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  • Writer's pictureSarah Myles

HOW I GOT HERE: Ade from Blacticulate

(How I Got Here Artwork)

Connect with this (half) season’s guests:

Ade from Blacticulate -

Tatum Karmen Swithenbank-

Special thanks to: Alex Court, Graeme Woodcock, Heleen Kist, Kate Bullivant, Maria Passingham, Mark Loftus, Natasha S. Chowdory and Tin Hinson for providing question recordings.

Artwork by Jack Jewers-

RISE & SHINE is about giving everyone a voice within the podcast and radio industries regardless of income.

Find out more about RISE & SHINE through the website- and twitter-


Ade: Well, my name is Ade, founder of Blactitulate and a host of stories that stick podcast, my pronouns are he him and his

I was listening to long form interview by Tim Ferris at a time in my life that I wasn't particularly happy.

And the thing that struck me about his podcasts was every interview he did. There was some principles that I could apply to my life for the better. And in my head, I was like, Oh, that's brilliant. However, there was just something a little bit unrelatable. And that was predominantly, I was not in the same financial bracket as most of these guests who were part of the 1%.

And the tree for the matter is I know the world views me, a black, British Nigerian man, very differently than they would the likes of Bill Gates, just because we know what the world is like. And if you don't know, then God, there's a lot of work to be done. Clearly. Now listen to his podcasts. I was like, okay, brilliant.

I love that. Why can't I see or frame any podcast at a time, this was too fast on the 15th. Why can't I see or find any podcasts that is similar, but is more closely related. And because I couldn't find it, I figured hell I might as well start my own because I have people within my network who are high achievers, killing it in their game.

So why not interview them to find out how they do what they do so others can too. And so that was the birth of my very first podcast called black black actions articulated, where we featured young black professionals finding out exactly how they do what they do. So others can too, and launched in black history month, October, 2015.

And I guess, as they say, the rest is history

How would you get into the industry if you had to start all over again today?:

I would approach local radios, which I never did. I wouldn't have studied for it because every fund I've learnt has been free YouTube. I would definitely approach production, houses and commissioners who I know were making my favorite podcasts. And offer just any assistance that they might need, even if it's to do with research, even if it's just to do with whatever it is I could do to just get my foot in the door.

I would do that.

What's something you have to learn after getting into the industry?:

A lot of people pay lip service. The words don't marry up with their actions and vice versa. Which kind of makes sense because, you know, the industry is all about talking, but practically speaking, I have to learn how to produce. And I think that is important.

Even if you are going to be talent, as in someone who is in front of Mike, rather than behind, I think it's still important because you would understand how to get the story out of whomever you might be interviewing. And also to rectify that you won't be actually nervous if you are front of mind to us, you guessed to repeat what they've said,, knowing that this is your one shot to get clean audio that I think is something I've had to learn whilst well, into the industry,

Why audio?:

Well, audio, I believe personally allows for one to imagine worlds like you’re only limited by your own imagination, similar to literature, but I guess the huge difference. And I think the huge advantage is that you can simultaneously be doing something else.

While also listening to audio. I kind of challenge you to drive a car whilst reading a book. Wouldn't recommend, but that is a huge advantage of what audio has to offer. And a tree for the mayor is in comparison to TV, it's less expensive. So you can take more risks and podcast specifically democratizes audio.

So you don't have to go through those gatekeepers and those who really, and truly don't believe that your voice matters. But I think we might get into that a bit later on.

Tell us a secret about breaking into the audio industry:

I mean the tree for the matter is I actually think particularly because podcast democratizes all audio and it does remove a lot of gatekeepers. What tends to happen is once you have a certain amount of quote, unquote clout, uh, audience, These gatekeepers sort of want to come to you regardless of whether or not you have any talent.

Now I'm not saying that you don't have talent. I would never dare say that, but I think the secret really, and truly is if you can amass a following, even if it's unique and very specific, then you're able to create an audio program based off of that uniqueness that you bring to the table. Was that a secret?

Maybe not.

What's the best mistake you've ever made?

for me, the best mistake that I've ever made. Really. And truly speaking my mind on specifically how limited the thinking of certain commissioners are when it comes down to stories that they perceive. And I'm going to put some air quotes here, sell. If that doesn't make sense to you then with all due respect.

I think you're part of the issue. I sound bitter. I'm not bitter. I just think I've spoken to certain commissioners in which they've said to my face, the bait, they're looking for stories that I produce. And yet will tell me that there's no space for my story because they're producing or Greenlight in something similar that talks about the diasporic experience now, because there was one story that was being commissioned about a diasporic experience.

There couldn't be another. Yeah. So it's just really interesting how limited the thinking of commissioners are. When it comes down to stories that they believe sell,

Tell us about the person in the audio industry who helped you most when building your career.

Well, there's three women. First one is Renay Richardson, head of Brocolli content. She helped me start my very first podcast a lot earlier than I anticipated, because she was solely responsible for finding podcasts, producers or podcasters. Should I say of color? And literally there was only a handful when I started in 2015, the other shout-out I will give would be Eleanor McDowell.

Without really knowing me and meeting me very briefly at a multi-track event, she put me forward for judging in industry award shows. And she's always, always, always open for conversation or coffee. So, yeah, Eleanor, thank you very much. Well, we don't call her Eleanor We just call her El, but you know how it goes and I guess last but not least I will give a shout out or mention to would be Leanne Alie, because like L she.

Was responsible for trying to diversify panelists when it comes down to judging awards and whatnot. And again, I met her once she was familiar with my work, she's a fan of my work. And so she recommended me to be part of the APA awards judging panel for 2019. It's funny, actually, when I think about it, it has been free women.

Who come from marginalized communities for lack of a better expression that have been really open to helping me assess hat black men. Yeah. So thanks for that guys.

What's the one piece of advice that you would give to anyone starting out in audio?

I know it sounds silly, but actually start. And do it quickly because what you'll find out is if you don't want to do it, then at least you haven't wasted a lot of time. And also because all audio or podcasts and radio programs, it's a creative pursuit and a finger of creativity it's never, ever complete.

It's merely abandoned. I know it sounds strange, but the truth of the matter is we can all look back at the work we've done and think we could have done more. So just stop and enjoy the process. If you're not enjoying the process, then it's not for you


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