'Black People Love Paramore' Creator Talks Kid Fury's Influence, Meeting Hayley Williams, And More
Career & Money

'Black People Love Paramore' Creator Talks Kid Fury's Influence, Meeting Hayley Williams, And More

Over the summer, podcast host Sequoia Holmes sent me a screenshot of an email with some exciting news. The email came from someone at Spotify who said that Hayley Williams of Paramore listened to Holmes’ podcast Black People Love Paramore and wanted to be on the show. Holmes would attend Paramore’s concert in Los Angeles and go backstage to conduct the interview.

By the time the logistics had been squared away, Holmes had asked me if I’d be willing to fly from Atlanta to accompany her and provide moral support. I helped her prep for the moment, but looking back, I never really asked her how it had come about. When one of your best friends asks you if you want to go meet one of your favorite musicians, you don’t ask a lot of questions.

I’d just met Holmes when Black People Love Paramore launched in 2021, and like most people, I wrongly assumed it was a podcast just about the band. I’ve appeared on the show a few times since then and have come to realize that the alternative band is just the launching pad from which Holmes has conversations about the many, varied interests of Black folks. Recently, for instance, she had The Read podcast host Kid Fury on an episode to talk about why Black people love the sitcom Golden Girls.

Black People Love The Golden Girls ft. Kid Fury of The Read | Black People Love Paramore PodcastYouTube

Whether delving into the cultural impact of all-white parties, Uno, or Princess Diana, Holmes, and guests provide a mix of serious analysis and hilarious banter about common Black experiences.

Earlier this month, Holmes announced that Black People Love Paramore joined the worker-owned podcasting network Maximum Fun, which will allow the creator to continue to grow the show with the help of a new producer, and access to a professional studio and audio engineer. Joining the cooperative network will allow her to retain artistic control of the show, while also providing her with the help she needs to continue to grow her audience heading into the show’s third year. The podcast host, who recently went from attending Kid Fury’s stand-ups and live podcast tapings to interviewing him, said she hopes to host a live event of her own in the forthcoming year.

With this year’s success in mind, I called up my friend to ask her a few questions about Black People Love Paramore and her future goals.

xoNecole: I’ve realized that I’ve never actually talked to you about most of this because I met you right around the time you started the podcast. What was the inspiration behind starting Black People Love Paramore?

Sequoia Holmes: As a former emo child, I did love Paramore. A lot. But, I found it interesting that every time anybody would tweet about Black people loving Paramore, the responses would be filled with other Black people saying, ‘Yeah, why do we love Paramore?’ It was interesting to me that so many Black people corroborated that sentiment, but no one was sure why that was. Or people would give theories and I thought those were fun.

I thought to myself, what else do Black people overwhelmingly enjoy? Not something super obvious. I brainstormed a list and decided to make it a podcast. I had already been podcasting for some years at that point.

xoN: How do you come up with the topics for Black People Love Paramore, though? You always reach out to me with a fully formed idea, so I’m curious how you decide what fits into the identity of the show.

SH: Tony Hawk was not really in my purview like that, but someone [suggested] him on my social account, and it had the most likes. [Ideas] are either suggested to me, or it’s something that I just really want to talk about. I know a lot of Black people like Degrassi, and I love Degrassi,and I really wanted to talk about it.

xoN: What’s a topic that you weren’t previously into, but once you researched and recorded the episode, you became a true fan of?

SH: It’s definitely Golden Girls or Reba. I turned both of those on, and I was like, oh, these are a good, Black ass time with no Black characters. But I understand how we arrived here.

xoN: The Golden Girls episode featured Kid Fury. Did he come up with that topic?

SH: No, I came up with that one.

xoN: Ohh, because you knew he liked it?

SH: Yeah, just having listened to his podcast for years, I knew he really liked Golden Girls and Zelda. I pitched both, and he chose Golden Girls.

xoN: You’re a huge fan of Kid Fury and Crissle’s The Read. What other podcasts were you listening to before you decided to get into podcasting?

SH: I think The Read obviously was the most instrumental one, and most Black podcasters, I assume, would have the same take on that. I think I started listening in 2016, and I think that was the only one I listened to for years.

In 2019, I started looking for a wellness podcast, and I found Balanced Black Girl. I had already been podcasting at that time, but it inspired me to continue doing so, and I became friends with Les, the creator and host.

xoN: When you had Kid Fury on the show, did you tell him what he meant to you as a podcaster, or were you trying not to be that person?

SH: I didn’t want to freak him out just because I know he’s mentioned he gets weirded out by that type of stuff. I did [show him] an eight-year-old piece of merch, a denim hat with his avatar from their artwork cover. He was like, ‘This is crazy. I love this. This needs to come back.’ And, I brought him weed.

xoN: Earlier this year, you had a huge moment for the show where you interviewed Hayley Williams of Paramore. I don’t think I know how this originally came about. Did you reach out to Spotify, or did they contact you? 

SH: I received a DM on the podcast’s account, and it was from someone who worked at Spotify, Chissy. She was inviting me to a Black alternative dinner that was taking place in LA. When I arrived, she was talking to me about Paramore and was like, ‘I’m sure you’ve seen them live, right?' I was like, unfortunately, I have not. I tried to see them live, but they canceled the show, and then when they rescheduled, I was out of town. She was like, ‘Stop right there. We’re going to change this.’

She reached out to Hayley’s manager for me to go to their show in LA. I thought that was it, but then she messaged me again a week later and was like, ‘Ummm, Hayley says she wants to come on your show. Would you be okay with that?’ ...Yeah, I’d be super okay with Hayley Williams coming on my show.

xoN: A few of the clips from the interview went viral, and you got a lot of press from it. What was it like seeing the response once the episode came out?

SH: It was shocking, overwhelming, heartwarming...I’d like to emphasize overwhelming. It was great.

xoN: Have you started to think about other dream guests that you’d want to have on the show?

SH: My top three dream guests are Kid Fury, who we can scratch off the list, Issa Rae, and Quinta Brunson. They’re harder to get, but I’ll try.

xoN: Have you thought about what else you want to do in the podcasting space?

SH: I love podcasting as a medium, so I will absolutely always do this. I’m happy to have help with this podcast because I also have a second podcast that I produce entirely myself. Right now, it’s called Glass House by Sequoia Holmes, but right now, I’m brainstorming a new title and revamping it. I fell off a little bit this year, so in 2024, I would love for it to come back stronger and have a better sense of identity to it.

For more of Sequoia, follow her on Instagram @sequoiabholmes.

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Stacey and Dalen Spratt

How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.

I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.


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