Alexa is a common name in the smart voice assistant category but only because of its refined search capabilities and improved skills. Voice assistants are an integral part of the smart devices ecosystem and Alexa is surely among the top three in the category. But have you ever wondered whose voice is exactly behind the voice assistant built by Amazon? Well, haven’t we all tried to guess it? We sure have! But the genius minds at Amazon never disclosed the name to its users, despite numerous requests and subreddits inquiring about the original voice-over artist of Alexa.
The speculation is now quashed (to some extent) as the name of the artist behind the voice of Alexa is revealed by an author in his new book. Read on to learn about the person behind the captivating voice of Alexa, the one voice which you are accustomed to in the present age.
Meet Nina Rolle: The human voice powering Alexa
Nina Rolle gave her voice to Alexa voice assistant and is now the favorite of 100 million-plus Alexa users worldwide. She is a competent voice-over artist with decades of experience in working in the voice-over industry. Before Alexa, she worked with global scale brands like Mott’s Apple Juice, Volkswagen Passat, etc, for their ad campaigns and captured the audience’s attention. Considering her portfolio, she could have landed the role at once but Amazon spends years filtering and finalizing the voice for Alexa.
As per Brad Stone, a professional journalist and the author of the book “Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire”, Nina Rolle is the actual voice behind Alexa. He released the information on his Twitter handle before appearing in an interview for Wired. The author covered the working and thought-process of Amazon’s tussle in creating Alexa, a voice assistant which gives head-to-head competition to other similar technologies from Google and Apple.
Alexa revealed, this is the woman who gave her voice
According to the excerpts from his book, Nina Rolle wasn’t selected promptly, despite her extensive experience and soothing voice. Jeff Bezos needed a voice that was distinct and malleable enough to sound calm, and pacifying while answering the users’ queries. The hunt for a voice artist began in 2014 and comprised a lot of interviews and further reviews before presenting to the boss man himself. Amazon Alexa’s voice testing was conducted in every possible scenario including traffic, high noise areas, crowded suburbs, etc.
It sometimes led to befuddling scenarios, some of which even resulted in suspicious neighbors. Bezos eventually got what he wanted, when they presented the audio excerpts of Nina Rolle, who was finalized as the voice of Alexa. The author’s book is filled with many more such encounters and the rise of Amazon is dominating every sector of the technology space.
However, Nina Rolle never confirmed her involvement in Alexa’s voice-over program. Stone contacted her in 2021 to speak about the exclusive project but she didn’t agree to talk about it. She informed me that she wasn’t allowed to speak about it and when the author tried to contact Amazon to let her converse about the project, the tech brand declined his request.
Nina Rolle has a long list of collaborations with multiple brands, all of which is available on her website. But the most renowned one, at least in our opinion, isn’t mentioned anywhere on her website. Amazon, to this date, has not released an official statement regarding the person who voiced Alexa. It is surprising because there have been many additions to the voiceover roster for Amazon Alexa. Users can select a favorite celebrity voice of their choice and replace the original one with ease. Moreover, users can relate to the celebrity because they know them by their names. Nina Rolle could actually benefit from the huge fan following that would emerge once they know that she is the actual voice of Alexa.
So, now you know about Nina Rolle and her huge contribution to making Alexa an easy-to-understand voice assistant. Amazon isn’t interested in revealing the name yet but knows you have a fair idea of who’s behind the voice you talk to every day on our Amazon echo.