#trending: Canadian radio host reveals she is the voice behind TikTok’s text-to-speech feature
Kat Callaghan, a radio host and voiceover artist based in Ontario, Canada recently revealed that she is one of the voices behind the text-to-speech feature on the video-sharing application.
- A radio host and voiceover artist in Canada named Kat Callaghan recently revealed that she is one of the voices behind TikTok's popular text-to-speech feature
- Her confession video has gone viral, amassing more than 30 million views and 3.3 million likes
- The surprising revelation was met with a mix of delight and scepticism by TikTok users from around the world
- Ms Callaghan became the new text-to-speech voice last year after another Ontario-based voice actor sued TikTok for using her voice without permission
ONTARIO, CANADA — TikTok users can finally put a face to the familiar automated voice of “Jessie” that is so frequently heard on the video-sharing platform.
Kat Callaghan, a radio host and voiceover artist based in Ontario, Canada recently revealed that she is one of the voices behind the text-to-speech feature on the application, much to the delight and surprise of TikTokers around the world.
In her first ever TikTok video posted on her account “voiceofkat”, Ms Callaghan teased viewers by using the text-to-speech function to say: “When you guys have been asking me if I’m the voice on TikTok…”
She then confessed in her actual voice: “Finally I can tell you guys: It is me.”
In her caption, Ms Callaghan said that she “didn’t say a word” for a long time and claimed to have an awesome ongoing relationship with the staff members at TikTok.
She wrote: “The coolest part for me is watching the creativity and awesome content that people are putting out there using my voice.”
The radio personality and podcaster did not explain why she could not reveal her identity sooner.
Since it was posted on Oct 19, Ms Callaghan’s video has gone viral, amassing a staggering 30.6 million views and 3.3 million likes at the time of writing.
TikTok users flooded the post with more than 13,900 comments, with some dubbing Ms Callaghan “the Siri of TikTok”.
One user confessed: “Oh my god, I didn’t know it was a real person behind the voice until now.”
Another wrote: “Love this. We listen to you every morning on the radio and I had no idea.”
Someone replied: “The things we’ve made you say…”
Another person asked: “Am I the only one that watched 100 times to check if the voices matched?”
Many TikTokers, however, expressed their doubts and needed a little more convincing.
In a follow-up video, Ms Callaghan addressed some frequently asked questions from her comments section.
She emphasised that she is not lying about being the voice of TikTok because doing so would be bad for her voice acting career.
Ms Callaghan then gave viewers what they had been begging for: A re-enactment of the voice of “Jessie” to put any lingering doubts to rest.
"I work with TikTok on (text-to-speech) and other projects. I love working with TikTok, and I love seeing your TikToks,” she said in her recognisable voice.
“Sometimes, you guys make me say some pretty horrendous things. It’s pretty messed up. But I kind of think it’s funny, I don’t mind it at all.”
Ms Callaghan quipped that TikTok users are probably sick of hearing her voice.
“I am sick of my voice,” she admitted.
In a separate video, Ms Callaghan addressed the way she says “LOL”, which some TikTokers claimed she mispronounces.
Since sharing her videos, the radio host has already chalked up more than 295,000 followers on the social media platform.
THE NEW TEXT-TO-SPEECH VOICE
Canadian news outlet Global News reported that Ms Callaghan became the new text-to-speech voice last year after another Ontario-based voice actor sued TikTok for using her voice without permission.
Bev Standing claimed that she had performed voice work meant for the translation of Chinese texts for the Institute of Acoustics in 2018.
She sued ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok in May 2021, stating that the use of her voice in some content on TikTok goes against her brand, because it includes things that she “would never say in public” or private, Insider reported.
TikTok has since settled the lawsuit with Ms Standing for an undisclosed amount.
A male version of the text-to-speech voice named "Joey" is available on the app but it is not yet known who the individual behind the voice is.