Podcast odd couple: Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen in Spotify series


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are teaming up for an eight-episode Spotify podcast series, swapping tales about their upbringings and even a White House singalong round a piano.

The first two episodes of Renegades: Born in the USA, a dialog recorded in Springsteen’s guitar-filled residence studio in New Jersey, have been made obtainable on Monday.

Spotify has moved aggressively in podcasts over the previous three years, and made different programming bulletins Monday. The audio streaming service has already labored with Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground manufacturing firm, and the previous first girl’s podcast is the service’s hottest authentic.

The seemingly offbeat relationship between the previous president and rock star started when Springsteen carried out advantages for Obama throughout his presidential campaigns. But it has blossomed into deeper conversations since he left workplace, Obama mentioned in the primary episode.

“He’s a rock ‘n’ roll icon,” he mentioned. “I’m a lawyer and politician. Not as cool. And as I like to remind Bruce every chance I get, he’s more than a decade older than me.”

The males recalled a White House go to, which included Springsteen taking part in the piano as Broadway and Motown tunes have been sung.

“There were libations involved,” Obama mentioned.

Springsteen makes use of just a few of these guitars through the course of the podcast. In that first episode, each males recalled feeling like outsiders rising up and turning to their fields as a means of discovering their voices, with slightly “megalomania” concerned. In later episodes, they speak about racism, fatherhood and marriage.

Their wives, Michelle Obama and Patti Scialfa, additionally bonded, sealing their friendship.

“We still have a fundamental belief in the American ideal,” Obama mentioned. “Not as nostalgia. But as a compass.”

The Renegades: Born in the USA series title references considered one of Springsteen’s largest hits and is also a sly reference to the “birther” marketing campaign the place Obama’s eventual successor, Donald Trump, falsely urged Obama’s origins have been exterior of the nation.

Spotify mentioned Monday it was working with Higher Ground on one other podcast, Tell Them I Am, which compiles tales from Muslim voices and can debut all through Ramadan.

The service additionally mentioned it had reached a take care of Warner Brothers and DC Comics for a series of narrative podcasts, with the primary being Batman Unburied. Director Ava DuVernay is taking part in a brand new podcast about excessive profile instances of police brutality.

Spotify can also be upgrading its sound, saying that it’ll debut Spotify HiFi later this 12 months, the place members with Spotify-connected audio system can join enhanced high quality music streams.


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