Baraka (rhymes with Erica) May is a studio singer for some of the world’s finest composers and performers. A vocal chameleon, she has sung behind artists such as Billie Eilish, Pentatonix, Celine Dion, Harry Styles, Pharrell, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Jennifer Hudson, Josh Groban, and Muse, among many others. She has been featured on stages all over the world, from the Hollywood Bowl to the Tokyo International Forum to Wembley Stadium and has toured with, music directed, and coached many of Hollywood's elite singers and actors.
With seven musical siblings, a mother in voiceover, a father in jazz and film music, an active church-singing regimen, and rigorous classical piano training, it was easy for Baraka to spot the career she wanted early on. Her passion for singing was coupled by an immense joy in shifting her voice into the many styles she was surrounded by.
Since joining SAG-AFTRA in 2011, Baraka's voice can be heard in over 500 major motion pictures, tv episodes, video games, commercials, and albums, including La La Land, Frozen II, Encanto, Star Trek Beyond, The Lion King, Jurassic World, Finding Dory, Coco, The Voice, and more. A-List film composers including Danny Elfman, John Powell, Hans Zimmer, and Michael Giacchino have enlisted her talents singing everything from belted gospel to ethereal soprano to child-like character voices.
Baraka joined the beloved Star Wars universe as a soloist in Solo: A Star Wars Story, providing the bizarre Huttese singing voice of lounge singer, Chanteuse. She joined the Frozen family as a soloist on Olaf's Frozen Adventure and small ensemble singer in Frozen II and sang featured vocals on Disney's heartwarming hits, Coco and Encanto.
With a specialty in vocal manipulation, languages and impressions, Baraka has provided many solos and celebrity impressions in Family Guy, including Taylor Swift, Sia, Juice Newton, Sarah McLachlan, Zooey Deschanel, and Madonna. She's provided extensive vocals for The Ghost and Molly McGee, with celebrity impressions including Dolly Parton, Bonnie Tyler, Barry Gibbs, Katy Perry, Cher, Shirley Bassey, Ariana Grande, and has covered a multitude of styles including Ziegfeld Follies, Doo Wop, Kpop, Musical Theater, Pop, Country, and Rap. She has yodeled for The Simpsons, beat-boxed for Finding Ohana, whistled for Disenchantment, and provided many other wild vocal embellishments doing walla/loop characters as both a singer and voice actor. She is frequently hired for spot-on language work and has sung in more than 30 languages, including alien languages for Star Trek: Into Darkness, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Baraka is often relied upon for demo vocals at the earliest stages of musical development. She played a paramount role in the smash hit, La La Land, which she worked on extensively over the course of two years demoing original material fresh from Pasek and Paul, providing solos for on-screen characters, and singing choral/score vocals. She is also regularly asked to voice match actors as the singing voice for their characters and became the singing voice of lead character, Moxy, in the PBS kids show, Mack & Moxy, midway through its first season
In 2015, Baraka shared the stage with Danny Elfman in The Nightmare Before Christmas LIVE performing as lead female character, Sally, in Tokyo, Japan and again as a character soloist for two sold-out performances at the Hollywood Bowl. She has continued to perform this show with Danny Elfman, Catherine O'Hara, and Ken Page all over the world, including Japan, New York, England, Scotland, and Ireland. She also is a regular performer for Disney Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, where she is a featured soloist for shows like The Little Mermaid LIVE, La La Land LIVE, Beauty and the Beast LIVE, and Willy Wonka LIVE. She made her directorial debut as the vocal director and vocal coach for Willy Wonka LIVE in 2017, performing and working one-on-one with artists including 'Weird Al' Yankovic, Elle King, Finn Wolfhard, and Richard Kind.
Baraka's skills as a versatile vocalist and pianist have generated a variety of jobs for her as a soundalike singer, voiceover actress, vocal contractor, beat-boxer, music director, arranger, songwriter, and master teacher. A summa cum laude graduate of USC's Thornton School of Music, she holds both a Bachelor's Degree in Classical Voice and a Master's Degree in Teaching Music with a Choral Emphasis. She is regularly hired as a vocal contractor, music director, and guest clinician within the choral and a cappella community. Her vocal arrangements have been featured on multiple films, tv shows, and albums with major artists.
Baraka has put her Master's Degree to good use vocal directing and contracting a range of singers, including children (Tangled: The Series, Gabby's Dollhouse, Dead To Me, The Boys, Mayans M.C., El Camino Christmas) and adults (Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, The Ghost and Molly McGee, Fresh Off the Boat, UglyDolls, All My Life, The Hyperions). She is a regular vocal director, arranger, and transcriber for various projects with Disney Television Animation, Netflix, DreamWorks TV Animation, The Oscars, live shows at the Hollywood Bowl, and many seasons of The Voice.
Baraka is also a gifted voiceover actor and provides various voices for multiple films, video games, and TV series. She has recurring roles on The Ghost and Molly McGee, Transformers: Earthspark, and Centaurworld, in addition to her work in commercials, video games, dubbing, and films.
The joy of singing an eclectic mix of styles has made studio work the perfect niche for Baraka's talents. Her background includes classical, pop, jazz, R&B, celebrity impressions, character voices, world music, and musical theater. Whether she is asked to sight-read or improvise, provide a powerful lead solo or blend like butter, sing low Alto or high Soprano, Baraka's passion for singing and level of musicality is evident in her work.
Watch Baraka perform with Danny Elfman in The Nightmare Before Christmas LIVE to Picture HERE
Hear Baraka's wickedly spooky, sinister lead vocals for the new Hearthstone Darkmoon Faire trailer HERE
Hear Baraka's haunting solo in the official champion theme for League of Legends HERE
Hear Baraka's solos in the original soundtrack for Solo: A Star Wars Story HERE
Hear Baraka's featured yodeling in this couch gag for The Simpsons season 32 HERE
Hear Baraka perform "Angel Eyes" in one live, unedited take HERE