Music Week guides you to the biggest and best music podcasts the industry has to offer. This month, Tape Notes podcast host John Kennedy reflects on revealing the behind the scenes of music production...
Hosted by: John Kennedy
What was the original vision behind Tape Notes?
“It was to lift the veil on how music is being produced in a modern context. By revealing how some of the best producers and artists create and record their work, we hope it will inspire others to get out there and find their own ways of innovating and evolving music. I’ve found over my time in radio that when you give musicians the chance to talk about music they really open up – you get to see a different side of them. A deep dive into their world is a great way of really finding out about them and their work. By going deeper than a lot of music podcasts go, we thought we could offer something different and complementary to the many that are already out there.”
Do you feel producers are too often left out of the discussion when talking about music these days?
“In a word – yes! Producers are artists, and vice versa. They deserve celebration and attention, and it’s exciting to try and unlock the mysterious arts of their alchemy! Writing and recording music can be a really personal, intimate and intense experience so it’s not surprising that when you bring people together who have done that they really relax and open up. It’s great to be able to witness that.”
What have been some of your favourite moments on the show so far?
“There are so many, but it’s always special when you’re being offered a glimpse into that moment when the lightning strikes. Hearing a phone recording of Dave Bayley from Glass Animals waking from a sleep with the bassline to Gooey bouncing round his head was incredible and it’s hearing these moments that makes Tape Notes special. Another favourite part is realising that there is no one defined path to making music and honing your craft, everyone has different approaches. I suppose one common thread running through it all is graft. If you work hard and have a solid ethic, the sky’s the limit! Disclosure, Fred Again and Royal Blood are all artists we’ve had on who’ve shown us just how hard they’ve had to work! Other highlights for me include watching Nitin Sawhney play guitar and piano and explain how he works – he was fascinating and thrilling. And Jamie Lidell is such an entertaining maverick, as are Lianne La Havas and Girl In Red.”
Finally, what do you think music podcasts are bringing to journalism in 2021 and beyond?
“I think podcasts offer something beyond traditional media. In many ways they are the new radio, but without the constrictions of adhering to format or a general audience. They’re an opportunity for the artist to open up and share more of themselves and their work in ways that they couldn’t before. It’s still a new and exciting area that can give artists and labels new opportunities to publicise their work. It’s an exciting time."