This is the Gospel According to Romesh Ranganathan. He may be one of the busiest men in show business, but that didn’t stop Romesh Ranganathan from starting a podcast about one of his biggest passions in life – Hip hop. We caught up with Romesh for Issue #006 of the Pod Bible of the magazine…
If you could go back to just before you recorded your first episode and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Whatever opinion you express on an episode, people will hold you to that forever, and in years to come you will be challenged on something you said in a throwaway moment in a garage.
What it it about podcasts that appeal to you?
You’re not trying to appeal to anyone, it can be niche and specialist, and you don’t really have to make any concessions at all to the audience or a network or anything – which means that the content is raw and exactly what the hosts and producers want to deliver, for better or worse. We’re seeing many podcasts now that are network backed or come form official channels, but even they seem to not impose too much editorial constraint on the podcasters which I think can only be a good thing.
What makes a great podcast guest?
Somebody who is willing to be open and honest – that’s it really. you can feel when they are restricted in what they want to say. We have guests from hip hop, comedy, presenters etc, and the best ones are the ones who just say what they think and are happy to talk about anything. We are not trying to trip anyone up. Sometimes people feel like they’re going to get found out about their lack of in depth knowledge but we don’t care about that.
What makes a great podcast host?
I think that a great podcast host is willing to cater the episode to their guest. If it’s a funny guest, then let’s be funny, if the guest is serious then just roll with that. I don’t think you should force it. But all of that is flannel compared to the requirement to really be in the conversation. I know hosts have questions they want to ask but the best hosts engage with the conversation and are happy to go with it rather than waiting for the pause to ask their next scripted question. This coming from a guy who has a set of six questions he always asks.
What’s been your worst podcast moment?
I did one of the Distraction Pieces Drunkasts with Scroobius Pip, Brett Goldstein and the guys from Hardcore Listing (ep #130). I got way too hammered and said some shit I really regret. I was a real twat on that. The worst moment for me was when Pip revealed to me that it’s not edited. He said it live on the podcast so that went in too. I was smashed but knew enough to know that was bad news.
What’s your podcast pet peeve?
I find it annoying when you’re drunk on a podcast and they only tell you it’s not being edited when you’re on it and smashed.
There there anything you found annoying as a podcast listener… but then understood when you started making your own?
I used to find advertising annoying, but then I realised that has to happen as you’re not being paid to deliver content and the advertising actually helps you keep making quality content. We make advertising revenue on our podcast and almost all of it goes back into the pod, though listening I’d imagine you’d be hard pressed to figure out how.
Which ONE podcast episode of your own means the most to you?
I think when we had Afrika Baby Bam from the Jungle Brothers on the podcast was when I first realised that this thing that started off as a hobby had somehow enabled me to be in the same room as legends who had shaped my life, and people who I admire so much. That felt really amazing to me.
Which ONE podcast episode (not of your own) means the most to you?
Adam Buxton is one of my favourite people in the world, so to be able to go and do his podcast and have a relaxed chat with someone who I admire so much was a really wonderful experience.
On Hip Hop Saved My Life. Romesh Raganathan talks to comedians, presenters and music industry legends about thier love for Hip Hop and what it means to them. Listen on ACAST, SPOTIFY and OTHER PODCAST APPS. Follow Romesh @romeshranga // @HHSMLpodcast