The chart-topping Apple Podcast, Surviving the Music Industry (SMI), is coming back with new episodes, and host Brandon Harrington admits that he is still on edge.
Changing the platform from in-person-only recordings to phone and zoom conversations amid a pandemic hasn’t been terrible, but the feeling of letting fans down was a great way to wrap up this last year, explains the host.
“It’s a constant feeling for someone who always has a ticket on the struggle bus,” he said. “But really, what else are you supposed to feel after 2020? For a year-round show to stop unexpectedly, I felt like it was just perfect for 2020.”
In the latest episode, Harrington shares how a hard-drive crash became his ultimate takeaway from a tumultuous year.
If anyone has experienced a hard-drive disaster, they understand the gravity of their precious files being destroyed and possibly not being recovered. In Harringtion’s case, the hard-drive was the home for all of SMI’s past content of about 200 episodes, 5 years of recordings, and never released stories.
“So many people have had a far more terrible year and I don’t want to take that away from anyone. But the (hard drive) crash was a learning lesson for me,” admits Brandon. “If there’s anything I’ve learned from all of my guests is to take a bad situation and turn it into an opportunity.”
Opportunities are something that Harrington is accustomed to, even though he would never tell you. His career is laced with performing with Grammy award-winning artists, recording sessions, and he’s even a legacy of the Father of Classical Guitar, Andres’ Segovia. These stories and more can be heard on his award-winning show, along with conversations with former guests, including Billy Strings, Larkin Poe, Sam Bush, Natalie Hemby, John Oats, Joe Bonamassa, and over 200 others to date.
What Harrington has created was a podcast for musicians, songwriters, artists, and people of the industry to come be their authentic selves while sharing stories from their lives. Fans quickly gravitated toward the show, “not because of the crazy stories from guests,” adds Harrington. But rather, “fans feel as they ‘see’ themselves in our guests.”
The unexpected time off was a chance to dig into the why of the show. “It’s extremely important to me that all people, not just musicians or songwriters, know that they are not alone. It’s amazing to have someone like Natalie Hemby complain about their customer service job before she landed a big break, Jim Lauderdale share his isolated thoughts about the pandemic, Sam Bush fanboying Bill Monroe, and even Billy Strings ripping straw users a new one,” Harrington reflects. “It makes them human and it’s nice to know that there are still humans out there that are passionate and relatable.”
What one could see as a disaster of their entire work being destroyed, Harrington used the unforeseen time off to give the show a new look, and to intently dig into its purpose. That doesn’t stop him from empathizing with his fans, feeling let down for a couple of months with no new content, but there is solace in rediscovering SMI’s, “why”.
Subscribe to Surviving the Music Industry on your favorite podcast platform for new episodes that start March 2, 2021.
- Sarah Buxton
- Lexy Panterra
- Rhonda Vincent
- Emily Weisband
- Cory Wong
- Jillette Johnson
- Sanya N’Kanta
- and more.
For more with Brandon on “Surviving the Music Industry” while having rad conversations, check out his podcast and visit past episodes here.