From Issue #016 of the Pod Bible magazine, the regular column from Stak looked at the new podcast sparking conversation in the dance music world. This is Breaking Bread.
UTOPIA Talks is Stak’s latest launch in the podcasting world, celebrating the world of dance music and tackling issues faced by this generation of artists and fans alike. At its core, UTOPIA Talks is a reactive podcast and a springboard for further conversation. Hosted by DJ and broadcaster Jaguar and produced by Stak’s Katie Baxter, UTOPIA Talks is creating a more inclusive and equal world in dance music and beyond with every episode.
What was the behind the scenes process to launch UTOPIA Talks?
JAGUAR: I put out the first proto UTOPIA Talks episode in autumn last year about sexual assault in dance music, at a time where it needed to be addressed and spoken about. It was received well and lots of people were getting in touch to say they were touched by it and supported it. Katie got in touch and said they’d love to help with future episodes and so we started planning out the first series. I couldn’t believe someone wanted to produce it into a proper podcast!
KATIE: I heard Jaguar’s pilot and it instantly felt like a really special project. I knew I’d have a lot to offer in terms of content and sound design, so I got in touch with Jaguar and asked if she’d be interested in working on it with me at Stak. I was so thrilled when she agreed to make the show with us. It’s been such a cool process and collaborating with Jaguar has been incredible.
J: We’ve got so much in store and I love going in each week to record the show. We’re a proper team and it feels so exciting to have another young woman working with me on this.
The pilot of UTOPIA Talks was all about The First Dance – the first government-sanctioned rave to take place since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. What was that experience like, and what went into creating that episode?
J: Playing at The First Dance felt like a real moment in history and it was an honour to play. I was a bit apprehensive ahead of the set, as it as overwhelming to be amongst thousands of people without masks and social distancing. It was also very emotional – lots of DJs were crying before or even during their sets.
K: Jaguar and I really wanted to give the listener a taste of what’s to come when nightlife returns. And I think those interviews did just that – they were so emotionally charged! I had a lot of fun doing the sound design for them and we’re keen to incorporate more on location audio as the series goes on.
J: I interviewed The Blessed Madonna, Jayda G and Lauren Lo Sung and you can just hear the emotion in their voices. I was paired up with Heidi to play a back to back set which felt amazing! Heidi is one of my favourite DJs and someone I really admire. The set was a blast of energy and started a wonderful friendship between us, so it was great to get her in the studio for episode one.
What can listeners look forward to on the UTOPIA Talks feed?
J: We’ll be diving deep into conversations that are not often had in dance music, with some of the scene’s finest DJs and industry heads from the new generation coming through, as well as those who’ve been in the game since the beginning. From talking about sobriety to issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community, people of colour and women in music, UTOPIA Talks has loads in store. I live for vast, meaty conversations and I truly believe that this podcast will be a catalyst for change, and both inspire and educate its listeners.
Stak produces podcasts that entertain and inform, including some of the UK’s biggest and most popular shows – boasting a combined 4 million monthly listens and over 45 years of podcasting experience. Whether recording remotely or in our broadcast-grade London studio, we specialise in every stage of the podcasting process. To find out more or get in touch, visit our website at stak.london.
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