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On Air Fest Annex 2023: Insights of Sound and Story
A BPA Insider Special Guest Takeover
What’s good fellow Podcasters!!
My name is Lloyd, Not George.
Last week, BlkPodNews sent me out to On Air Fest Annex: a bi-coastal, bi-annual festival shaping podcasting's cultural calendar that features immersive experiences, awards, a business summit, an audio art residency, and more!
Experiencing this conference firsthand was nothing short of amazing—the venue, the people, the audio, and the visual experiences were incredibly engaging, and there are 3 huge takeaways I want to share with you…
🎬 My Passion for Post-Production has been Re-Ignited
The event opened with a live taping of Lost Notes, a show co-hosted by Novena Carmel and Michael Barnes, and it was truly an immersive experience.
As the hosts explored different periods throughout music history, the music being referenced would start to play. The same applied for video too! At different points throughout their set, the lights in the auditorium would dim and the screen behind the hosts showed the most amazing places where these dances originated and the time periods from which the music was born.
Novena and Michael’s passion for in-depth storytelling infused with interactive media was so captivating, and it reminded me what can happen when we decide to add that extra 30 minutes improving our storyline or making that extra edit that makes your episode just a little better.
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🎤 The Emergence of Music in the World of Podcasting
As a content creator who loves TikTok and is a passionate music fan, a big highlight for me at On Air Fest was Jason Derulo.
Recently, Jason has been working on a podcast called Underwater: a romantic thriller in partnership with Warner Music’s Interval Presents. In addition to hearing from Jason himself, we also heard a few snippets from his podcast.
The thing I loved most about Jason’s podcast was it included both an engaging fictional story and original music specifically made for the podcast. Synthesizing the two, the quality was not only engaging, but it was extremely well produced.
As someone that loves both music and stories, I’ve always wondered why more artists don’t create podcasts to accompany their projects! Could you imagine if our most memorable albums also had a podcast season? Think about Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid m.A.A.d city,” an album that already had quite a bit of audio acting, or Jay Z’s album “4:44”, a project that tells a nuanced story about Jay’s new perspective on life as he grows older.
This is definitely something I hope we’ll see more of in the future. I’ve always known this was possible, but it wasn’t until I was listening to Jason on stage that I realized how innovative his podcast concept was.
📚 Storytelling is Everything
I’ll be honest, one thing you may not know about me is that I actually don’t enjoy I’ll be honest, one thing you may not know about me is that I actually don’t enjoy scary stories. I am NOT the person that casually listens to horror podcasts! So you can imagine my surprise when I found out Glynn Washington was going to be doing a live taping of Spooked.
Normally, I would have found another set to explore, but there was no way I was going to miss listening to Glynn Washington.
Glynn told a true-life supernatural tale, and I was on the edge of my seat for the entire 25 minutes. It was like a masterclass on how to hold people's attention through storytelling: we were all on edge, we all laughed at his well-timed jokes, and we all felt the sense of fear referenced at each of the most critical parts of the story.
In the middle of Glynn’s set, I kept wondering: “Why is this so engaging?”
I think the biggest reason was his ability to make each part of the story personal—he made you care. From the start of the story when he hooked the audience with a story about his family, Glynn kept me invested on what was going to happen next as he weaved a narrative thread from start to finish.
In a world that’s becoming so algorithmic, it was a great reminder that storytelling is more than enough to single-handedly keep your listeners engaged from the beginning of the episode to the end. I’m not negating the value of marketing and promotion, but Glynn Washington’s set taught me that I need to pay more attention to the art of storytelling.
Our craft is ever-evolving, and there is always something new to learn, a different perspective to consider. Whether you're behind the mic or in front of it, remember that at the heart of every great podcast is a story waiting to be told with passion, creativity, and authenticity.
The world of podcasting is vast and varied, and as my experience at On Air Fest Annex shows, there's always room for innovation, improvement, and inspiration. My time at this conference was incredibly transformative, and I highly encourage you to attend someday.
About Lloyd George
I'm Lloyd, a Zimbabwean-American content creator.
I create content that amplifies diverse voices. I've created content for global brands such as Spotify, Riverside.FM, Acast, Creative Juice, and LinkedIn.
Within the last 90 days, over 3,000 people have completed my podcast course in partnership with LinkedIn.
I've also built a thriving community of over 15,000 creatives across all social platforms.
As my career progresses, I look forward to new brand collaboration opportunities and work as on-air talent.
You can follow Lloyd at: