I have a 9-5 desk job where I struggle to stay awake on some days. Most days I’m actually multi-tasking and incorporating my cardio/”Mission: Booty” workout into my daily runs for my office. But on the occasional day throughout the week, I’m at my desk trying to stay focused and fighting the urge to cuddle up next to my keyboard and make the mousepad my new pillow.
I know I’m not the only one that feels this way.
There’s a fancy Nespresso machine no more than 10 feet away from where I sit, but I have opted out from the “energy cheat cure.” These days I’ve been trying to get energy and stay focused the ALL-NATURAL way; drinking more water, taking short walks, stretching, meditation or listening to music. Although all of these are healthy ways of getting a natural boost, the one that has made my day go by faster is listening to music. Ok, yes everyone has Pandora or Spotify playing in the background on their desktop, but I’m talking about really listening to music.
I’ve listed below 3 of my favorite podcasts/vodcasts that all music lovers will appreciate and get your mind off that clock at work. These podcasts break down songs and dig deep to the artist’s meaning and purpose.
I hope you enjoy these just as much as I do.
1.) NPR Music: Noteworthy
“Zooming in on the creative process, one artist at a time.”
Ok, so this one isn’t exactly a podcast but short, intimate music docs. This is one of NPR music’s newest additions to their already great collection of shows and podcasts. Noteworthy is for the music fans who not only process the music but love finding meaning behind the sound. This show is focused on picking the brain of the artist and digging deep to the conception of their music and their own perception of their creations.
So far there has only been three episodes posted, spotlighting: Miguel, Maxwell and Dua Lipa... all very sensual artists with different styles and inspirations. NPR music contributor, Jason King, hosts the show and does a fantastic job of keeping the interviews close to home for the artists and asking questions most die-hard fans go geeky for. I will admit this show almost feels invasive and prohibited, s almost you’re piercing through these beautiful musical souls but you can’t help but keep listening.
Noteworthy is worth a tab in your browser which is why I’ve had it locked in the past week. Here are some highlights from the past three shows, but I urge you this is one you want to listen to (or watch during lunch):
-Maxwell wants to stay true to his music. You won’t find him giving into peer pressure by using autotune or guest rap appearances… Thank the music gods for that! We need more artists like this.
-Miguel revealed “Adorn” was made over night.
***He also might have given away Pharell’s fountain of youth, but you have to watch the show for that one.
-Twenty-one year old UK breakout artist, Dua Lipa, believes artists should give 100% to their craft...there should be no plan-B.
2.) Song Exploder
This podcast has redefined the way I listen to music.
Imagine going into a recording studio and being present through the making of a song. That is what Song Exploder is. Each episode consists of an artist breaking down one song piece-by-piece. From the hook, to the melody, to the collaborations and inspirations you will be amazed on how all these single entities were skillfully engineered into one seamless song.
Since listening to this podcast I have become more aware of new talented artists and have grown to appreciate some old favorites.
My top 5 episodes (so far):
- Kelela “Rewind”
- Bjork “Stone Killer”
- Joey Bada$$ “Hazeus View”
- Best Coast “Feeling Ok”
- MGMT “Time To Pretend”
3.) Questlove Supreme
What! Questlove has a podcast now, too?!? Where does he find the time?
I saw Questlove once DJ’ing at the Brooklyn Bowl on a random Thursday. He apparently has a residency there where he DJs every Thursday where hosts “Bowl Train”. The night consisted of him spinning an array of records from his thousand-sum collection while G and I got our Soul Train on with about fifty Brooklyn hipsters. It was awesome!
What really amazed me about that night was that nobody was fazed by the presence of the mighty Questlove. He did his thing and Houdinied out of there before I could get a good SNAP to show and tell. I’m guessing he probably had to go rush back to The Tonight Show… Seriously, how does he do it?
I’ve always had love for Questlove and his music, but I particularly became a bigger fan when I heard about Questlove’s Finding Nemo Prince story.
If you’re cool with Prince then you must be one of the coolest people on this planet. That’s why I was very excited to hear about Questlove’s new podcast. Not only did he play a great mix of records, and talk about Prince, but he also started off with a bang by inviting Maya Rudolph as his first guest. They both discussed their first encounter with Prince’s music and how it’s shaped their lives.
This podcast was so forthcoming and genuine, Questlove might actually make Pandora cool again. But be weary, this is a unicorn podcast that goes live every Wednesday at 1 PM EST. and can only be heard until Friday 1 PM EST.