We had the good fortune of connecting with Greg Jake Gibbins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Greg Jake, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I spent nearly 20 years in the radio business wearing many different hats from on-air talent to promotions assistant to the highly coveted middle management. I LOVED the radio business. But, there were a few things I didn’t love about it. In July of 2013, I was working for The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show as the Director of Affiliate Relations and unfortunately, Kidd passed away. We were all in shock as was the rest of the audience and there was a lot of uncertainty looming over our heads during that tumultuous time. So, I started trying to figure out my next move. In my younger days I held many job titles such as “bingo hall cleaner”, ” attendant at a batting cage”, “18 wheeler washer”, “chicken catcher”, “sample handout guy at Whole Foods”… Not really jobs I could fall back on. But, I have always been fascinated by the radio imaging voice over people. You know, the voice you hear in-between songs or the dude who tells you about the station contest that’s on the way. I had produced so many pieces of “radio imaging” over the years and worked with some of the biggest names in voice over, so it just made sense that I explore the other side of that game. In January of 2014, I made a New Years resolution to find one station to take me on as their station imaging voice. Luckily, one of the Kraddick affiliates (KHDK/Burlington, IA) was looking to make a change. Over the years as the affiliate relations dude, I struck up some really great relationships, one of which was “Lil Matt” from KHDK: Hot 97.3 in Burlington, IA. He said send me a few liners and let’s see what you got! So I did and a few days later he called and said, “YES!” I was STUNNED! From that point, the bug really got into me and I began spending my days and nights, practicing and reading about the industry. Who were the big names? How did they get to be successful? Would any of them coach me? Where could I buy equipment for cheap? So many things would need to be answered but I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to the craft full time. I live in a small town called west of Fort Worth called Aledo, which is a 56 mile (one way drive) to the Kraddick studio. Add traffic into that and I was spending a massive amount of time each day commuting to work. Ironic side note, when I first met my wife, we moved into a loft about 300 yards from the Kraddick studio. I wasn’t working for Kraddick at the time and we moved to Fort Worth. About 5 months later, I was hired to work at the Kraddick Show. Go figure. As the years rolled by, I found myself connecting with many video producers in DFW and around the globe through social media. I would use a picture of myself with a famous person I had met while working at the Kraddick Show and I would say something like, “Andre 3000 and LA Reid don’t know I do voice over but now you do” with a few very well thought out hashtags. I would get crazy responses from people that I knew and most importantly that I didn’t know who worked in the voice over industry, advertising or video production. YAY! A reputation was born and business started to come in… Slowly. As I mentioned earlier, I was spending a lot of time in the car. That will lead one to start thinking about their destiny and how they want to spend their time. My body hurt. I was out of shape. My boss demanded that I be in the office everyday. I felt like the radio business was failing. I needed a change. After a long discussion with my super amazing and beautiful wife (brownie points) and turning down a few voice over gigs due to my long commute to work in Las Colinas, the time had come. I spent my last couple of months at the Kraddick Show setting up my website (www.GregJakeGibbins.com), seeking out voice over coaches, producing demos and taking marketing classes. (Shhhhhh don’t tell) My last day was June 1st, 2017 and I kid you not, while at my going away party, I got a call from a radio station owner who wanted to know if I was available to voice 3 of his stations. The stars had aligned and I was off to the VO races! Since then, I have voiced campaigns for national brands such as Gold Bond, The Container Store, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Dell Technologies and more. These successes in the voice over world lead to an expansion of my business into acting. Granted, I don’t control the acting part of my business but I have been lucky enough to be in commercials for CiCi’s Pizza, La Quinta, Mizzen and Main and of course my all time favorite in DFW, Builder Surplus. Yes. I was one of the people that yell YEEEEEEEEEE HAWWWWWWW and then smash a pane of glass. As fate would have it, radio came knocking on my door once more. I got a notification from an agent of mine in the UK asking if I would be interested in auditioning to become the host of a weekly podcast for a massive record company called Spinnin’ Records. “Sure!”, I thought. “Once a week? Why not?!” I landed the gig and I have now been the host of Spinnin’ Sessions since November of 2017. I love it and look forward to it each week. In April of this year (2020), I got a very unexpected email from a guy named Bram Franssen who works for the infamous EDM festival called Tomorrowland. If you are not familiar, it is one of the largest and most elaborate music festivals on the planet pulling in 450,000 – 500,000 people per day over two weekends in July. It’s a beast. I digress. Bram who is based in Belgium was/is a fan of my Spinnin Sessions show and informed me that they were on the hunt for an international voice to join their One World Radio team. My wife giggled. My mom giggled. My friends giggled. They thought, “International voice? You? BAHAHAHAHA” I admit, it’s funny to think that a guy in his early 40’s who lives in Aledo, Texas would be the voice of not one EDM show but TWO! I accepted the offer and am now the host of a show called “Celebrate the Magic” weeknights, Monday – Thursday for One World Radio, The Sound of Tomorrowland! Pretty cool. So, in a nutshell, I was tired of driving to work and now I am a voice over talent, a TV commercial actor and the host of two international radio shows and a producer of podcast intros/outros. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
From the time I was a little kid, I always wanted to be different and I always knew I wanted to work somewhere in the entertainment business. In high school, I learned that I could take radio classes at KEOM in Mesquite and I jumped at that opportunity. Right then and there, I got a taste for doing things a bit differently. Most of my friends grew up to work regular jobs but not me. In hindsight, I would have made way more money as a CPA or a dentist or a lawyer or corporate sales dude but those jobs didn’t fit who I was/am. So to answer the question about what sets me apart from others, I am a voice over guy. There is a certain level of bashful enthusiasm that goes along with telling people what I do for a living because, I know it’s a cool job and I know it’s not what people are expecting me to say when asked what I do. I am truly doing what I love to do and a lot of people can’t say that. Some people are just working at a job and not in a career field that makes them happy. I take a lot of pride in my work not only as a voice over talent but as a business owner as well. I had to learn how to wear many hats when I started my voice over journey. A lot of people think they can just jump into a career as a voice over talent and that’s not the case. You need training, coaches, professionally produced demos, great equipment, specially treated rooms/booths, marketing skills, business acumen and a me against the world attitude because basically, that’s what this career is. I love my voice over colleagues and the majority of them will do whatever they can to help another voice actor but don’t think for one second that when we all get the same script for an audition, the competitor doesn’t comes out. The cool part about the business is that when a bunch of us get the same script for an audition and we don’t get the job, we will compare reads with each other to make us better. It’s a really cool industry but very competitive. My brand is very unique to who I am. It’s not too flashy but it’s bold. It’s not too serious but has intention.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This area is chock full of so many great places to see and things to do, so this is a hard one. So let’s start on the Dallas side of town. In an ideal world I think I would start in Mesquite at the rodeo. I’m not a big rodeo guy per se but it was a big part of my youth growing up in Mesquite, so I feel like that would be an experience to take in. At some point I would need to show them Adair’s, Reunion Tower, Nowitzky Way and for any out-of-towner, Dealy Plaza. But usually, I try not to bring to much light on our area’s darkest moment, ya know?! We would most definitely have to grab a bite at Javier’s, a sandwich from Jimmy’s Food Store, shuffleboard and beer at Stan’s Blue Note and a nice walk across the Margaret to get a good view of Downtown. On the Fort Worth side of town, I would have to take them to the Stockyards. It’s touristy but whatever, you can have fun no matter where you are, right? Unpopular opinion coming your way. I wouldn’t go to Joe T’s. Sorry friends. You can find much better Mexican food on this side of town and you don’t have to hit up the ATM or wait in extremely long lines to get in. We would head over to The Original Mexican Cafe instead. Make sure to see Iris. She’s the best. One of my other favorite places to eat in FW is Little Red Wasp. They have a killer assortment of beers and drinks and the food is always on point. As for nightlife, we would stop into the Scat Jazz Lounge. I love that place with it’s dark alley entrance, 1920’s mobster feel and great music. Most def a place to hit up. Of course we would have to go see the water garden and visit the Modern just to feel a sense of classiness. From Fort Worth, we would head west to Weatherford and Mineral Wells. In Weatherford, there is a great restaurant called Fire Oak that we visit as much as possible. It’s a gem of a place! Make sure you get the sous vide steak! Then we’d be off to Mineral Wells to check out the haunted Baker Hotel (sadly, it’s under renovations at the moment) and then we’d take a tour of the Haunted Hill House that is nearby.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people that I need to give a shout out to in this section but the first person will most definitely be my wife, Erica. She has stood by me through thick and thin and I wouldn’t be here today had it not been for her. She is my rock. My inspiration. My driving force to be better each day (which I’m not always). She was there for me when I lost my job at 99.5 The Wolf. She was there for me when I got hired by Kraddick. She was there for me when Kraddick died. She was there for me when I hurt and hated radio. She is always there and sometimes you hear husbands joke about getting away from their wives, not me. We do everything together and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So when I said, I wanted to do this voice over “thing” she said, “Let’s do this voice over thing!” And, when I started doing that voice over thing and no money was coming in for a few months, she told me to keep trucking ,even though she thought I was just in my studio playing on Instagram and LinkedIn all day. (I was marketing my business and both platforms have resulted in many, many booking for my business) Ask any voice over talent in the world and they will tell you that it takes a VERY special person to put up with a voice over talent/creative. Thank you, Erica! You’re the best! I love you! 🙂 Shoutout! Now as far as radio imaging voice over is concerned, I have to give a shout out to “Lil Matt” Brown for giving me a start in the business. He could have easily found a well known radio imaging voice over talent to put on his station but he believed in me and gave me that first opportunity. He knew my passion for radio and knew I could do and I am extremely grateful for him. Shoutout! I have to give a shout out to Chris Gifford at The Brown Lab (now known as The Story Concept) for allowing me to voice a few explainer videos in the very beginning of my career. I met him while attending a fundraiser hosted by former Texas Ranger great Jose Guzman. It wouldn’t be until years later that we would collaborate together but that is the importance of networking kids. Chris and I worked on about 15 or so videos and those really helped me understand voice control and tempo. I watch those videos now and sometimes I cringe but I always think about Chris giving me the opportunity to grow. Shoutout! A dream of all aspiring voice over talent is to nail down an agent. So you can only imagine my excitement when I sent a demo to the notoriously famous Campbell Agency and I got a response…. THE SAME DAY! WOW! The response came from Sharon Howell, an incredible and well respected agent at Campbell and in DFW. She has booked me some solid VO gigs, as well as some amazing TV commercials and industrial video projects. Shoutout! Last but not least, I have to give a shout out to my family. My mom for equipping me with sarcasm and a killer work ethic. My dad for teaching me to be funny and even kiel. My sister for annoying me as a kid, being awesome and funny as we got older and teaching me to compete for attention.(Life lessons that came in handy as a voice over talent) My kids for teaching me that it’s okay to be a kid again and turning my once black facial hair mostly gray. Shoutout! This feels like an acceptance speech and I know someone is being left out. I’m sorry. I love you all.

Website: www.GregJakeGibbins.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/gregjakegibbins/
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/gregjake/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/gregjakegibbins
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gregjake
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVXFWuJXpTvi4Co_wFAkLYw?view_as=subscriber
Other: Spinnin’ Sessions: https://soundcloud.com/spinninsessions One World Radio: https://oneworldradio.tomorrowland.com/

Image Credits
Palo Duro pic was taken by a random person. Andre 3000 and LA Reid was taken by Russ Francis The Oakenfold pic was taken by a random lady who loved my daughters hair and her love for EDM. The rest are just plain ass selfies.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.