Scott Matthews Voiceover

Imaging In 2019 – Scott Matthews

Welcome to the “Imaging In 2019 Series” – a blog series that interviews inspiring producers and great creators of Station Sound.

Scott Matthews

Scott Matthews Voiceover
This week’s #ImagingIn2019 guest is just one of those guys you WANT to be around. His knowledge on Radio, Voice and Audio is next level and he has some great stories to tell. We shared many of those at WWRS19. So much fun to be around.
His work is next-level and his voice is HUGE. Not just behind the mic – but in person too. He just nails it every time. Funny story too (Scott doesn’t know this yet) but I worked with his voice while applying for a demo years back and I never knew who it was until this year. Mind blown.
We had a few drinks at The Worldwide Radio Summit and his stories are equally as cool.
Welcome Scott to #ImagingIn2019! 

1. How did you get started in the Voiceover World?

t all started for me in the early 90’s working in radio. I spent countless hours in the production studio, experimenting with effects processors, recording on reel to reel decks and the early advent of digital workstations. Back then, if you were lucky, the studios you worked in were packed with outboard gear. It was a wonderland for geeks like us, lol. I stayed after my shifts, came in on off-hours and played around whenever I could. Looking back, it has served me well putting in the work. Although listening back to my cassette demos from that era is rather cringeworthy 🙂 In 1995, I was working at WYSP in Philly and met Paul Turner. He was the creative director of the station and became the imaging voice and producer for Howard Stern’s syndicated morning show. Paul had started his own production company and offered me opportunities auditioning for prospective radio imaging clients.

I was also auditioning for promo and commercial vo for an agency in New York around there same time. While I didn’t venture into full-time voice over for another ten years, this is where I began to formulate a future plan for myself. In the mid 2000’s, my friend and co-worker, Mike Miller (now PD at WZFT/Baltimore) was the imaging director of Clear Channel’s (iHeart) local KISS-FM format in Harrisburg, PA. He uploaded some of his imaging pieces with my vo to the company’s production share site.

That’s where Kelly Doherty (then Imaging KISS-FM/LA) first heard my voice work. Kelly, in turn, shared it with several of her producer friends within the company. Within a few months, I was voicing Q-102/Philly, The Wolf/Dallas and other formats.  

2. Who are your idols and people you look for inspiration from?

So many talented people to thank for inspiration! Of course Don LaFontaine and Ernie Anderson were early inspirations. I also loved game shows when I was a kid and the legendary announcer, Johnny Olsen of Price Is Right fame, was a favorite. In the 80’s & 90’s, Charlie Kendall, Joe Cipriano, Keith Eubanks and Paul Turner were standouts to me. I really marvel at how many amazing talents there are currently voicing various mediums. There are just too many who have my respect to mention, including those who have been gracious with their time and advice over the years. I’m inspired every time I turn on the radio, tv or go online and hear someone creating art through storytelling or just making it sound effortless. I think we’re in a new golden age of voice over with so many different outlets for creatives to have their voice heard, who would never have broken through 20 years ago.

3. What is your opinion on Vocal Coaches - have you used one in the past and are they worth it?

I have limited experience with coaching. I have done some session work with talent coaches over the years and plan on studying with others in the future. In my opinion, it takes an exceptional individual to rise above the noise without any formal training of some kind. Although, I do believe it’s essential for any talent to be aware of those who have risen to a successful level in the industry and really study and try to deconstruct how they do it. They are successful for a reason…or many. Staying in your own little box can only take you so far.

4. What makes a killer demo for a voiceover? (Different styles/something creative that makes it different)

Diversity. Diversity. Diversity. Showcasing a variety of styles and energy levels are a must. Having a “great voice” is essentially worthless if you haven’t a clue of how to use it. If you don’t have a solid background in audio production, work with someone who does. There are many producers who now specialize in vo demo production. Programmers, consultants, casting people & talent agents are looking for the authentic voice. Everyone has their own unique voice but being able to convey believability, relatability or “realness” is what makes it an art. I’m still working on it 🙂

7. Tough question time! When someone outside our business asks what you do for a living - how. do you explain it?

Yeah, that’s a fun one, lol. For radio imaging, I usually tell people that I’m the voice between the songs and commercials…who isn’t the dj. Then after they blankly stare at me for a moment, I just break out my best Dave Foxx impression. Works every time.

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