Podcasts are popular. They are quite easy to produce and provide a lot of great content. It was actually strange that AEGEE hasn’t had one so far. Hemmo de Vries and Calvin Breakwell changed this now. They started their podcast “Everything AEGEE” – the first two editions proved to be a great success. The GT spoke to Hemmo.

Golden Times: Hemmo, you made a podcast with Calvin. How did you get the idea?
Hemmo de Vries: I love media and talking and audio. I used to do a radio show, called AEGEE.fm about AEGEE. It had a fixed running time of one hour every week which is quite normal for radio standards, but a lot of work for a show being prepared by just one person. A podcast is the perfect solution for this, but in 2015, when the radio stopped, podcasting wasn’t as big yet as it is now. Now it is incorporated in widely known established platforms like Spotify and iTunes Podcasts, and there are now rules about how long it should be or how often it should be published. This takes off a lot of pressure and allows us to prepare new episodes in our own pace.

GT: What did you talk about and how did you decide about the topics?
Hemmo: The podcast is called “Everything AEGEE”, and the idea is that we can talk about everything that regards AEGEE. Generally we discuss whatever is going on in the network, but also upcoming and past events. We basically both spent a bit of time considering different topics and eventually it was really easy to come up with enough topics for hours.

GT: Is it difficult to make a podcast? What kind of hardware and software do you need?
Hemmo: What I like about podcasts is that there are no rules on how to make it, you can do it any way you want. As long as you have a way to record your voice, you are pretty much set. In my case, I work in radio and I have a full blown studio available which is used for live broadcasts. Calvin calls in on Skype and I record the whole thing. After it’s recorded I edit out all pauses and some things that didn’t work out as good.

The dynamic duo: Calvin and Hemmo

GT: The first podcast was 26 minutes long. Did you cut or edit a lot?
Hemmo: The original material was 55 minutes long. However, a significant part of this consisted of getting the connection working and the audio quality the way we want to. I think about 30-35 minutes was actual talking, so that means I cut about ten minutes of material from it. There were a few jokes that are a bit in-crowd and others probably won’t get. Also we sometimes had to look up a few things which I also edited out.

GT: Have you heard about other podcasts in AEGEE before?
Hemmo: Not that I am aware of, but it would be interesting to see some projects see get their own one. How about a podcast for the Juridical Commission for example?

GT: Podcasts got really popular in general. Do you have some favourite podcasts or something you can recommend?
Hemmo: I listen to a lot of Dutch podcasts. One of them is called “30 minuten rauw” by a national radio DJ in which he is brutally honest and super open, allowing the person he interviews to be open as well. Great interviews follow and he is one of my biggest inspirations. There is also an English one which is about some friends reading out loud and ridiculizing a really badly written erotic story – which ends up being silly and hilarious.

Hemmo at work

GT: How many people listened to your podcasts so far?
Hemmo: In the first four days just over 100 people listened to the first episode.

GT: What’s the feedback you go so far?
Hemmo: Everybody seems to really like the way we chit chat and combine this with some serious topics. Some people already suggested topics we could talk about and everybody is welcome to keep doing so. We are still looking just a bit on the perfect balance between bullshit and serious content, but we will probably figure out what works best within several episodes.

GT: Did people approach you to be on your show?
Hemmo: We have the intention of having guests on to talk more extensively about topics they are involved with. We will approach people ourselves, but people can also contact us about it through our Facebook page! People are also invited to send us an audio message through the anchor.fm/everythingaegee page, so we can play them on the podcast!

GT: You are a media person. You have a job in that field, you make the Silver Times and you also experienced with radio. Can you tell something about your love for radio?
Hemmo: I really love working with audio – and video actually – because not only does it allow for endless imagination, sharing music and emotions, but also is obviously a really good of having conversations and telling stories. In daily life I have a radio show where I play music and tell short stories about what happened in my city. As for the Silver Times, I have no idea what you are talking about. Isn’t that made by Anna Pamplona?

Check out the podcast page

GT: True. How often do you intend to make podcasts per month?
Hemmo: We are currently just seeing how often we can do it. Because of the freedom of the platform, I am really fond of not having to commit to a specific timeframe and more like seeing when there is enough new stuff to talk about.

GT: When will you record the next episode of the podcast and what will you talk about?
Hemmo: We are just done with second episode. It contains several topics including why it is a bad idea to run an escape room on an airport and why Flamenco should be a Self Defense Technique. Oh, and about glitter. Lots and lots of glitter.

Check the podcast episodes here.