Connect with us

BBC Sounds Audio Lab: Hamza Salmi – Who Was Michael X?


BBC Sounds Audio Lab: Hamza Salmi – Who Was Michael X?

The final three Audiolab 2022 podcasts from BBC Sounds have now been released! And we’re continuing with our quick-fire interview series. This time, Hamza Salmi tells us about being a long-time podcast listener, and first-time podcast maker. His series, Who Was Michael X? tells the fascinating and divisive story of the once famous black British activist who many haven’t heard of…

What was your introduction to podcasting as a listener?

I’m a veteran of sorts, back in the Ricky Gervais Guardian days I became hooked, for me I could see at that time a democratisation of media production and platforming both for audio and video on the horizon. Serial (S1) of course took the storytelling aspect to another level but the weekly pods like Football Weekly have always been mainstays.

Why was audio the right medium for your project?

I’ve listened to loads of documentary podcasts and what I always envied of the storytellers was the freedom of length that the format allowed. Some are an hour others 20 minutes, some carry on for 15 episodes and others just five. So far I’ve been able to give focus to some parts of Michael’s story and themes that wouldn’t have had space in a traditional TV documentary.

I’m used to recording video and what’s great about audio is the access and freedom it allows. You don’t need to worry about permits for tripods, the shot being backlit or huge amounts of kit. The interviewee also relaxes without a camera in their face.

What the biggest thing you’ve learned from making the podcast?

I’ve never voiced anything before so it was really daunting, but my mentor Clare Walker has been instrumental in helping me to develop a performance for the mic, I’ve learnt that all that talking takes effort and skill!

What would you like to see more of in the podcast space?

I think Audio Lab and other programs like it are trying to rectify the gap that I see in the podcast world. Podcast makers that don’t have the necessary experience or backing from production companies and the like, but do have great stories and content to put out there. During the infancy of podcasting this wasn’t such an issue due to the size of the industry, but now with huge conglomerates and celebrities involved, there needs to be more ways for creators to have a voice.

Who was michael X cover

Listen to Who Was Michael X? now on BBC Sounds and other popular podcast apps.

Don’t forget to check out the other interviews in this series.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Pod Bible Newsletter

  • Sign up to our weekly newsletter for podcast news, bonus recommendations and the latest magazine sent straight to your inbox!

Popular Posts


To Top