It’s possible you’ve heard Vanessa James’ animated voice on radio stations across the country or flipping through channels on your TV. Her storied career started with roles in corporate radio as a program director and on-air host. 

Now, James is a proud business owner, lending her voice and expertise to iconic global brands (PGA Tour, The CW Network, Netflix, and more) and over 30 radio stations.

Born in Trinidad to Venezuelan, African, and Indian parents, the national voice actor is now based in Miami. Her voiceover gigs range from promos and music releases to on-hold greetings, often getting her recognized in public and on social media. 

James spoke with mitú about how she started her eponymous media company, the thing she likes best about her career, and tips for women who want to break through in the voiceover industry.

Transitioning from on-air host to her own boss

After getting laid off from her corporate radio job in 2010, James decisively took the plunge and control of her career. That year, she became the founder and CEO of Vanessa James Media: a center for all her multimedia offerings. 

James would often receive positive feedback for her work, plus compliments on her warm voice and controlled inflections. This led to opportunities to lend her voice to commercials and quick promos for more clients. 

Since voiceover work intrigued her, and it wasn’t too far of a jump from radio, it became the focus of her business instead of a side hustle. The entire process amazes her — from receiving the script in her inbox to witnessing the final product.

“Voiceover is an art, and much like acting for theater or film, there are many layers to it, and years of constant leveling up are required to stay fresh and relevant,” said James. 

Being a small business owner can be a challenge, even if it’s in a field you’re passionate about. When obstacles are in the way, James faces them head-on. With this mindset, she’s able to bounce back and instead view them positively as opportunities for success.

“Although it took me a few years to practice this truth, you have to use obstacles to your advantage and stop seeing them as roadblocks,” said James. “Every time I’ve encountered an obstacle or perceived setback, it always ended up serving as a valuable lesson and set up in my favor.”

Being a savvy triple threat

James has landed notable voiceover work recently: she voiced promos for The CW Network’s “All American: Homecoming,” narrated the Netflix children’s series “Ada Twist, Scientist” (which is produced by Barack and Michelle Obama), and voiced last year’s Women’s History Month campaign by Infiniti Motors. As a part of the latter, she even got to voice the GPS on Waze.

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A post shared by VANESSA JAMES 🎙VO + MEDIA 📍MIAMI (@vanessajamesmedia)

Even taking her previously freelance projects to full-time work, James also finds time to curate and host events. She uses her platform to uplift others, create space for them, and promote diversity and inclusion. 

She does three signature events through her company, like VJMedia Mixology. It’s a networking experience for influencers, creators, and entrepreneurs in South Florida. There’s also her annual Women of Impact Dinner, which brings together and celebrates women and their work in the community. 

Coming up for her is Food, Wine, and Fete, an expansive food and wine experience celebrating and amplifying Caribbean culinary creatives. The event returns this fall since 2019, after the pandemic-induced hiatus.


The fabulous Chef Amaris Jones is famous for a few things: her sweet potato biscuits, her mouthwatering chicken concoctions and that gorgeous smile. She brought her A-Game to our quick fire series and surprised us with some of her answers at @joincookout during @sobewffest. It’s also her birthday weekend!!! 🥳🥂🍹 Please join me in wishing Amaris a wonderful birthday – show this reel some love and let me know what you think about her answers. 👇🏾👇🏾 #60secondsofflavorfulconversation #FoodandWineSeason #SpringTravelSeason #VanessaJamesMedia #chefAmarisJones #TheCookout #CaribbeanTravel #VanessaJamesMedia @vanessajamesmedia

♬ original sound – VJ | VO Actor + Creator

Multimedia storytelling is also a huge passion for James, and she’s made space for herself within the travel niche. Whenever she gets the chance, she ventures to the Caribbean for assignments. She uses it to write guides and reviews in those vibrant environments.

“I focus on the parts of travel that bring me true joy: carnival, culture, and food. And share stories about the vibrant multicultural tapestry that makes each location special,” said James.

Words of wisdom and what she learned about herself

After modeling a successful transition into starting her own multimedia company, James has some advice for women with similar interests. She recommends honing in on what part of the industry they’re most interested in. 

The next step is to get three things in order: a mentor, a demo, and a budget. Although it can be an expensive process, she doesn’t think it should deter anyone who has the drive for it. 

“VO is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you’re serious about the craft, you’ll need to treat it like any other passion and invest in it,” advises James. “Start where you are and grow from there.”

She’s learning a lot about herself since starting Vanessa James Media. Aside from realizing just how “resilient, gutsy, and steadfast” she is, she’s confident about the legacy she’s leaving. A self-described “social butterfly,” connecting with others is her favorite part of collaborating with brands and creators.

James is a proud supporter of three schools in Trinidad, holding annual back-to-school drives. She also volunteers for career day events at schools in Miami-Dade county and hosts mentorship opportunities through her company. 

“As a proud daughter of the Caribbean, who often travels to the islands for work and play, connecting with the culture and showing fellow creatives that their dreams are not only possible but within reach has become a part of my business journey,” said James.