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Musician creates new and unique podcast format to thrive in coronavirus lockdown



Unable to play live, songwriter interviews prominent people worldwide on Zoom and then writes a song about their conversation. 

 

Jack Stafford (UK) was a touring troubadour from Suffolk playing house concerts in people's living rooms before COVID-19 came along. Deprived of any income – and quarantined in full lockdown in the south of Italy – he was forced to discover a new way to put his storytelling songwriting-style to use.

The bigger the problem, the bigger the idea
Stafford decided to reach out to professors, philosophers, scientists and authors to see if they would speak to him in return for a song about their work. The response was phenomenal.

Before he even launched the show, Stafford had already interviewed 40 guests and written songs for them. 

  • Alan Dershowitz - the most famous defence lawyer in America, was cheered up with a song called Unbendable
  • AJ Jacobs the author had a song for his long-suffering wife Saint Julie
  • Physicist Sean Carroll got one based on his book Something Deeply Hidden
  • Postural expert Esther Gokhale on her Perfect Spine 
  • Other recorded episodes soon to be released include guests include journalist James Fallows, futurist Cory Doctorow, poker player Liv Boeree, economist Russ Roberts, scientist Rupert Sheldrake and Eric Topol the most renowned Doctor in America.

As Stafford explains: "It has been an incredible experience to be able to have conversations with some of the greatest thinkers on the planet and turn their ideas into songs. I've gone from the depression of lockdown to a new level of creativity, doing something new and expansive that I never would have thought of otherwise."

 

The podcast is called Podsongs and available on all podcast apps. The songs are included at the end of each episode, and released separately as singles on Apple Music, Spotify, etc.

12 songs per month
With three episodes a week, Stafford is writing 12 songs per month – which is a rate of 156 songs per year. The songs are fully-produced in different genres - pop, folk, reggae, rock, country - depending on the subject material. He works with a small band of just two Italian musicians – producer Maurizio Sarnicola and multi-instrumentalist Massimino Voza. 

Access to millions of new followers
"The guests have a minimum of 100,000 followers on social media, and because they have a 'stake in it', they're all sharing it as much as they can. The difference in response is huge compared to when I released songs with general' subject-matter," explains Stafford.

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