out perform // outlast // out work
Hey, readers. As you may have heard, Out of the Woodwork is branching out into its very own podcast! We’re incredibly pumped to be adding this to our list of ventures. The pilot episode was released yesterday and received very positive feedback overall. Mostly, we discussed the philosophy, goals, and identity that Out of the Woodwork is taking on with this podcast before bringing progressive rapper Watson Lark on as our guest.
The Out of the Woodwork podcast is made possible by Sour Lemon Network, a small podcast studio in my home town of Charleston, SC that hosts other variety podcasts like The T-Mike and Nic Variety Hour. The concept for the OOTWW podcast came together after I appeared on T-Mike and Nic alongside folk singer-songwriter Soren Bryce back in October. Nic, who runs Sour Lemon Network, enjoyed the episode so much that he offered me and OOTWW a podcast of our own! So here we are. Early plans for my pilot centered around my upcoming list of “16 People to Watch in 2016”, but we wanted a chance to test all of our various software, hardware, etc. before taking on something that big. The morning of our scheduled recording time I woke up with this strong urge to bring Watson Lark onto the show. Watson’s mission in his music has been similar to my own mission since I found his first EP in 2014. What I’d planned to be a 15 minute interview quickly took over the rest of the episode, but that worked to everyone’s advantage. In an open-hearted conversation, Watson and I laid out the struggles that we face by working in the entertainment world.
The discussion of our personal battles was inspired by a separate project that I had the opportunity to play a small part in with singer-songwriter Leah Nobel. Nobel recently turned to her fans for inspiration as she prepared to write. On Facebook and Twitter she asked supporters if they would be willing to talk with her and tell her stories about their lives. I was one of the multitude of people who responded to Nobel’s request, and a week later I was facing her over a Skype screen, telling her the pains and joys of my personal life history. I was most impressed by Nobel’s shunning of spectacle. Knowing she was about to be face-to-face with a fan, Nobel resolved to present herself as she was: minimal makeup, casual clothing, and a fully visible apartment in the background. She wasn’t trying to pretend she had “made it”, she seemed to genuinely want to connect. I left that conversation with a renewed interest in the minds that live behind the acts we see, and it was still on my mind as I sat in the dark room recording my pilot with Watson. That mindset took what I had planned to be an upbeat, exciting hour and turned it into a heartfelt NPR-like conversation fit for sitting around the fire drinking hot cocoa. After listening to the recording for the first time I wasn’t sure what I thought of it. As the next few days went by and I heard it a few more times, its calm progress grew on me.
Last night we released the pilot around 8 EST. I woke up this morning to so many tweets, messages, and emails confirming my hopes; the people loved it! Our friend Marchan live-tweeted the entire episode as she listened to it, really driving the hype for the rest of the day.
Our first official episode is sure to be the biggest of the year. I’m already putting together my annual list of “People to Watch,” but every year it gets more difficult to narrow it down. I always look for people I think are going to make major leaps in the upcoming year. It’s not all about how much I like their work (although that does tend to be a requirement). It’s about who is going to grow the most. It’s about predicting who will produce the greatest content and prioritize engagement with fans. I’ve made room for plenty of new names, but there are just some people who refuse to be pushed out this year. Catch them all in January when we return with Episode 1.
Signing off for the holidays, I’m Chancy Johnson, here to bring them~
Out of the Woodwork.