searchsearch
10 Podcasts Every Music Lover Should Listen To Now
German podcaster Götz Alsman

PHOTO: Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images

list

10 Podcasts Every Music Lover Should Listen To Now

Whether you’re looking to learn the ins and outs of your favorite album or are searching for a new song to add to your playlist, these 10 music podcasts have you covered.

GRAMMYs/Apr 27, 2022 - 06:18 pm

What if there was a way to make you fall in love with your favorite album all over again? Or a cheat sheet that could explain the meanings behind your favorite songs? What about a fun way to learn the history behind your favorite genre? Chances are, there’s a podcast for that.

The plethora of music-related podcasts isn't simply a fluke. Podcast creation has increased significantly in recent years, especially during the early months of the pandemic. Listenership spiked during the same period, though a 2021 survey noted a 40 percent increase in spoken word audio listening over seven years. As a result, major music services including Spotify, Apple and iHeartPodcasts have rushed to capitalize on a booming market — which, as of February 2021, featured more than 1.7 million podcasts and 43 million episodes. 

So whether you want a behind-the-scenes peek at the creation of a popular record, want to learn about the socio-political history of country or simply enjoy hearing your favorite rapper in conversation, there is a music podcast for you. Here are 10 music podcasts to check out during your next walk, commute or search for entertainment.

Dissect

On "Dissect," music composition major turned music podcaster Cole Cuchna spends anywhere from 30 to 170 minutes on deep dives into the meanings behind music.

With over 300,000 followers on TikTok alone, Cuchna and the Dissect crew have found success in breathing new life into classic albums like Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Each season of the Spotify original series focuses on one album, with each episode analyzing a single song. Cuchna spent the past two seasons dissecting Mac Miller’s Circles and Swimming; the newest season — a seven-part analysis on Bo Burnham’s GRAMMY-winning comedy special Inside —  launches on April 26.

Punk In Translation: Latinx Origins

One of the premier benefits of podcasts is how micro-niche some of the content can be. The eight-part Audible original series "Punk In Translation" epitomizes that. 

Produced by Fresh Produce Media, "Punk In Translation" is hosted by Tijuana No! singer Ceci Bastida and produced by journalist Nuria Net. The series expertly explain the unheralded Latinx roots of punk rock, in hopes of combatting the notion that genre is "the exclusive territory of white men with mohawks."

Topics range from riot grrrls to queer Latin punks, with several episodes featuring guests like Los Saicos singer Erwin Flores and Downtown Boys frontwoman Victoria Ruiz. All eight episodes are available for download. 

Questlove Supreme

It’s only right that a podcast on music legends is hosted by six-time GRAMMY winner Questlove

Originating from the music courses he taught at NYU, "Questlove Supreme" has been described as a “music junkie’s dream.” The Roots drummer makes the dream a reality by listening to around 200 songs to prepare for episodes. 

With guests ranging from Chris Rock to Bonnie Raitt, Questlove and Team Supreme fill each episode with a healthy blend of entertainment and insight. Though the first two seasons were initially exclusive to Pandora, all episodes are now available on all streaming platforms.

In Defense Of Ska

If you’re a fan of ska music searching for ways to defend the genre you love, music journalist Aaron Carnes has just the podcast — and book, playlist, and newsletter — for you. 

In "Defense Of Ska" the podcast jumps off from Carnes' book of the same name, inviting musicians, DJs, label owners and journalists (including GRAMMY.com Senior Editor Jessica Lipsky) to discuss history, trends and personal stories related to ska and reggae. While the oft-maligned genre has its haters, "In Defense Of Ska" is a treasure trove of insight for the genre's many devoted fans.**

The Big Hit Show

Despite only having 11 episodes under his belt, journalist Alex Pappademas clearly has something special on his hands with "The Big Hit Show." The latest six-episode season of the Spotify exclusive breaks down 14-time GRAMMY winner Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly. 

With exclusive interviews from Lamar, Dave Free, Sounwave and countless other To Pimp A Butterfly contributors, season two of "The Big Hit Show" unlocks layers of an already esteemed album.

Drink Champs

Hosted by former rapper N.O.R.E., also known as Noreaga, and DJ EFN, "Drink Champs" has become a staple of hip-hop culture in recent years. The hours-long show is a refreshing outlet to learn more about some of hip-hop’s finest acts.

A well-balanced guest list of both mainstream and underground legends, honest conversations and alcohol (lots of it) helps "Drink Champs" live up to its self-proclaimed name as "the most professional, unprofessional podcast."

Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music

Explaining the history of an entire genre is no small task, but after 33 highly detailed episodes, it’s clear Tyler Mahan Coe is up to the task, writing "most of what I’m talking about on 'Cocaine & Rhinestones' has been written down in books, but nobody’s reading those books." 

As the name suggests, "Cocaine & Rhinestones" dives deep into the history of country music to paint a vivid, interesting picture of a beloved and diverse genre. Throughout, Coe weaves seemingly incongruous threads around class, politics, gender and the music business to show country's myriad, complex influences.

Dad Bod Rap Pod

It’s hard to find a podcast with a more representative name than "Dad Bod Rap Pod." Hosted by three lifelong rap fans Demone Carter, David Ma and Nate LeBlanc, "Dad Bod Rap Pod" discusses underground hip-hop through an experienced lens. 

The trio are joined each episode by an artist most people already know (like Bay Area legend Too $hort and Easy A.D. of the Cold Crush Brothers), as well as artists on the rise. 

Song Exploder

Ever wondered what exactly went into a song being made? If so, "Song Exploder" is just the podcast for you. Hosted by musician/podcaster Hrishikesh Hirway, the bi-weekly podcast provides space for artists to dive into the most intricate of details of their creative process. 

Established in 2014, "Song Exploder" features guests like Brandi Carlile and Halsey, along with recovered recordings from the likes of John Lennon, making each episode of "Song Exploder" feel like an expansion pack for that episode’s song. The podcast is highly edited, making it seem as if Hirway himself is but a fly on the wall in a musician's internal monologue.

All Songs Considered

NPR Music's cornerstone program "All Songs Considered" is one of the best ways to beef up your playlist (and your first stop before other NPR offerings, like "Alt.Latino"). Through a combination of weekly mixes, “New Music Fridays” and songs the hosts view as life-changing, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are constantly sifting through music in pursuit of introducing listeners to their next favorite track. 

Per the hosts’ recommendation, check out "All Songs Considered" during a morning commute, a workout or any alone time.

Apple Music Exclusive: Watch Classic GRAMMY Performances

Whitney Houston, 29th GRAMMY Awards

news

Apple Music Exclusive: Watch Classic GRAMMY Performances

The Recording Academy teams with Apple Music to offer historical GRAMMY performances by Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Shania Twain, Kendrick Lamar, and more

GRAMMYs/Nov 24, 2017 - 07:00 pm

To celebrate the GRAMMY Awards' 60th anniversary and the show's return to New York for the first time in 15 years, the Recording Academy and Apple Music are bringing fans a special video collection of exclusive GRAMMY performances and playlists that represent the illustrious history of Music's Biggest Night.

Available exclusively via Apple Music in a dedicated GRAMMYs section, the celebratory collection features 60-plus memorable performances specifically curated across six genres: pop, rap, country, rock, R&B, and jazz. 

The artist performances featured in the collection include Marvin Gaye, "Sexual Healing" (25th GRAMMY Awards, 1983); Whitney Houston, "Greatest Love Of All" (29th GRAMMY Awards, 1987); Run DMC, "Tougher Than Leather" (30th GRAMMY Awards, 1988); Miles Davis, "Hannibal" (32nd GRAMMY Awards, 1990); Shania Twain, "Man, I Feel Like A Woman" (41st GRAMMY Awards, 1999); Dixie Chicks, "Landslide" (45th GRAMMY Awards, 2003); Bruno Mars and Sting, "Locked Out Of Heaven" and "Walking On The Moon" (55th GRAMMY Awards, 2013); and Kendrick Lamar, "The Blacker The Berry" (58th GRAMMY Awards, 2016).

The 60th GRAMMY Awards will take place at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. The telecast will be broadcast live on CBS at 7:30–11 p.m. ET/4:30–8 p.m. PT. 

Carrie Underwood, John Legend To Host "GRAMMYs Greatest Stories"

Questlove Pens New Book: 'Creative Quest'

Questlove

Photo: Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images

news

Questlove Pens New Book: 'Creative Quest'

GRAMMY-winning Roots drummer set to release his fourth book on the creative process in April 2018

GRAMMYs/Sep 22, 2017 - 01:34 am

No stranger to writing books, Questlove has announced his fourth book, Creative Quest, will arrive April 24, 2018.

According to a statement from the book's publisher, Creative Quest "synthesizes all the creative philosophies, lessons and stories [Questlove has] heard from the many creators and collaborators in his life, and reflects on his own experience, to advise readers and fans on how to consider creativity and where to find it."

Not only will the Roots ​drummer provide personal examples of creativity, he also taps into the lessons he has learned from other notable artists, such as George Clinton, Björk, Ava DuVernay, and David Byrne, equaling a journey full of creative inspiration.

The book is available to pre-order, and follows his other books: 2016's Something To Food About: Exploring Creativity With America's Most Innovative Chefs, 2015's Mo' Meta Blues: The World According To Questlove and 2013's Soul Train: The Music, Dance And Style Of A Generation.

Gucci Mane Releases Autobiography, Hints Second Book On Its Way

news

Jay Z Tops 56th GRAMMY Nominations With Nine

Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell Williams earn seven nods each; other top nominees include Daft Punk, Drake, Lorde, Bruno Mars, and Taylor Swift

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

Nominations for the 56th GRAMMY Awards were announced tonight by The Recording Academy and reflected one of the most diverse years with the Album Of The Year category alone representing the rap, pop, country and dance/electronica genres, as determined by the voting members of The Academy. Once again, nominations in select categories for the annual GRAMMY Awards were announced on primetime television as part of "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night," a one-hour CBS entertainment special broadcast live from Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.

Jay Z tops the nominations with nine; Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell Williams each garner seven nods; Drake and mastering engineer Bob Ludwig are up for five awards.

"This year's nominations reflect the talented community of music makers who represent some of the highest levels of excellence and artistry of the year in their respective fields," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "Once again, The Academy's awards process and its voting membership have produced an impressive list of nominations across various genres promising music fans a spectacular show filled with stellar performances and unique 'GRAMMY Moments.' We are off to a great start and look forward to GRAMMY Sunday as Music's Biggest Night takes the stage."

Following are the nominations in the General Field categories: 

Album Of The Year:
The Blessed Unrest — Sara Bareilles
Random Access Memories — Daft Punk
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City — Kendrick Lamar
The Heist — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Red — Taylor Swift

Record Of The Year:
"Get Lucky" — Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
"Radioactive" — Imagine Dragons
"Royals" — Lorde
"Locked Out Of Heaven" — Bruno Mars
"Blurred Lines" — Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams

Song Of The Year:
"Just Give Me A Reason" — Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Pink Featuring Nate Ruess)
"Locked Out Of Heaven" — Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
"Roar" — Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters (Katy Perry)
"Royals" — Joel Little & Ella Yelich O'Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
"Same Love" — Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Mary Lambert)

Best New Artist:
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Following is a sampling of nominations in the GRAMMY Awards' other 29 Fields:

For Best Pop Solo Performance, the nominees are "Brave" by Sara Bareilles; "Royals" by Lorde; "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars; "Roar" by Katy Perry; and "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake.

The nominees for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance are "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams; "Just Give Me A Reason" by Pink Featuring Nate Ruess; "Stay" by Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko; "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams; and "Suit & Tie" by Justin Timberlake & Jay Z.

For Best Dance/Electronica Album, the nominees are Random Access Memories by Daft Punk; Settle by Disclosure; 18 Months by Calvin Harris; Atmosphere by Kaskade; and A Color Map Of The Sun by Pretty Lights.

The Best Rock Performance nominees are "Always Alright" by Alabama Shakes; "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" by David Bowie; "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons; "Kashmir (Live)" by Led Zeppelin; "My God Is The Sun" by Queens Of The Stone Age; and "I'm Shakin'" by Jack White.

For Best Alternative Music Album, the nominees are The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You by Neko Case; Trouble Will Find Me by The National; Hesitation Marks by Nine Inch Nails; Lonerism by Tame Impala; Modern Vampires Of The City by Vampire Weekend.

The nominees for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration are "Power Trip" by J.Cole Featuring Miguel; "Part II (On The Run)" by Jay Z Featuring Beyoncé; "Holy Grail" by Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake; "Now Or Never" by Kendrick Lamar Featuring Mary J. Blige; and "Remember You" by Wiz Khalifa Featuring The Weeknd.

For Best Rap Album, the nominees are Nothing Was The Same by Drake; Magna Carta…Holy Grail by Jay Z; Good Kid, M.A.A.D City by Kendrick Lamar; The Heist by Macklemore  & Ryan Lewis; and Yeezus by Kanye West.

The Best Country Album nominees are Night Train by Jason Aldean; Two Lanes Of Freedom by Tim McGraw; Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves; Based On A True Story by Blake Shelton; and Red by Taylor Swift.

The nominees for Best Americana Album are Old Yellow Moon by Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell; Love Has Come For You by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell; Buddy And Jim by Buddy Miller And Jim Lauderdale; One True Vine by Mavis Staples; and Songbook by Allen Toussaint.

This year's Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominations go to Rob Cavallo, Dr. Luke, Ariel Rechtshaid, Jeff Tweedy, and Pharrell Williams.

This year's GRAMMY Awards process registered more than 22,000 submissions over a 12-month eligibility period (Oct. 1, 2012 – Sept. 30, 2013). GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed on Dec. 11 to the voting members of The Recording Academy. They are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by Jan. 8, 2014, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the 56th GRAMMY telecast.

The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held Jan. 26, 2014, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, and Louis J. Horvitz is director.

For updates and breaking news, visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook

Ziggy Marley On 'Rebellion Rises,' Touring, Kendrick Lamar & More

Ziggy Marley

Photo: Courtesy of Sony Music

news

Ziggy Marley On 'Rebellion Rises,' Touring, Kendrick Lamar & More

The GRAMMY-winning reggae legend talks about the positive vibes behind his latest project, his admiration for Lamar's 'DAMN.' and more

GRAMMYs/Jun 13, 2018 - 11:01 pm

GRAMMY winner Ziggy Marley still has plenty of fire left in him to spread a message of love for all humanity. On his seventh studio album, Rebellion Rises, which was released May 18, Marley ushered in a new set of songs that not only throw a spotlight on his overall purpose of unity, they also come together to form the album he feels is one of the finest of his career.

With such a rich history to draw from, Marley made Rebellion Rises in the now, with his son Isaiah literally by his side, as evidenced by his presence on the album's cover — Isaiah shows up hand in hand with Marley.

But the galvanizing musical and lyrical material contained within Rebellion Rises is what proves the singer/songwriter is committed to the message initially amplified by his iconic father and proliferated through his own legacy. Songs such as the title track and "Circle Of Peace" on the new album reveal the transcendent messenger Marley has become with lyrics like, "I stand in the circle of peace because only the willing will see their dreams."

Marley has also taken his music and message out on the road, kicking off the Rebellion Rises Tour on June 8 and performing a good deal of his new song — along with some of his and his father's most well-known classics — around the globe before wrapping up back in the States on Sept. 16.

We caught up with the reggae legend right before he headed out on tour to talk about his latest album, how his son has influenced his work, how he prepares set lists for his upcoming shows, his thoughts on Kendrick Lamar, and more.

Rebellion, as it's defined in the dictionary, can take on a negative connotation, as resisting authority, for example. But this album is filled with positive messages, inspirational moments and uplifting passages. Can you walk us through the theme behind Rebellion Rises?

The theme behind the album is really the voice of humanity and also representing humanity, and the rebellion is the awakening of the humanity within us so that we can balance the world with more love, with more unity, less divisiveness, less hate. So that's what we're rebelling for, and that's what the theme of the album is about. We don't want to focus on what we're against; we'd rather focus on what we are for.

I saw an Instagram post where you said that your son, Isaiah, has been a part of the album from start to finish. Can you detail how he played a role?

Isaiah is 2 years old now, so I think he was on tour with me when he was 1. … He has a strong connection to me ... and so he's always around me. So when I was writing the songs, he was there. And he's very smart. He's a very smart guy. So I'm taking guitar and repeat what I'm saying. And then I was taking the photo shoot, he was always in my photos. So he's just a part of this album, really. … He's an inspiration, a little angel beside me, just like being my shadow. So it was cool having him [there] like that.

You mentioned your tour kicking off June 8. With such a growing catalog to choose from, how will you go about picking the set list?

I've been working on that. I'm gonna do a lot of songs from this album, cause this album, for me personally as a listener and not just my ego speaking, but I can be impartial to myself, this album is one of the only albums that I actually can listen to myself, like the whole thing, back to front without skipping or [hearing a song] I don't like. ... I really like this album. I'm planning to do a lot of these songs, new songs on this tour, which we haven't done in the way I'm gonna do it for a long time. The first three songs [are] new songs. … I love them, I love how they feel so I'm working on having most of them on the set list.

I have a set and then I have a master list and then we're like a hundred songs we can pick and choose and see what happens. I have some of my father's songs, which I mix in there. This tour is Rebellion Rises Tour, but in my mind I see it more as a rally for humanity. This is humanity's rally. … This is not about a specific social issue or a specific political issue or religious issue, this is about humanity as a whole and this is the rally for humanity. … I'm really sticking to songs with strong messages that affect and speaks on humanity and what we're going through right now and this album has a lot to do with it.

I read recent piece where you picked your top five albums of all time and one of them was Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. So what is it about Kendrick's music that you think resonated with you?

Honesty. I think honesty and seeing him as being true, not a façade. Some people do their music and then perform, and it's a façade. It's not who they are but the character that they're playing. Kendrick seems true to me. He doesn't seem to be trying to be something else than what he is. I respect that in art and a musician, so that's what I love in music and because of that, because I can sense the truthfulness in that.

I would be remiss if I didn't ask this question. You've won eight GRAMMYs, including three consecutive wins for Best Reggae Album when you've been up for it. Of course we want to know, where do you keep your GRAMMYs?

The GRAMMYs? My wife really manages the GRAMMYs. She's the one who takes care of them and puts them on the fireplace. She takes care of that for me. I'm gonna keep them. I like them. They look shiny still. Them really shiny [laughs].

Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? "Talk To GRAMMYs"