All About That Bass: The Voice of Sam Stubing

Final Project MCOM 258

Sam Stubing is a 20-year-old college sophomore with dreams of becoming famous off of his voice, its depth surprising most people he encounters. As his best friend, I’ve gotten the priviledge of hearing this voice regularly, although for most others, the deep bass of a young soul is something new and exciting. I met up with Stubing at his college’s media studio to have a fun chat about the booming sound that he would like to one day be known for. Watch it here:

This video includes materials created from STAR WARS © 1977 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Activision. These materials are not my own and all rights are own by company parties.

For the full interview, watch here:

Interview Transcript

Ingram: “When exactly did your voice become deeper?”

Stubing: “I don’t know!” *laughs* “That’s your first question?”

I: “You don’t have a timeframe of it when it became deeper or when it changed?”

S: “I guess in high school. ‘Cause I started doing…my junior year, I started to do a show at Harford Technical High School, and in the show, they were trying to adjust the volumes for my mic and I realized that it was very deep. I don’t remember a sudden change though.”

I: “Were you always fascinated in vocal artistry, or did you always have an interest in other people’s voices?”

S: “Yes. I’ve always had a fascination,” *pauses and laughs* “kind-of, of the animals with voices behind them, but always the big, deep, booming voices: Mufasa, James Earl Jones; Narnia –Aslan with Liam Neeson; and other voices like that, like Peter Cullen, when I grew up watching Transformers, who’s the big, booming voice of Optimus Prime. So that was always nice.”

I: “What exactly do you find interesting about their voices in particular?”

S: “The uniqueness to it; the depth; the roundness, as the industry would say, and how engaging they are to the audience.”

I: “You listed some of the ones you are interested in, but did you have any other particular vocal inspirations?”

S: “I love my man James Earl Jones; he’s my go-to. Morgan Freeman. Mark Hamill, he voiced the Joker, and he voiced a bunch of other cartoons that most people don’t know about, but he was also in Star Wars; that’s where most people know him from, but he did the Joker for many years, so when I was watching Batman and stuff like that, that was a voice that I came to love.”

I: “How often do people make comments on your voice?”

S: “Pretty often, because I have a baby-face and they don’t expect it, so I either get, ‘I didn’t expect that voice from you’. I get, ‘you should go into radio’, which I think is just basically saying you have a nice voice, because I don’t even know if they know about radio enough to say ‘you should go into it, you would fit’. So I take that as a compliment, as in ‘Oh, I like your voice’.”

I: “Have you ever considered having a career based around your voice, and if so, what career?”

S:  “I guess, more voice acting. I’m leaning towards that. I’ve expressed interest in radio; I don’t know if that’s what I’m going to pursue, but…I don’t know. We’ll see where it leads.”

I: *Giggles* “It is so hard not to laugh…”

S: *chuckles*

I: “Have you earned anything in the past based on your voice?

S: “Earned anything in the past?”

I: “Mhmmm.”

S: “In high school, I earned a vocal appreciation award, but that was for singing; I don’t think they said ‘You got a deep voice, here’s an award’. In middle school, I actually got an award too. My eighth-grade year, they did awards for the school, and I got something for choir, but that wasn’t- my voice wasn’t deep yet.”

I: “What would you change about your voice, if you could?”

S: “I’d make it deeper. Or higher.”

I: “Which one?” *laughs*

S: *laughs* “So, I don’t like my voice, as it is now. I wish it was either deeper, so that I could scare the begeezus out of people and be James Earl Jones, or I wish it was higher, so that I fit in…with people.” *laughs*

I: *laughs* “That sounds so sad.”

S: *laughs*

I: “I know that you’re good at vocal impersonations. What are your favorite ones to do?”

S: “Christopher Walken. James Earl Jones, ‘cause he is one of my voice idols. Arnold Schwarzenegger; The Joker; Batman…I don’t know. I can’t really think of names off of the top of my head. I can do voices of, I don’t know, different accents and stuff like that, and dialects and characters.”

I: “How about an accent first, just one accent?”

S: “Oh I do them; I’m bad at them though.”

I: “That’s okay, I’m terrible at them.”

S: “I can’t think of an accent to do off of the top of my head.”

I: “Do a British. That’s like the standard.”

S: “Yeah, but it’s not actually an accent; like you know the ‘Ello! Gov’na!’ Is that British?”

I: *laughs* “I think so; I think that’s Cockney.”

S: *shrugs*

I: “Can you do one impersonation? Do your Christopher Walken. That one’s a good one.”

S: “You didn’t even know what it was the first time.”

I: “I didn’t.” *laughs*

S: “I know. Okay, *Walken voice* OH! Today’s a nice day to go out walking in the park.”

I: *laughs* “The fact that you said that without laughing.”

S: *laughs*

I: “Is there anything that you want people to know about voices, about vocal acting in general?”

S: “It’s a tough industry. I’m going to pursue it for as long as I can, and because I’m determined to, and because I want to. But if you’re not determined and you don’t want to do it, it is a very tough field and not many succeed.”

I: “Do you want to voice characters, like how you said you like the animals in certain movies, or would you rather be like Morgan Freeman and be a narrator for a penguin documentary or something like that?” *laughs*

S: “Both. I think I’d like either. I would really enjoy embodying a character; something that says ‘Oh I know that voice from this character who is like this strong, opposing character’, or something like that. If I could just do nature documentaries, I would love that. I love nature. I watched Planet Earth*…”

I: *starts to laugh*

S: “Planet Earth 1 and 2 which I thoroughly enjoy.  I know it’s something someone might watch in biology class,”

I: *laughs*

S: “but I thoroughly enjoy it. David Attenborough narrates those, and he’s this very good narrator and he’s been narrating for a long time.”

I: “What are currently doing and what path are you planning on following in order to get to your dream career?”

S: “I’m currently a mass communications major at HCC [Harford Community College]. I’m going towards a more performance-based end sound engineering, because I really enjoy doing audio as well, so I’m going to Towson for EMF – electronic media and film – and there I hope to pursue something in broadcast or sound engineering, or something I can pursue with my voice.”

*I have been known in the past to tease him for watching animal documentaries in his free time. He’s using my own quote against me.

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