"There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's Master Card." Sounds familiar? The voice of this commercial gives Rishi Rana Bharadwaj his identity. He is a voice-over artist who has endorsed Maruti, Adidas, Boost, Titan, Reebok, Gillette and many other products. "It's an inborn talent. You cannot develop it at some learning school. Either you have it or don't," he says.
The only tool that helps in voice-modulation is training in theatre, although Bharadwaj himself has just had a small slice of it during his college days.
A St Stephen's College alumni, this 29-year-old became a VO artist by 'accident'. "I was always into tennis until I fractured my collar bone during practice," he says.
Fascinated by a friend's weekend vocation of scripting, he too started writing scripts for a Canadian radio channel. And then, he got the biggest break of his career with the voice-over for the promotion of Dunston Checks In. "I became the voice of Star News (before NDTV) in 1999. Whether it was We The People or The Big Fight, any audio promotion on this channel was done in my voice." At present, Bharadwaj is attached with Zee Sports, Discovery and a Dubai-based radio channel.
Ask him who has the best voice in Bollywood and he has the most obvious answer. "Amitabh Bachchan," though he quickly adds, "Vidya Balan has the best female voice."
His voice sells for anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000. Unlike most VO artists, Bharadwaj is not too finicky about his eating habits. "I eat everything — mainly spicy food — and drink cold water," he says.
He says the Indian accent is loved all over the world. "We have that clarity in our speech."