There’s something kind of incredible about podcasts. As stories and reports told in audio, they have this way of transporting you to another world. Almost as if you’re being read to by someone very close to you, they can inspire in a way that’s unlike any other medium. If you’re like me and constantly on the go, a podcast can be a great daily dose of inspiration just as much as entertainment.
For all you musicians and music makers out there, we’ve put together a list of some of the best podcasts to inspire the next big moves in your music career. Most of these are industry related, but to keep it fresh, we threw in a few that delve outside the music industry that you may not have heard yet. Creative inspiration can come from anywhere, so keep your ears open to it!
But before we get to the list, we’ve been thinking a lot about podcasts lately since we here at Soundfly just launched our own podcast called “Themes and Variation.” In it, we bring musicians and music lovers together to break down meaningful songs in their lives with a common theme. If you’d like to check it out, listen to Episode 1 right here on Flypaper, or click over to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher to subscribe.
Inside Music Podcast by Haulix
If you’ve ever wanted the inside scoop on what it’s like to work in music, this podcast is for you. Presented by Haulix, Inside Music gives listeners an all-access pass to the raw realities of the music biz with interviews with artists, publicists, managers, and more.
Recent guests include: Jeremy Weiss (Launch Music Conference and Festival), Stephen Christian (Anberlin), Jesse Cannon, Anthony Randeri (Bayside), and Kyle Fasel (Real Friends).
Lead Singer Syndrome
Recent guests include: Caleb Shomo (Beartooth), Adam Lazzara (Taking Back Sunday), Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die), and Aaron Gillespie (Underoath, The Almost).
Bridge the Atlantic
Made up of Toronto-based musician Marcio Novelli and Glasgow-based web designer Ross Barber-Smith, this is a super fun podcast (also available in video form) that hosts a wave of guests including musicians, filmmakers, industry pros, and other creatives. With a mix of serious questions and silly ones, BTA is a staple in the music industry podcast space.
Recent guests include: Melissa Cross (vocal coach), Matt Rafal (booking agent), Stephen Christian (Anberlin), Mike Ziemer (concert promoter, festival producer), Amanda Palmer, and Benji Rogers (PledgeMusic).
How to Be Amazing
Hosted by comedian Michael Ian Black, How to Be Amazing connects listeners with a variety of celebrities in a plethora of creative spaces, including other comedians, actors, scientists, and a myriad of other artistic disciplines in between. Although it’s not always focused on music, there’s a lot of focus on the creative process and getting from point A to point B, and all the triumphs and struggles in between.
Recent guests include: Ira Glass, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Katy Perry, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ingrid Michaelson, Alyssa Milano, Al Franken, Judd Apatow, Jim Gaffigan, and Ingrid Michaelson.
Making It With Chris G
Full of interviews with musicians and music industry folk who have “made it,” your host Chris G gets to the heart of the questions that DIY bands need to know. Management, PR, booking, and tons of other topics have been covered, at a depth that allows bands to dive right in and take actionable steps towards growing their own careers immediately.
Recent guests include: Ari Herstand (DIY royalty guru), Kevin Lyman (brand strategy, tour planning), Shannon Curtis, and Pete Anderson.
CD Baby DIY Musician Podcast
CD Baby knows a thing or two about the DIY artist, so it’s no surprise to see their podcast make our list. They cover a wide facet of topics sharing tips, tricks, and mistakes you can learn from, all designed to help the indie musician break out of their bubble and advance their musical mission.
Recent guests include: Ari Herstand, Jim Jesse (copyright law), and Seth Godin.
Music-Preneur Mindset Podcast
Mindset coach Suzanne Paulinski (a.k.a. The Rock/Star Advocate) delivers bite-sized weekly episodes delving into everything you need to know to go from a struggling DIY musician to a music-preneur (a combo of musician and entrepreneur, if you hadn’t heard).
A deep dive into daring ideas for creative artists, the Rebel Creative podcast (hosted by Dean Ogden) focuses on addressing the concerns of DIY artists, covering everything from social media management, to finding your team, to creating a killer website, and the emotional battles of being a DIY artist.
How I Built This
Hosted by NPR’s Guy Raz, this podcast is a fascinating look into entrepreneurship. Profiling some of the world’s best-known companies, it’s an intriguing look at what it takes to build a business from the ground up to the sky. If you’re an artist and you consider your music career a business, there’s lots to learn here!
Recent guests include: Troy Carter (Lady Gaga’s ex-manager), Airbnb, Panera Bread, FUBU, Marc Cuban, Chipotle, Southwest Airlines, VICE, and Reddit.
Music Business Facts
Interviewing some of the industry’s best and brightest, Rodney Holder’s Music Business Facts aims to bring the how-tos of success to the artists who listen.
Recent guests include: Maynard James Keenan (Tool), Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse), and Tyler McLoughlan (sync licensing).
Creative Juice by Indepreneur
Here’s another weekly podcast dedicated to helping indie artists pursue their passion. With a slew of guests that includes successful indie musicians and industry pros, this enjoyable listen delivers well-rounded insights and actionable steps for the DIY artist, and it’s super fun to tune into.
Recent guests include: Louie La Vella (festival marketing expert), A.J. Crew, and Suzi Nelson (digital marketer).
One of my recent favorites, the ManageMental podcast brings two artist managers and music industry pros together as they give their take on the music business. Hosts Blasko and Mike Mowery cover streaming, launching your music, getting featured on music blogs, attracting labels, and tons more.
This extremely popular podcast is a fun one where artists are invited to break down one of their songs and cover how it was made from a technological, emotional, and creative standpoint. It’s hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway.
Recent guests include: MGMT, The Lumineers, Lorde, St Vincent, Weezer, and Björk.
Break It Down
Another Jabberjaw Media podcast, Break It Down with Matt Carter (of Emery) features in-depth interviews and long-form conversations with artists and industry pros, as well as personal stories of bands’ successes and failures, with a candid nature that makes the show a must-listen.
Recent guests include: Tim McTague (Underoath), Brandon Ebel (Tooth & Nail), and Aaron Sprinkle (producer).
The DIY Artist Route Podcast
The reason I love this podcast — besides that D Grant Smith is one of Flypaper‘s beloved authors — is that it takes an empathetic yet realistic approach to the music industry, touching on a lot of obstacles that we all face, yet few rarely acknowledge. Hosting a mix of indie artists, music pros, and leaders in a variety of creative fields, the DIY Artist Route helps you map your way to success.
Recent guests include: Seth Godin, Rodney Holder, Bree Noble, and Rick Barker.
Break the Business
This one takes a fun, insightful look at entertainment law for indie artists. Hosted by Ryan Kairalla, the show features a mix of interviews with artists and industry folks, and also looks at specific legal case studies, like Five Finger Death Punch’s lawsuit with their label.
Recent guests include: Bobby Owsinski (producer, author, coach), Kevin Breuner (CD Baby), Bree Noble, and myself!
Shameless Plug: Themes and Variation
Once again, go ahead and check out Soundfly’s new podcast, “Themes and Variation,” for an entertaining and educational, and not to mention deeply nostalgic, set of conversations between musicians, composers, producers, engineers, and music lovers breaking down songs relating to common themes.
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