Josh Gwynn is an audio producer and host from Southern California who has created work for companies like Pineapple Street Media, The New York Times, Netflix, Essence, Stitcher, Mailchimp, and Nike. He is passionate about providing platforms for underserved voices. Josh received his Masters in Media Management from The New School/Parsons in New York City and is a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta. Given his California roots, Josh describes his vibe as a combination of palm trees, confetti, limes, rhythm, vitamin E oil, melanin, and bones. He is still waiting on a ticket to Oprah’s Legends Luncheon.
I make a bunch of podcasts all day, so sometimes it’s hard for me to listen to more. When I do though, I want escapism. I want to hear parts of myself reflected. I want to hear folks that we don’t usually get to hear from. This list reflects some of the shows that have taken me out of wherever I am and transported me somewhere else.
I’m a huge Insecure and Issa Rae fan. I love how complete she is with her storytelling and how much she loves audio. She had a podcast a few years ago called Fruit that was very good, but when I heard they were turning Looking For Latoya, the show within a show from the latest season of Insecure, into a podcast, I was sold.
The Stoop is a beautiful, beautiful show. Hosted by Leila Day and Hana Baba, they tell stories from throughout the African diaspora. I love how insidery it feels.
The first time I heard the piece The Living Room, I just FELT different. I had never had a piece of audio, that wasn’t music, emotionally move me so deeply before.
Tobin Low and Kathy Tu hosted this show for WNYC, and it was a revelation to me. Queer stories told by queer people — WHAT A CONCEPT! I loved their approach to sound design and the scoring, and I love the angles they took with the stories they tackled. I miss this show every day.
I feel like if you asked any black person working in the audio industry, there would be VERY few who don’t see this show as incredibly impactful and influential. Kid Fury and Crissle are a joy — it was so important to hear people talk the way my friends talk to even think about pursuing audio production as a career. So to them, I’ll be forever grateful.
I’m obsessed with Nikole Hannah-Jones’ work but the two-part piece The Problem We All Live With?! It made me want to work in the audio industry. I used to think that podcasting was for white dudes who talked about stuff like entrepreneurship and B2B marketing, but this piece let me know that it was for me too.
How can you make a show sound like a place? Listen to this show, and I think you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to exist in Southern California, at least through one person’s eyes.
I mean what else is there to say other than I love this show because I’m nosy. Esther really gives us an inside peek into people’s romantic lives in a way that I had never heard before.
James Kim put his FOOT in this show. I love the story, the scoring, the scene setting, EVERYTHING.
Nothing makes me feel like I’m watching one of those MTV doc shows from the early 00s when they would follow an artist creating their work like this show does. Man, I really miss those shows!
I love Oprah. I love stories about how things came to be. This show was SO GOOD.
I love shows where it feels like you’re a part of the conversation and this show does that SO well. Scottie and Sylvia are natural, and the production is TIGHT. Another win for Netflix and Strong Black Lead!
I’ve been thinking a lot about nostalgia as a way to make it through hard times. I was so excited when I got the chance to step outside my comfort zone and host this show with Tracy THEE Clayton about some of our favorite, most formative pop culture moments. I hope you check it out!