The Voice Goddess of SoundCity FM, Keren Dimkpa, an On-Air Personality and voiceover artiste tells ROSEMARY NWOSU of her journey into working as a radio host and putting her voice behind some of the most prominent brands in Nigeria. Excerpts…
Could you describe the journey of becoming an OAP at SoundCity 98.5 FM?
My journey to becoming an On-Air Personality at SoundCity didn’t just start like that of many other people. I had to work my way up basically.
So, I started off as a voiceover artiste and I have only worked in two places at this point in my life- one at Smooth FM, where I worked as an intern and a voice over artiste. It took me almost two years before I got into presenting.
But as I was working as a voiceover artiste, I also learnt production. I’m also a Radio Producer as well.
So, it took almost two years to get to that point and then I finally got to work as a presenter. May 2018 was when I first went on air to do my thing. I have looked back since and it’s really a fun ride all through.
What’s your most awful experience since the first day you went on air?
My worst experience on Radio was when I just started. I was just two months old. This is me spilling some secrets. It’s pretty much leaving the mic on and just having the conversation with somebody else in the studio and forgetting that the mic was on. So, that’s what happened.
So, the mic was on and I didn’t know and I was just having a conversation with somebody in the studio and we were just laughing and I got a call saying,
“we can hear you on air,” and I was like “Oh sh.t” and I had to just look aside. That was literally my worst time on air. I say that because it literally happened.
How challenging was it to pitch your tent with SoundCity 98.5 FM?
Finding a job in SoundCity radio was not challenging at all. Like I said, I used to work with Smooth.
I pretty much got a call to work for SoundCity because they were just starting at that point and looking for a voiceover artiste to do some imaging for the station.
Imaging is pretty much the station’s ID and that’s what they were looking for me and my voice fit the part. That’s how I got the job basically. So, I won’t say it was challenging at all.
You’re known as the Voice Goddess. So far, how has been the journey of being a voice over artiste? Any awards won?
Yes! Voice Goddess, that’s what I’m known as. Well, I haven’t won any award for voiceover. First of all, I don’t think there is even an award like that for now. If there is, I’d like to win one and so that will be great. But no, I haven’t won any award so far but I’m looking forward to winning once there is one.
Will you say your voice was a breakthrough in your radio presenting career?
Probably, I think. But not so much, I mean as a presenter you first of all have to know what you’re talking about. So, if you then have a good voice to back it up, then that’s a plus. That’s what I think happened in my case and for a lot of other OAPs. I mean just having a good voice won’t take you so far or anywhere basically but knowing what you’re talking about and trying to engage people is the key point in Radio Presenting.
You went for voice training, how well did that equip you in the quest to better your craft as a voice over artiste?
I just went to one basically. Before, I went to that one, I pretty much just did self-teaching. I went online, watched every voice over clip I could find. I was just a big fan of Tara Strong; I mean that’s pretty much why I got interested.
I love her work. I also want to go into animation in years to come. But yeah! I was inspired by Tara Strong to just go into this voice acting thing. One of my other inspirations was or is still because I love her so much, my mentor at the moment is Laura Chebet.
So, self-teaching myself, one day I realized that I really needed to do some voice training and I just started to do that and it was a really eye opening and wonderful experience.
I got to meet a lot of people that are just so good with this and I learn from them and keep in touch.
That’s literally what happened and we would recommend professional voice training schools, if you’re into voice acting.
Because, honestly voice training just gives you confidence that you need, you know. Just the extra push because you will now know what your client wants, and that’s what I think it is. If your client is happy then you have done a great job. So, voice training, I definitely recommend it.
What else do you love doing?
I love to sing a lot. Singing makes me happy whenever I’m alone doing my thing; a little humming here and there, singing my favorite songs, I always love to do that.
What do you plan to do to give back to society?
I have a lot of things. But the first one, definitely, involves voiceover. In the future, I plan to start my own voice training school. That’s what I want to do in future. So, I’m looking forward to that time.
Who and what has motivated you to come this far?
My dad is my biggest inspiration and Tara Strong as well. These two people are the biggest motivation so far.
What advice do you have for up-andcoming presenters?
It’s okay to try and fail. We learn every day and don’t feel bad whenever you make a mistake or when you go for that voice audition, don’t feel bad. Just keep practising every day and watch yourself get better basically. So, don’t be afraid, don’t give up and just chase your dreams, however big they are. And you will find yourself headed towards them.