Hey man, how’s it going, introduce yourself to the people
Hello everyone, my name is Jaime Black. I’m a Chicago bred creative working to showcase Chicago in a positive way. I currently run a podcast, teach at Columbia, do music journalism, and dabble with live event production.
How was life growing up?
Good. I was pretty ready to work. In 1998 at 15 years old, I had started pursuing radio internships. That year I interned at WLUW (Loyola College Radio, the late great Rock 103.5, which is now KISS-FM, and legendary alternative station Q101, where I ended up working for thirteen years until the station signed off in 2011. By the time I graduated high school I had procured seven different internships. I was eager to get my start in the radio industry and music scene.
When did you first get interested in writing?
Writing actually was an incidental thing that happened to me while I was in radio. I worked in radio for 13 years. During that time, in 2003, I ended up getting offered an internship with Illinois Entertainer. I still write for them to this day. Journalism and writing in general has been able to compliment my other works.
For those who do not know, go ahead and tell us what a podcast is
A podcast is an online radio program that you can listen to on the Internet, phone, or any type of digital device. In simpler terms, a podcast is really just an Internet radio show.
In 2005 you created Dynasty Podcasts, the first and longest running music podcast in the city of Chicago’s entire history. Where did you get the idea to create a podcast at that time?
For me, it came out of wanting to have my own channel that I was able to operate independently. I loved working in radio, and the program I produced, Local 101, had a tremendous amount of freedom–especially for being on the predominant rock station in the third largest market in the country. But podcasting was a channel where I could try ideas that might be too weird or underground or even just too long for FM radio. I was able to try new things and I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission. All of that remains a strong selling point for podcasting to this day.
How in any way did college help you with journalism/creating a podcast?
I never found what I needed in college during my time as a student. So much of what I was looking to do or was currently doing professionally and creatively wasn’t covered in any capacity. It was too new, too emerging. I’ve definitely learned more as an instructor in the Business Business and Entrepreneurship department at Columbia College, than I ever did as a student. Being on the other side of the equation, seeing how specific models of teaching connect with young creatives — all of that has taught me more than being a student ever did. So I really try to be responsive and understanding as an instructor, and really listen to my students, and pay attention to the lessons and discussions that really connect with them. And that has absolutely influenced my own work as a podcaster, event producer, and content creator.
You’ve been doing podcasts for 11 years now, why all of a sudden do you think podcasts are now becoming the next big thing?
There are a few reasons why podcasts are now becoming the next big thing. For one, mobile phones are capable of so much now that it’s become a lot easier to stream podcasts. Back in 2005, we had to upload a podcast to our website, then someone would have to download it to their iTunes, then upload it to their iPod. Now, with streaming technology and functionality, streaming podcasts is just so easy and accessible. Also, programs like Serial really helped push podcasts to the mainstream level.
You’ve been able to host over 700 episodes, has there been one that you can call your all time favorite?
Yes, 100%. My favorite interview still to this day was with Joe Shanahan, the founder of (North Side venue) the Metro. I have nothing but love for Joe and the Metro, and I was able to connect with him for the 30th anniversary of the venue. We ended up doing the interview at an exhibit where there were a ton of posters, flyers, and memorabilia throughout the past 30 years of the Metro’s existence. I was able to talk to Joe about owning the Metro, legendary artists he’s worked with over the years, and the history of the venue. It was a very inspiring conversation and I’m hugely grateful to have gotten to the chance to interview him like that.
When it comes to your interviews with these artists, do you go into each interview your research, or do you prefer just having a conversation and seeing where it goes?
I make sure I do my research before I talk to anybody. I don’t ever want to approach any interview without any knowledge of the person I’m speaking with. I want it to be worth the time of whoever I’m interviewing.
In 2011 you were named “The best interviewer in Chicago” by CBS. How was that feeling for you?
That was awesome and also entirely unexpected thing. I didn’t know anyone at CBS, and I still don’t. So that was a total surprise.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
Through the rest of 2016 and beyond, we’ll continue to focus on our live events, meaning more and more live industry panels and academic workshops. We’ve had a great response from our live podcasts this year, so that’s a huge priority and an immediate focus. We’ll also continue live streaming interviews with Chicago artists, industry, creatives, tech and entrepreneurs, and college talent every Sunday night at 9 via Facebook Live. And then we have a clear set of projects mapped out through the start of fall 2017, but I can’t talk about a lot of that yet.
When it’s all said and done how do you want Dynasty Podcasts to be remembered?
I’d hope people remember us as something that was meaningful. That helped shed light on the creative process and tell the story of Chicago’s best and brightest. Also that we helped shine a light on talented Chicago creatives early on, before a lot of people were giving them a look.