Ahana Kumra And Mantra Mugdh Chat About Creating The Chiling Paranormal Podcast I Hear You

For years, Aahana Kumra faced a lot of rejection when she auditioned for voice-acting, so the actor steered clear of such projects. Then radio personality and producer Mantra Mugdh reached out to her with a possible collaboration. Shaking her head during a video call, Aahana recalls, “I went over, looking forward to a casual chat, but he suddenly put me straight into the recording room!” Mantra, who believes Aahana has a great voice, explained that the project was like an audio web-series. After a little direction here and there from Mantra, Aahana was ready to start podcasting for the paranormal-thriller podcast I Hear You. The podcast, which is available in both English and Hindi, is currently in its first season, with one episode (made of two parts) per week, for 13 weeks, says Mantra. To make the most of the sound-driven experience of a podcast, it seemed right to have the main character, Detective Priyamvada, a clairaudient. This opens up the plotline possibilities, points out Mantra, since “fiction thrillers are the flavour of the season”. The trailer for the show touches upon the female detective’s origin story: she gets into an accident and this awakens clairaudient powers, which helps her solve
crimes in unusual ways.
Given this is Aahana’s first foray into the audio space, getting into the skin of the character required a different approach. “With the closed environment of the studio, your imagination can run wild when it is just audio,” Aahana explains, “it is such a new world and space for me. I have the best in the business,
Mantra, to hold my hand through it. He understands where I come from. As actors, we think we are good at performing in front of a camera, but we do not think of other mediums.”The power of the microphone was leveraged big time for I Hear You, say Aahana and Mantra. “The first time Mantra put me in front of the microphone, it was very overwhelming because it wasn’t just dubbing. I had to imagine spaces and objects which you can act out in front of a camera,” says Aahana. Speaking of theatre and its very hands-on approach to any sort of acting, Mantra and Aahana were keen to bring on theatre actors to guest star in the podcast. “I’m part of a few theatre groups, and these actors always want to venture