MUSIC PODCASTS FOR 2021

George Maguire

Why listen to a music podcast you may ask? Why not open Spotify and pluck one of the infinite tastefully premade playlists and listen to music instead? Well I suppose the answer lies somewhere in the search of context and exploration. Why not learn more about the music that shapes our lives; how groups came together and the logic and emotion behind the notes we hear? 
 
With a huge selection of music-orientated podcasts out there, covering a vast array of topics in the industry; here are some podcasts that can only inform your love and appreciate for music…

1. Questlove Supreme by Ahmire Kalib Thompson - Link here



Questlove Supreme podcast. Image via Rollingout.com

Hosted by The Roots Hip Hop drummer Questlove (Ahmir Khalib Thompson) this weekly show exists solely to dig into the myths and stories of our musical icons. Notable guests include the likes of UsherNelly FurtadoChaka Khan and Michelle Obama (Ok, not a musician!) where Thompson’s cavernous knowledge of the music-scape enables guests to open up about their paths to stardom and often; what lies over that particularly tricky proverbial hill. 
 
Listen here

2. BBC’s Desert Island Discs – link here


Lauren Laverne of Desert Island Discs. Image via BBC.
 
Since 2018, Desert Island Discs has been hosted by Lauren Laverne. The show’s iconic and influential format involves Laverne asking ‘castaways’ to choose music and luxuries they would take onto an abandoned island. The stats really are amazing with over 3,000 episodes (most of course predating the podcast format!) and a launch back in 1942. Now 72 years of action has (unsurprisingly) produced some real gems which makes it impossible to select any episode in particular so no matter what you are interested in you will find someone that fascinates you. Tim Peake has been the most recent guest but also check out the archive
 
Listen here

3. Hrishikesh Hirway’s Song Exploder -  link here


Alicia Keys on Song Exploder. Link here
 
Created and hosted by musician Hrishikesh HirwaySong Exploder is a biweekly show that spans genres, deconstructing famous songs with their creators, finding out how and why the track came to be. With recent guests like Billie Eilish and Caribou, host Hirway allows the musicians to talk through details in their own time; playing elements (such as a kick drum) and breaking down the creative process. Now a Netflix show, Song Exploder is not something you want your eyes or ears to miss.
 
Listen here

4. Rolling Stone’s Music Now – link here



Rolling Stone Music Now. Link via Rolling Stone here.
 
An extension of the worldly pop music culture Rolling Stone magazineMusic Now focuses on both new and classic music. With a rotating array of formats – from yearly highlights, expert insight, music news, and interviews - to album deep dives, a favourite episode of mine is ‘The Making of Kendrick Lamar’ which contextualises Kendrick’s rise from the streets of Compton to the top of 21st Century music. Dive in. 
 
Listen here
 

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