The Vision Sits Down With Unseasoned

By Toni Walker

This week, The Vision sat down with Ellana, Dayz, and Jermaine to discuss their new podcast, “Unseasoned” available on iTunes and Soundcloud. With six episodes and counting, these three students are on a mission to provide listeners with content on the range of experiences within Blackness for folks “at the cusp of adulthood.” Their topics vary from politics to pop culture to anything else that comes to their curious and critical minds. Excited about their endeavor into the world of podcasts, the hosts of “Unseasoned” answered a few questions about their experience with the podcast thus far.

You all have a really natural and dynamic friendship that was already established before you started the podcast. What inspired y’all to go into the podcast arena and why the name Unseasoned?

Jermaine:

We’ve always spent so much time together and you know we thought we were funny and we didn’t really know if other people would think we were funny but we thought why not take that leap with the podcast. Ellana brought the idea up because she’s the one who introduced me to podcasts; I had never listened to a podcast before. It’s pretty much just recording what we’ve always done, just talking about pop culture and I think that’s why it feels so organic because it’s just been what we’ve been doing these past three years.

Ellana:

As far as the name Unseasoned, we decided on that because a lot of older people will refer to people who are more mature as “seasoned” adults. We just felt like unseasoned describes us in the sense that we’re not seasoned adults. We are no longer considered children but to call us adults is like a whole nother thing. And our age group is often narrated or portrayed in television and movies by people who are older.

Dayz:

I personally just like the structure and the medium that podcasts have. With YouTube, it’s much more about the visual spectacle whereas with podcasts it’s much more about the storytelling and the topics you’re engaging with and even though the people who are on the podcasts and the personalities are important in terms of getting the story across, it’s still very much story led.

Can y’all talk a little more about what sets your podcast apart from other podcasts that are out there?

Dayz:

I think in the podcast space, one of the things that I’ve noticed is that they’re typically very niche like millennial finances or fashion or TV critics and things like that. And all of them are either old white men or Black women 30 and over or just people not in my age range and don’t know anything about what I’m going through but they always narrate and dictate the stories that I as a college student do and I’m just like that’s strange to me seeing as how they’re so removed from the situation. So in terms of how we fit in the industry, we try to bring a different perspective on what we as Black “millennials” do, what we’re going through, our stories, the music we’re listening to and it’s coming from the mouths of people who are living that on a day to day basis.

Jermaine:

I think another level to that is just being a minority at a PWI. Nobody is really telling that story. You don’t see it too much in television or movies – except for Dear White People – but even that felt kind of old. When there are depictions, they’re just very cliché and they don’t talk about a lot of the real issues that we face; it’s very dressed up for tv and wider audiences that aren’t us. So I think we’re trying to have that real voice and speak about the things that we actually go through on a daily basis

Ellana:

We have a good balance of talking about things that are really serious and political but we also talk about music and famous black artists. We have all of these things but they’re interrelated and we’ll take something that may seem trivial like celebrity gossip but we think about in a wider picture, like when Dayz brought up the situation with Katy Perry kissing the guy on American Idol, which ended up being a good segway into talking about consent.

What do you hope listeners gain from listening to your podcast?

Dayz:

Personally I just hope listeners take a more critical view to some things even if it’s as simple as just like watching a music video. Maybe they’ll listen to our podcast and be like “I didn’t even think about it in that way.” I hope they analyze the content they take in a bit differently and just learn something new.

Ellana:

A lot of people have reached out to us and I think it helps people to think a little bit deeper about what’s going on in their lives and even the things that we sort of brush over in our lives. I think the fact that we are the same age as the majority of our listeners, it sort of helps make sense of certain things. Everyone who is listening we hope that we talk about things that people would want to know.

Jermaine:

I hope we bring stories that listeners never would’ve heard of if they didn’t listen to the podcast. Some of the things we talk about are sometimes kind of obscure stuff that you wouldn’t read in daily news headlines but it’s really relevant to our existence and our daily lives. It’s important to know what’s going on and a lot of it gets lost in the rush of college and school and extracurriculars.

How has your relationship with each other grown as a result of creating and working on the podcast?

Jermaine:

Like I say on the podcast all the time, they’re my beautiful amazing co-hosts and I really couldn’t see myself doing this kind of thing with anybody else. This unique dynamic is strong and it’s developed overtime. From a working standpoint it’s different because there are logistical things that have to be done, but all love is still there. I’ve just seen it grow in a professional sense.

Ellana:

I think because we know each other so well we’re also able to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I’m able to talk to Dayz and from the outside it may seem like we’re arguing but really we’re just talking through something. And that is very important because if you don’t already have that understanding with one another then the whole podcast could collapse. It’s nice to know that we all may learn differently, but finding middle ground is easy because we’re all friends and we’re able to talk through things and still remain focused

Dayz:

I continually learn a lot from them so I think that’s one of the biggest differences because when you go from hanging out to working together, you do have to learn about people’s different styles. You have to be comfortable with being able to teach each other but not from a condescending place just more like a way of actively working together. Especially being at such a pre professional school sometimes it’s hard to draw the line between if the person is helping or trying to take advantage but if you’re working with your friends it can be a you win, I win situation.

What are some of the things that go into putting the podcast together each week? What would a typical week look like for y’all?

Dayz:

A typical week would go like this: Sunday, Ellana texts us asking if we’re free Saturday 1-3 to record and we’re like yeah. Then she sends an email to schedule the studio time. But before we even get to recording, we have to meet like twice during the week or sometimes more than that to come up with ideas, to make sure those are the actual ideas we want to talk about, to do research on the ideas so we don’t get on the topic and sound stupid. Throughout these meetings we’re always in the group chat like we should post on instagram, tweet and update facebook and do idea generation. And because we’re still very involved in school and because we want to be employed, we have to find time to fit all these things in, record on Saturday from 1-3 and then find time to edit so that it can be posted and the process can be repeated all over again.

How would y’all like to see “Unseasoned” grow in the future?

Ellana:

In terms of tangible goals, it’d be cool if we had a podcast and a YouTube channel. We think it would be cool to record all of our guests but also have a video of them and I think that video will help in terms of expansion, especially on YouTube and Facebook. And I think it would be dope to do a live show. It’s been great to see all the support thus far.

Dayz:

I think it’d be really cool to get some type of mentorship from other people who have done podcasts, because I think right now we’re trying to figure out how to develop to the next level. We still want to keep our personalities but become more polished. I personally wouldn’t mind doing it after we graduate if it was something that people continue to resonate with. I’m personally someone who believes you never really stop learning and the way that we set it up, whoever our audience is they’ll find something to resonate with now but they’ll also grow with us. I would just like to reach more people so we could resonate with more people.

Jermaine:

This is us dipping our toes into the water of the media and entertainment space. So it’s been about listening to the critiques and hearing what listeners want from our podcast and adjusting the way we operate to cater to our audiences. And this is really just the springboard, like who knows maybe it’ll turn into a YouTube channel or an HBO special or a daytime talk show in the future. You gotta have big dreams and be open to the opportunities to make you stay invested day in and day out. I’m a big dreamer and we’ll see if this is what takes us there. But at the end of the day we have this experience and I’m doing it with my best friends and we’re all learning together. A line that I personally live by comes from Jay-Z: “Go farther, go further, go harder. Is that not why we came? And if not, then why bother?”

Be sure to check out The Unseasoned Podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud, and if you like what you hear, give them a five star rating! You can also follow them on Twitter @UnseasonedPod and on Instagram @theunseasonedpodcast. Episode 7 drops TODAY at 5PM so don’t miss out!

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