Iâ€™d like to take this post to introduce a very talented friend of mine who specialises in Voice Overs,Â below is a short introduction from Mahmoud Taji.Â Many South Africans find it difficult for voice over artists to do Islamic projects and Iâ€™m sure Taji could fill this gap nicely.
â€œThe first thing I ask my clients to read is my list of restrictions, if they agree to my terms then we can workâ€¦ otherwise they can hire someone else.â€
This is the list that Mahmoud asks potential customers to read before approaching him:
As a devout Muslim Mahmoud does not work on projects for the following firms:
1. Cigarette Companies â€“ Their advertising might have been restricted in the West / Europe but in the Middle East and in many 3rd world Countriesâ€¦ they donâ€™t have these restrictionsâ€¦ thatâ€™s how they can still turn a profit when smoking is on a decline in their countries of origin.
2. Adult Industry Companies â€“ No pornography in any way shape or form.
4. Breweries, Alcoholic retailers, Bars etc. – That includes places that serve it â€¦ manufacture it, market it, transport it.
5. Hotels & Resorts â€“ This has to do with part 4 of the listâ€¦ places that serve alcoholâ€¦ hotelsÂ that do not serve Alcohol are exempt but this is rarely the case.
6. Work that promotes Atheism or contains Blasphemous Material â€“ Anything that contains statements that can be disrespectful to God, his Angels, His Prophets or the messages and doctrines that they were sent with.
7. Music / Music Radio Stations â€“ No MusicÂ station imaging, Song introduction or anything similar.
8. No Islamic Sects or Other Religions â€“ I am Sunni Muslim. I donâ€™t do work for things that promote Sufism, The Shiaa or Church Charities be they Christian or Scientology based.
9. I Am Palestinian â€“ And because I am Palestinian I donâ€™t work with any company remotely associated with Israel so please donâ€™t try. Your money doesnâ€™t interest me.
â€œI donâ€™t think itâ€™s harsh for me to be upfront and candid with my clients. They should know this stuff before we start negotiating. I donâ€™t want to start a project, promise a client my time and then discover that what they actually wanted me to work on was on the restriction list. Does this limit my incomeâ€¦ sure it does â€¦ banks are always looking to promote their riba infested accountsâ€¦ I once got a request from the church of Scientology wanting me to voice their garbage. Subhan allah, Are these people nuts? Whatever income comes from that kufr I am not in need of â€¦ no Baraka would come from it and Iâ€™d be taking part in spreading fosooq and shirk. Aâ€™ooth billah.â€
Mahmoud also runs a blog called Tajiâ€™s Voice Emporium where he writes articles about the voiceover business where he injects the Islamic understanding of ethics and morality into the narrative. â€œItâ€™s very important that people realize, whether they are Christian or not, that there are consequences to our actions. A Muslim will sometimes contemplate the repercussions of working to promote something. It is not just a paycheck that is demanded but the blessings of Allah and his pleasure. People of other faiths often skip that moment of contemplation and figure that the ends justify the means.â€
The business of voiceovers is a relatively new profession starting from the early days of the radio. It is not like the carpenter or the butcher because it depends largely on technologicalÂ Â advancements in vocal projection and recording. More recently with the increasing sophistication of the personal computer as well as recording software, home studios have become more accessible and have allowed the voiceover artist to work from home making trips to the recording studio obsolete and unnecessary.
Commitment is what Mahmoud says his clients pick him for. He describes his email checking as his personal OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). â€œI promise my clients fast turnaroundâ€¦Â you canâ€™t promise that and not be constantly in contact with your clients. Scripts change and deadlines tighten, thatâ€™s just how the business is â€¦ if you canâ€™t get back to your client within 10 to 30 minutes of them emailing you then you shouldnâ€™t bother getting into this business.â€
With clients spanning all 5 continents Mahmoud comes in contact with many different cultures and customs. â€œBusiness is supposed to be the international languageâ€¦ but sometimes you have to educate yourself in how a culture functions so you can communicate with them. It is very easy to misunderstand someone or be misunderstood with an online business. You donâ€™t have second chances hereâ€¦ you have to learn quicklyâ€¦ or sink!â€
Visit his websites below: