‘It’s an important project for me – being able to bring Black talent to a film that explores African themes. Black kids need to hear our voices – representation matters…’
NEWARK, N.J., May 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Voiceover artist Bryant Barnett announced his work as the narrating voice for Nat Geo’s new one-hour documentary: "Gorongosa: Paradise Reborn," airing as part of Nat Geo’s recent Earth Day celebration. The documentary can be seen via Nat Geo and will eventually stream via Disney+ and Hulu.
Once known as Africa’s Eden before years of war tore the park apart and slaughtered many of its natural inhabitants, "Gorongosa: Paradise Reborn" explores the harrowing and heartbreaking story of this lush African paradise. Now one of the greatest wildlife restoration efforts in human history, Bryant Barnett reveals the park’s current renewal through the eyes of a female elephant, Mwana Nzo – a survivor of the park’s brutal past.
"Lisa wrote and produced this amazing piece," said Barnett. "And even though we were unable to meet face to face this go-round because of COVID precautions, working with her remotely was amazing. There was just this magic that happened during our sessions, this friendly synergy between the whole team. The first session started with us just doing small talk, getting to know each other. And even though I know my voice doesn’t sound the same when I’m having a regular conversation, they didn’t know that. My normal speaking voice is nothing like big ‘Radio Man in the Sky’ at all. So, when it came time for us to record, and everyone was quiet, I leaned into the mic – and my voice suddenly boomed and transformed into my Narrator voice! It must have surprised them because Lisa came through the headphones later and I could hear her smiling: ‘Wow! You have an awesome voice!’ And that was so gratifying to hear from her."
"Bryant had the perfect voice for our moving documentary about the animals and people of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique," said Lisa Feit, writer and producer of the documentary. "He captured the emotion in the stories and his narration has received many compliments; not to mention he’s a great guy to work with!"
Bryant Barnett’s voice artistry puts him in an elite group of Black voiceover artists, with a vocal range and skill that distinguishes him as part of a new wave of inspiring Black American talent gracing the airwaves over the past few decades.
"A major part of being a voice actor is having range – being able to move through a wide variety of characters and breathe life into them – from voicing a child in a cartoon, or theatrical promos for new movies, to energetic radio brands. But even though I’ve worked on my craft for many years, I am a fairly new voice actor. And landing a narration with National Geographic is a major deal," said Barnett. "But also, being a Black voice actor is very big deal. Narration and storytelling are an art form that requires more than just talking into the mic. Usually when you have no proven experience, or are an unknown in the industry, you are denied a chance. So, it’s a privilege to be among those I have grown up watching in movies, on television, and narrating other Nat Geo Specials. Actors whom I have admired such as Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, Angela Bassett, Denzel Washington, and Sterling K. Brown … just to name a few."
"National Geographic is recognized for its amazing storytelling of nature and history," Barnett continued. "Representation means so much; even in this instance, it makes a huge difference. Many times, I hear non-Black voices telling our stories, or even voicing Black characters in animation. It’s hurtful sometimes because the thought I have is: ‘Are we not good enough to play ourselves?’ For me to be able to tell a story about the land where my people are from, and a story that has greatly impacted both that land there and also Black people here … I felt a deep connection. I was able to tell the story from a deep, yet somewhat familiar place."
Speaking on his latest efforts, Barnett revealed: "I am currently working on some animation projects and looking into a few others as well; along with some commercials that are in production and will be voiced. I am enjoying the amazing creative process it takes to make these projects a success."
Robin Steinfeld, Agent
SOURCE Bryant Barnett