We are super happy to give you an interview with Jakari Fraser, the new voice of AJ, as he talks Blaze and the Monster Machines as well as a bit about his career. Jakari will be making his debut on “Sir Blaze and the Unicorn” this Friday!
Jakari Fraser is the voice of AJ in Nickelodeon’s hit preschool series Blaze and the Monster Machines. Blaze’s best pal and driver, AJ is a technology expert who knows all about different machines and how they work. With AJ behind the wheel, Blaze is able to meet every challenge head on with scientific thinking.
BSCKids: Jakari, tell us a bit about your role as AJ on Blaze and the Monster Machines.
Jakari Fraser: AJ is such a fun and energetic character. He reminds me a lot of myself. He’s always helping to solve problems and he loves to engage with the audience.
How did you get the part?
It’s really funny because I actually didn’t get the initial audition and my agent called my mom and said, “Did you guys send in the AJ audition?” and my mom said, “We didn’t get it.” I was so excited to hear that I was able to audition for the part. I always put my best foot forward, so I did the same in this audition. When I received the callback, I was so excited. This was right before lockdown, so I went in person and I had a really good feeling about it when I left. Next thing you know, my agent called my mom and I felt as if my dream came true because I always wanted to be on a Nickelodeon show!
What do you do to get in character for your role as AJ?
I actually sit down with my five-year-old sister and run lines with her as if she’s my preschool audience. It really helps me know what keeps them engaged and when my delivery is correct, because if she tells me she still doesn’t understand a term, I have to give a different delivery or adjust something. Charlie Adler, the voice director, is really great at helping me get into character because he runs lines as if we are reenacting the episode. He makes it really fun!
Do you find voice acting harder than live action?
Absolutely. With voiceover you have to make sure your voice matches the movement of the character without actually moving. You have to also convince the audience with just your voice and that’s a lot harder than it sounds. I have so much fun doing voiceovers. I get excited to get into character and bring a character to life using just my voice!
Jakari, who do you think has taught you the most about acting so far?
Hmmmm that’s a hard one. My acting coach Ms. Sharra Dade and my mom would have to be my answer. They are both big on making sure I sound believable and real. They say, “Listen to this take and tell me if you believe it,” and when they play it back, I close my eyes and I say, “Nope, let’s do it again, I think I know what it’s missing.”
Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you.
People will probably be surprised to learn that I do parkour, which is basically where you learn to jump from building to building, do your own stunts and do really cool flips and tricks.
If you could guest star on any other Nickelodeon show which one would it be and why?
Definitely The Loud House! I simply love The Loud House and I watch it every day. It’s so funny.
What makes Blaze and the Monster Machines different and why should everyone be tuning in?
Blaze and the Monster Machines has so many fun adventures and exciting episodes. There is so much for the audience to learn and engage with. It’s also great for people to tune in to see what adventure Blaze and AJ will go on next. The audience gets to help us when we can’t find things and it’s just very fun and exciting.
Make sure to tune in to “Sir Blaze and the Unicorn” this Friday! Special thanks to Jakari Fraser for taking the time out of his schedule to speak with us.
In the brand-new episode “Sir Blaze and the Unicorn,” airing Friday, March 12, at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon, Sir Blaze and Sir AJ embark on an epic quest to free a magical unicorn from an unpoppable bubble.