How Podcasts are letting every voice be heard

n a time when viral videos, Twitter rants and Instagram models flood the web, it’s much more easier for everyday people-for better or worse-to have their voices heard. But a smarter medium can help cut through the clutter. Podcasts have seen a surge in popularity over the past couple years; a study by Edison Research estimated the podcast audience to be around 57 million listeners.

To help you navigate through the extensive swarm of shows on the web, we’ll get you started with these three Detroit-based shows to listen to.

Black Bottom Radio

Hosts: A’ron and Noelle



Tackling serious topics like colorism and finance, as well as lighter ones like Beyoncé and relationships, Black Bottom tries to always keep it fun. “We focus on a lot of community engagement to keep the community informed, but it’s also funny,” co-host A’ron says. Considered Black-centric, but not just for Black people, the duo’s on-air chemistry gives the show a hanging-out-with-your-friends vibe. New episodes are posted on the Black Bottom Archives website every Tuesday.

Random Tuesdays

Hosts: Reggie, Tre Maroon and Kphresh


Though their show is relatively new to the scene, they’ve started strong with notable guests like Phat Kat and Miz Korona. Random Tuesdays is all in the name. The group of friends have known each other for years and decided to share their “random” conversations about music, movies and everything else in a podcast. “It’s just three friends in front of a mic. My favorite part is that I get to do it with my best friends,” co-host Kphresh says. “We just want to be heard.” New episodes are posted to their website on Tuesdays.

Your Black Friends

Hosts: Martin Weiss, Camille Johnson and Eric Vincent


Discussing “pop culture, politics, social issues and general bullshit,” Your Black Friend was inspired by the moments being the only Black person in a room. “When I mentioned something that was a fact for me, it would become de facto for all Black people,” says Weiss. “If I say ‘I like tuna,’ then its ‘Black people like tuna.’” With the help of his co-hosts and producer Marseille Arbuckle, Your Black Friends showcases varying opinions on an array of topics. New episodes are posted every week.


Podcast 101

Sure, you could find a professional recording booth, hire a producer and book some studio time, but if you’re just looking to test the waters, here are a few tips to get started podcasting right from home.

Plan it out. What do you want to wax on? Pick a topic that you never get tired of talking about, reading about or hearing about. You’ll also need to decide whether you’ll have co-hosts, segments or interviews. Don’t forget to come up with a witty name for your show!

Get the right equipment. If you have a computer, you’re halfway there. Don’t feel like you need to invest your life’s savings into building a home studio. If you have a quiet room in your house, you can get away with a USB microphone that connects directly to your computer and a good pair of headphones. When it’s time to edit the audio, there are a few free-to-low-cost options that are easy to use. If GarageBand isn’t already on your computer, download it for $4.99 in the app store.

Spread the word. Once you have your final product, you’ll need to find somewhere online to host your content (SoundCloud is a free and popular option). Then you can embed the episodes onto a personal website and even submit your RSS feed to iTunes.

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