is my voice.”
As a voiceover artist, your voice is of paramount importance and it didn’t take Tobi too long to figure this out.
When it comes to nourishing his voice, Tobi has a few do’s and don’ts and I’m sure it’ll help you too.
To produce excellent voiceovers, he avoids sugary meals, milk, soda and oily food right before he steps into the studio to record.
He reckons that it makes his voice rusty and causes him to lose his bass. This was something he noticed in his earlier days of singing…
But the one thing you’d always catch Tobi with is a bottle of water, especially when he’s recording.
According to him, he has sensitive vocal cords that need to be kept warm always.
So, if you’ve got sensitive vocal cords just like Tobi, you know what to do and if you’re unsure of what foods to eat and avoid as a voiceover artist check out our blog post on food here.
Birth of iVoiceAfrica
”I started iVoiceAfrica two years ago…”
If you had to guess, you’d assume that Tobi studied some course in the university relating to language or voice acting or even theatre arts!
But it’ll interest you to learn that it was none of the above…
Matter of factly, Tobi graduated with his first degree in *drum rolls* Electrical/Electronics Engineering!
And it was around this time that he developed a passion and interest for media, and most especially languages.
He speaks English, Yoruba and French and adds that being able to speak French in addition to English has been a huge plus in his career.
Driven with passion, he sought to provide inclusivity in every part of life for every African and especially non-English speakers.
With hard work, discipline and diligence Tobi has grown from being a member of an acapella group and a TV presenter to being a voiceover artist who has worked with several agencies and companies.
The journey to success is different for everyone. Some stumble a lot before they find it while some are lucky enough to find it after a couple of trials
But one thing is definite: to reach the destination you’d require discipline, consistency and patience.