Meet our newest Product Support Specialist, Luke Brawner!
Where are you based?
I’m from Fort Worth, TX originally, but have proudly called Houston home for well over a decade.
How long have you been in podcasting? What brought you into podcasting?
I began podcasting in mid-2015, like so many others, after devouring (repeatedly) the first season of Serial, and then getting hooked on Alex Blumberg’s StartUp. Having spent years as a career musician with loads of recording gear and a background in both production and various forms of storytelling, podcasting felt like a natural intersection of my particular interests and talents.
What were you doing before you started at Simplecast?
Immediately before starting at Simplecast I was working full time as a podcast producer, host, editor, and consultant for the podcast network I started back in 2015, Milieu Media Group, which I’m still actively doing on the side.
When people ask you for podcast recommendations, what do you tell them?
If they were to ask for recommendations from my own network, I’d probably tell them that Moda Spira Podcast is the show of which I’m most proud, but that Thirty Pop is the show with which I’m currently having the most fun. Outside of my network, I always point people to Jonathan Goldstein’s Heavyweight, as it is a masterwork in storytelling, Mega, as it is one of the most subtly brilliant satires I’ve ever consumed in any medium, and Where Should We Begin, with Esther Perel, because therapy is always a good thing, even if it’s intended for someone else.
What’s most exciting to you in podcasting as a whole?
While there are plenty of similarly (or even identically) themed shows out there, for the most part podcasting feels like a medium rich with originality and cleverness. No matter what you’re interested in, not only is there likely to be a podcast about it, there’s likely a really clever, well-produced podcast about it. I don’t know another medium where that’s true to the same degree that it is in the podcasting space.
If there’s one piece of advice you could give to new podcasters, what would it be?
Be conscious of and intentional about the voices and perspectives you choose to amplify with your platform, no matter how large or small it may be. Looking back, I wish I’d received that advice and prioritized accordingly much earlier on. You can do real good with your show, no matter your niche. Choose to amplify historically marginalized voices, whatever your content.
What do you like (or find challenging) about your specific role at Simplecast?
Having been a longtime Simplecast user prior to joining the support staff, I thought I knew far more than I actually did about this medium. I’m surprised every single day at how much there is to learn in this space. I love the challenge of finding an answer to questions I’d have never even thought to ask before working here. It’s like solving a new set of puzzles every day.
Who in the podcasting industry inspires you?
I have pretty significant podcast crushes on Alex Blumberg, Jonathan Goldstein, the late Reggie Ossé, and basically everyone at Gimlet Media. I’m also a distant, but attentive admirer of the fine folks at Multitude. I also love/miss hearing Starlee Kine’s work on Mystery Show.
What’s your favorite (or newest favorite!) podcast?
Some of my longtime favs include Heavyweight, StartUp, Mogul, Missing Richard Simmons, Serial, S*Town, HORSE, and Mystery Show. My newest/current favorite though is The Vigilante Book Club. It. Is. Perfect.
What do you do on your off-hours?
As I mentioned, I own a small (but very active) podcast network called Milieu Media Group, so I spend a significant amount of my non-Simplecast time working on my own shows. I love playing music, running, spending time with my wife and dogs, doing yard work, sipping scotch, hosting retro pop culture trivia online, and binging all the shows.
Anything else you’d like to tell anyone?
It feels worth noting that if I’m ever helping you with something in support, it’s highly likely that I’m doing so with Christmas music playing in the background year round.