Employed several vocal techniques in the early years

As he prepares for his podcast series, Commander Karan Saxena, Sood on reaping the benefits of the things he learned early in his career

Sonu Sood

Having played several action-oriented roles on the big screen, Sonu Sood is preparing to embark on the creation of an audio series for Spotify. As the voice of the titular character Commander Karan Saxena in a series of the same name, Sood recreated for audio format the Hindi pulp fiction novels written by Amit Khan.

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Speaking about the Mantra-led show, Sood says, “As kids, we would have [access to] audio tapes of movies like Sholay, and Maine Pyar Kiya. Hearing the dialogues was always a pleasant experience. Also, we read novels [that we got] on train stations and begin to imagine the world in which the stories would take place. When working on a , we have to paint the whole picture through our voice. It’s difficult, because you have no visual [reference]. But, when I started my acting career, we had such activities involving [the use of our vocals]. Moreover, this story was written in such a convincing way that it [the process simpler].”

In order to use his voice to paint a picture for listeners, Sood says he first had to create a world for himself. While in film his co-actors would likely help him elicit the required reaction when he was in character, Sood was not accompanied by other voiceovers when recording lines for this character. “When we read a script, we imagine how the character is going to behave, speak and react, and we work to create that world. For example, if the character is climbing a hill and is out of breath or injured, their voice should reflect that physical state. The dialogues can’t just be stated. While I had people giving me cues for the recording, it was done individually. You have to imagine how the other [voice-over artistes] would speak.

Those who have juggled the two worlds will agree that acting behind the mic isn’t quite the same as doing it in front of the camera, but sod does not hesitate to let his voice take center stage. Early in his career, he says he spent time understanding the nuances of his voice by recording himself on the dictaphone. “I would explore these techniques because you don’t hear each other when you talk. But when you listen to your voice, it’s easy to see if you’re doing things right or not. Ask him if he has read Khan’s books, and he answers in the affirmative. “He gave me a script that we are working on. He’s a writer [who can appease] the masses. He writes the kind of lines that everyone wants to say – they are always larger than life.

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The Spotify Original will see three of Commander Karan Saxena’s popular books – Ek Vaigyanik Ki Talaash, Chakravyooh and Mere Haath Mere Hathiyar – be adapted to the format. Each book will be covered in six 15 minute episodes and will be released on August 15, in keeping with the theme of patriotism on Independence Day.

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