This year a festival like no other is happening on the 5th of August and this is the The ShoutOut Festival! This is a podcast festival which celebrates the power of diversity and how new media has allowed people of colour in the UK to reclaim their voices. The ShoutOut Network is the UK’s first podcast collective dedicated to providing a platform that caters to people from diverse backgrounds. The collective seeks to solve the issue of poor media representation by creating a diverse suite of UK based podcasts. I had the pleasure of interviewing the brains behind this awesome festival and network Imriel Morgan and Efe Jerome, who met on Tinder and upon starting their romantic relationship realised that the ShoutOut Network’s vision was possible and necessary.
1. Please tell us more about The ShoutOut Live Festival – who should attend, what can they expect and what will they learn as well as appreciate after attending the Festival?
ShoutOut Live! The Festival is the first UK podcast festival that will be celebrating people of colour in podcasts. The event is for listeners, there has been a tremendous growth in podcasting in the UK and a massive swell of black British podcasters (5 in 2015 to 80+ in 2017) who have loyal audiences. Every day we see more and more people asking for podcast recommendations, and so we thought we’d bring everyone together, and listeners can discover new shows and see their faves. We are bringing over some excellent US podcasts BuzzFeed’s Another Round, The Friend Zone and more. The theme for the event is ‘Discover’ so I hope that attendees leave with more subscriptions to a few more shows and an appreciation for how much talent we have in podcasting here in the UK.
2. The Podcast world is quickly growing in general and with a much-needed network like yours, black voices, in particular, are making waves on the podcast scene. If anyone out there wants to start a podcast and hopefully become a member of your network, what’s the advice you would give them?
Use the growth of podcasts in your favour. By that, I mean information, and knowing what to do is way more accessible than when we started. It’s relatively easy to start a podcast, but what separates the good shows from the great ones can be a variety of things. Not all amazing shows are popular and vice versa so my advice is to create for yourself first and see who follows you on the journey. Don’t be afraid to change it up and experiment.
3. How does a podcast get to be a part of your network and what are the stipulations and/or requirements? And what are the benefits of joining your network?
For us, we aren’t just looking at the diversity of people but the diversity in the content. Things like how you want to structure and format your show will carry a lot of weight for us- it’s just more attractive, shows real creativity and talent. No two shows on our network are the same with regards to structure, format or sound. We get a lot of pitches which are just a copy of Melanin Millennials but from the African/ Asian/ Muslim/ Lesbian, etc. experience. Yes those perspective are necessary and needed, but the network doesn’t need another Melanin Millennials. So we like people that think outside the box. The benefits of joining ShoutOut Network is that we make the production element of creating and distributing your show easy. We cover all of the production costs, so hosts mainly show up to record and then just promote their show.
4. You also bring to the forefront U.K. Based podcasts would you be looking in the future to include hosts from the African diaspora too?
Absolutely, that’s an ongoing conversation we are having. We need the infrastructure first so watch this space.
5. We note that two of our favorite US podcasters The Friend Zone and Another Round will be attending the Festival, firstly kudos guys and secondly how did you manage to get Another Round as well as The Friend Zone hosts to come to your first ever Festival?
We just asked them, and they agreed. Both shows have never done a live show in the UK before, and it’s the year of firsts. I think we’ve done a great job of creating a legacy for ourselves in UK podcasting so I think that they trust us to pull off a great podcast event. Who better than us?
6. What are the challenges if any that you’ve faced running a business together as a couple? And how have you tackled them?
It’s tough, the studio has been set up in our house, and the network is personally financed by us, so it’s very stressful and intense. I’m also the boss, so there is a weird juxtaposition of the prescribed gender roles and being professional. The biggest challenge is separating the personal and professional it can be all consuming, so we sometimes forget that we are meant to love each other. When we’re overwhelmed we give each other space followed by a long talk and establishing boundaries.
7. Started from Tinder now we here…being that you’re a Swiped Right success story what advice can you give anyone contemplating joining Tinder?
Haha, I’ve had this conversation a lot in the past few months. We’re approaching three years together and apparently, and a lot has changed on Tinder since then. I’d advise being safe first but also try to meet up in person quickly. Get to know the person in real life, ironically that’s not what happened with us, but it does work.
What does the future hold for your tech media empire? 5 years from now – what is your vision and what would you have hoped to accomplished?
The vision is always to be the home of underrepresented voices until we’re no longer underrepresented. We’d like to be truly global in the sense that there are offices all over the place. We’re very close to achieving that.
Purchase tickets for the Festival here: https://www.solivefestival.com/tickets
Find out more about the Festival here: https://www.solivefestival.com