I teach audio content development at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. It’s an HBCU with a hugely successful Mass Comm department which includes one of the country’s truly great jazz stations — WNCU. MY students are curious consumers of music, although it’s rarely jazz. If given the choice they will listen to, write about, perform and make a podcast about hip-hop. Hip Hop is their jam. In class I often have them close their eyes, put their head down on the table and JUST LISTEN to examples of what I want them to make. So when we got to the lesson on interviewing, I went looking for a terrific interview with a musician they care about. We watched David Letterman visit Kanye West at home, and then we heard Terry Gross’s interview with Lizzo, which I highly recommend, mostly because, while the interview exposes Terry’s age and whiteness, it also shows how carefully chosen questions and follow ups — follow ups that are born of the actual conversation, so, going where it is leading — will draw out new and surprising things from an interviewee.
Check it out here.
I’ve also discovered Song Exploder, which is a beautifully crafted, meticulously created exploration of a single song. It’s packed with good music, insights and terrific examples of curating conversations for maximum impact.