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Monday, July 13, 2020

‘ASP’s Music News and History’ podcast brings storytelling to the music industry

Podcast brings enjoyment to students and music fans

The weekly podcast “ASP’s Music News and History” was released by Associated Students AS Productions in April. // Illustration by Rachel Alexander

By Ashtyn Gudgel

On April 20, Associated Students AS Productions released a new, weekly podcast called “ASP’s Music News and History” for students and music lovers alike.

“On Mondays we review music news of the week,” said Will Clawson, one of the podcast’s co-hosts and the AS Underground Coffeehouse coordinator. “We go through industry news, and talk about how that impacts the local music scene, and talk about how we personally are interacting with that as well.”

The podcast was started by Clawson and his co-host, Hunter Gillam, the AS Pop Music coordinator, who decided to create the podcast based on what students were interested in. “People love informational-type podcasts,” Gillam said. “They love to sit back and listen to a story, and that’s something we really wanted to experiment with.”

Gillam and Clawson have also divided the podcast into two extra segments. Clawson has hosted a history segment of the podcast every couple of weeks. 

“I go and research an interesting or weird story from music history, and tell Hunter that story,” he said. “One thing I’ve been trying to focus on when doing that is finding stories that are more than just about music, and talk about how music impacts that story.”

According to Clawson, there has been a lot of research going into the history segment of the podcast, which is the reason that segment is every couple of weeks as opposed to weekly, like the news segment. 

“It’s ended up being a lot more work than I was expecting,” Clawson said. “The first two history episodes we did, the research totaled to about 40 hours each. I ended up reading a couple of books researching them. I wanted to not just tell the story, but answer questions as they come up and get a broader idea of how this snippet of history impacted what’s going on today.”

Besides the news and history segments, Gillam hosts an artist interview on Instagram Live every Friday, interviewing music artists such as Parisalexa, Farnell Newton and Austin Santiago.

“We’ve talked to people like Britnee Kellogg who was on American Idol, and people who’ve worked with Dr. Dre. It’s funny to see how there are usually only 25 viewers watching these lives, especially since we’re talking to some pretty famous people,” Gillam said.

Clawson and Gillam have both enjoyed working on the podcast together. Their favorite segments are the history episodes.

“Our first history episode was about the Wall of Sound, a giant sound system created by the Grateful Dead,” Clawson said. “I talked about Owsley Stanley, who was the sound engineer for the Grateful Dead, and his story was way weirder and more interesting than I was expecting.”

Gillam agreed, and used his past internship of working on another music podcast to formulate what he wanted out of this one.

 “Overall, I wanted a genuine conversation between two industry people to be the format of this podcast,” he said. “It’s pretty cool, because we get to go down these rabbit holes of not just the music industry, but also these nuggets of gold that Will and I have discovered.”

The podcast has been well-loved by many students already, who have become regular listeners.

“I enjoy how well it flows and how easy it is to listen to. I don’t know much about music, so it’s nice I can listen and totally understand what they are talking about,” said Keegan Kaemingk, a student who listens to the podcast. ”It’s also just fun to listen to. The relationship Will and Hunter have is just really good and you can hear the fun they have talking about the topics they researched.”

According to Clawson and Gillam, the podcast is set to continue through the rest of spring quarter. Then their positions within ASP will be taken over by other Western students for the next school year. 

“I hope they choose to continue the podcast after we leave,” Gillam said. “I want to see the podcast live on, since we had such a fun time creating it.”

ASP’s Music News and History is available wherever you get your podcasts.

AS Productions Instagram: @wwu_asp


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