When & why did you begin podcasting?
I used to be a college DJ, hosting several music shows and working in station management for 3 years. After I left, I discovered online radio. I started a Live365 station back in January 2000. Eventually I produced some half hour interview features, such as one with Hungry Lucy in May 2005. Garageband had just begun their free podcast service, so I uploaded it there, too. I followed up with a feature on Lovespirals, and then decided it was high time I did a podcast proper.
My first podcast was Chillin’ with Lovespirals, which launched in early June 2005. The idea was that a podcast would be the perfect way to share information and music from our upcoming new album, Free & Easy. I had already been sharing audio interviews online on sites like Mp3.com and SoundClick for years, so I knew our fans enjoyed hearing us discuss our music. I had a hard time, though, convincing my partner, Ryan Lum, that it was a good idea because there weren’t any band podcasts out there yet and he was worried about our bandwidth. Our first episodes were fairly short because of the bandwidth issue.
I still really wanted to do a music podcast, too, and I briefly toyed with the idea of combining concepts into one show, but I’m glad I didn’t, because it would have been too confusing. Chillin’ with Lovespirals is a talk show, whereas The Chillcast is a music show. Sure, sometimes we play a little music on Chillin’ with Lovespirals, and sometimes I have conversations on The Chillcast, but they are totally different. Ryan and I do a much more informal show than when I’m alone in the studio, and you really get to see more of who I am as a person, rather than as a DJ.
Anyway, The Chillcast with Anji Bee, began its life as The Chillcuts Chillcast as more of a tie-in to Lovespirals, since our label name is Chillcuts. I hosted the first 3 episodes on OurMedia.org in January 2006, then I was picked up by PodShow, and the rest – as they say – is history…
What is the most significant thing to happen to you personally as a direct result of producing your podcast?
Podcasting has changed my whole life, honestly! The biggest and best result is that I was able to “quit my dayjob” just like Adam Curry talked about on the DSC when he signed me as part of the first big group of producers to the PodShow network. It has been incredibly liberating to be able to focus solely on audio production, whether it be podcasts or music. And since I have more time to devote to my craft, I’ve been able to improve my skills – both with my singing and my voiceover work. Likewise, I’m able to spend more time developing my marketing, which increases my listener base, so all the way around, it has been fantastic. I’ve met so many wonderful people through podcasting, too, and many of them have inspired me to try new things and reach new vistas. I really can’t say enough about what a great growing experience podcasting has been for me.
What podcasts, if any, do you regularly listen to or watch?
I have to admit I’m a bit spotty with my podcast listening/watching. The one show that I remain totally loyal to is the first podcast I ever subscribed to, and that’s Diggnation. I’ve been a fan of Kevin Rose since he used to be a supporting cast member of The Screen Savers on Tech TV, and I’ve followed everything he’s done since that time. I’ve been listening to the Daily Source Code since Adam started the Podsafe Music Network in 2005. Once he played Lovespirals on the show, I was pretty hooked! Many people actually discovered me through the conversations that Adam and I have had on his show via audio clips. Sometimes it’s hard to keep with him, he’s so prolific, but I check in to see what’s new. I’m also a big fan of In Over Your Head and was devastated when Julien took an extended hiatus recently, but he just made a new episode so I’m hoping he’ll get back into it. Of course I also like to keep up with my friends and ShowGirls co-hosts, the Rumor Girls! I’m into several more music-based shows as well, like Radio BSOTS and Dave’s Lounge, as well as mixed music and talk shows like Mysterious Universe and Friday Favecast. I also dig Tea with Hungry Lucy – and if I’m not mistaken, I was the one to inspire them to begin their show! There’s so many other podcasts that I check out from time to time that I couldn’t possibly list them all, but just to throw out a few; Accident Hash, Cranky Geeks, TWIT, and tons of others.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Honestly, I had a hard time deciding between an artist, a musician, an actor, or a writer and I think that now I’ve pretty much combined all of those things in what I do. I record and release music, I create my website and album art, I perform in my vidcasts and podcasts, and I write – well, not only lyrics, but blog posts, bios, blurbs, heck even this interview. Seems like there’s lots of writing involved in my line of work, surprisingly.
Read the rest of this Mini-Interview with The Chillcast’s Anji Bee on the Podfinder UK site!