Aisha Manrique uses her voice to connect brands with people worldwide

As a child, Aisha Manrique loved to tell stories to other children in her neighbourhood and disguise her voice to sound like various characters.

She would start her day after saying her prayers by sitting in front of her mirror and pretending she was on stage speaking to an audience.

Her mother described her as a natural communicator but little did either of them know that what Manrique was displaying as a child was a preview of who she would become.

Manrique is today a voice-over artist, one whose voice is heard in ads locally, regionally and internationally.

Manrique’s journey began when she was a student at the Gasparillo Composite School when she was selected to attend a regional conference.

At the conference, volunteers were asked to go on stage and voice an ad. No one wanted to take the challenge.

“I, however, sitting in that chair, I remember literally hearing two voices. You know in movies they have the bad angel on the left and the good angel on the right. The good angel is saying go you could do this, this is your time, yes you could do this, you are natural and then your bad angel is like oh no, you better sit down, what are you doing everybody’s going to laugh at you, you better sit in that seat,” she said with a laugh.

The good angel won and Manrique stepped up to do the ad.

Aisha Manrique

The gentleman on stage, Percy Parker Williams, told her to be herself and she did just that, choosing to do a cologne ad for men.

“I remember just going into character, literally smelling the cologne, because that’s what voice acting is, putting yourself in the scene. And I was like, hey you, yes, you, you want me, don’t you? You smell me, can you? Ah, just imagine what everyone else is going to see when they smell you too. And then I changed my voice and I gave the cologne a name. I don’t know where it came from the concept, the ideas, and the voice but from that very moment 22 years ago, I received a scholarship to pursue broadcasting and that is where my life changed forever,” she said.

Even though she did the course and was trained by the likes of broadcast veteran Edison Carr, Manrique decided not to pursue a career in radio.

A marketing professional by day, she instead worked passionately on honing her craft and put together demos to send out for potential opportunities.

“I got so many rejections before I started to get my first yes and that is what I tell people who always ask me so how do you get involved and those who feel discouraged when they get no’s, I say listen you’re going to get many no’s regardless of how far you reach in the industry but it doesn’t mean that you’re not great at what you do. It just means that your voice is not suited for this particular project,’ she said,

“Producers know what they want to hear so I would have invested in my demo, heard a lot of no’s, sent emails, made calls, not given up when I felt like, well, is this ever going to happen? And then my very first TV ad was for T&TEC. And that’s when the confidence started to become a little more intense.”

Voice over work is a passion for Aisha

With time, Manrique got more voice-over jobs, voicing ads for several companies and brands such as Massy, Pizza Hut, KFC, HDC, Digicel, NP, Moo, Boost, Scotiabank and Toyota. Regionally, she has voiced ads for the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival and a client in Germany.

Manrique also hosts corporate events and on Independence night she will provide the voiceovers for the first annual Caribbean Music Awards in New York.

While she is investing heavily into her God-given talents, it is that gift that helped her channel her emotions following the deaths of her brother and mother six years ago within months of each other.

“It’s all about emotions. It’s a connection from head to toe. Understanding your body understanding the difference in nuances and your voice based on how you position your body in that booth. It’s about who you become before you open your mouth. It’s about what you tell yourself in your brain stories you tell yourself in order to bring yourself to a particular point in order to bring those words to life. So everything that you experience, the good, the bad, the indifferent, those are the things that you bring to your reads as a voiceover talent, and that is what helps you to be authentic,” she explained.

“So whenever I get a script that requires you to show some elements of emotion that may not be positive, whether I’m narrating a story or voicing an ad, whatever it is, I tap into those emotions. What voice acting did for me based on the pain, based on the loss that I would have endured losing both my mother and my brother, I was able to escape and go into so many different worlds as a result of the different scripts.”

Aisha has her own studio at home and offers scripting services as well

Stating that your voice is an instrument, Manrique advised those interested in becoming voice-over artists to learn how to play with your voice.

“Understand the limits where your voice can go on with proper training and vocal exercises. You can make your voice sound completely different based on how you breathe based on how you stand based of course, you know in terms of the different emotions that you tap into, so proper training is key. It starts from there,” she said.

Diet is also key. To protect her vocal cords, Manrique does not drink old beverages or coffee and stays away from milk and ice cream when she has big projects to work on.

Water, she said, is very important.

“Water is your best friend. As a voice-over talent, if you are drinking water, you get thirsty. You have to drink water every single day because remember your voice is, your tool. So you have to take proper care of your voice. And that starts with ensuring that you are properly hydrated every single day. Drink as much water as you can. I can’t stress that enough. Drink as much water as you can. Stay away from smoking and alcohol if you can, right? Because these things it damage your vocal folds.”
She also emphasized the importance of vocal exercises such as tongue twisters and yawning that help with your articulation.

Aisha works with clients all over the world

To help develop the profession, Manrique’s dream is to establish an organisation that can offer training, set rates, offer insurance, and other benefits. She attended the largest voice-over conference in Atlanta recently where she saw the possibilities of where the profession can go.

“We have the talent, we have the passion. No one goes into the booth to give substandard work. You know, everyone gives their best. We need to have systems in place to protect us as voices, to ensure that persons are not taking advantage or taking us for granted and you must have an association or some structure in place to ensure that these things are dealt with in a particular way. How far will I get with it? Only God knows, but I do know that it’s a mission that’s upon my heart, that I’m willing to get done.”

Follow Aisha Manrique on Instagram or contact her via Whatsapp at 736-0596 and check out her website


This article was originally published on Loop News (

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