Okay, Now Listen: Scottie Beam & Sylvia Obell Are Back
Courtesy of Scottie Beam / Raven B. Varona

Okay, Now Listen: Scottie Beam & Sylvia Obell Are Back

The hosts of Netflix's Strong Black Lead podcast have more to say in season 3.

Culture & Entertainment

In the recently premiered third season of their popular Netflix podcast, Okay, Now Listen, host and media personality Scottie Beam and journalist and host Sylvia Obell are back for more girl talk and more interviews with your fave celebrities.

Since meeting at Essence Fest in 2017, Scottie and Sylvia have been an inseparable duo. When presented in 2020 with the opportunity to share an inside look at their friendship and to provide a communal space for other Black women on Okay, Now Listen, they jumped at it. Little did they know, the podcast would end up launching in the early days of the pandemic and wind up being a source of support for listeners all over the world. For xoNecole, the ladies talk to us about their podcasts and more.

xoNecole: What can fans of Okay, Now Listen look forward to this forthcoming season?

Scottie Beam: More interviews with your favorite people. Definitely more experiences, more jokes. I think we have a lot more segments coming where we'll definitely bring the laughs. You know, me and Sylvia are about joy and having a good time. So we want to make sure that we definitely enhance that and do more of that.

Sylvia Obell: Hopefully we can do more live stuff too. We'll see. It depends on the pandemic. But seeing what a success the Jazmine [Sullivan] live show has been – the WEBBY NOMINATED Jazmine live show episode! – we definitely want to get to do more of those as well.

xoNecole: Speaking of Jazmine, she won multiple Grammys this past Sunday for Heaux Tales and in her acceptance speech she said that the project became this safe space for Black women. Many Black women view y’alls podcast the same way. How does that feel?

SO: I think for us, it's just why we do it. It's the best part about it for us. Being able to be a safe space, especially as a podcast that started during the pandemic, like during like peak lockdown, pre-vax, everything.

So it became like a new kind of thing that we really wanted to make sure that we were able to provide this place of fellowship. Even if it's digitally, even if it’s via audio and be a true reflection of the kind of Black women that we know that we grew up with, that we're surrounded by, that we’re inspired by.

SB: And much like Jazmine Sullivan, art imitates life. When she expressed how she felt, she was helping Black women really tap into their desires and who they are. We just want to bring that to the forefront and make sure that it's real. Like Sylvia said, it's authentic, it's genuine and it comes from the soul and spirit. And not much of like this clickbait, you know, “what are we going to talk about that's, you know, shaking the table?!” Although shaking the tables are fun.

xoNecole: Who have been your favorite guests on the show and who are your dream guests?

SB: My favorite guest would be Issa Rae. That was fun. That was a lot of fun. One, because I think I look up to her so much. She is an icon to me and speaking with her was definitely a privilege.

My dream? Go ahead and put this in the universe. You could go ahead and make this a title if you want: Scottie Beam Wants Serena Williams. That's all I want. That is my dream guest. That will always be my dream guest. It’ll never change. I am very much so like the stan for Serena. Everybody knows this. I think I see a lot of similarities between me and her. I think she'd be great for the show. I just absolutely love her. I'm infatuated with Serena Williams.

SO: My favorite guest has been Zendaya. She doesn't really do many podcasts – if any. And I think it was a chance for her fans to see like a different side of her. She obviously was very comfortable with us. It was very girl-talkie. And I loved how comfortable she was able to be.

My dream interview guest would be Beyoncé. But Beyoncé is never gone do no podcast like never, never, never, never. So I feel like I should come up with a more realistic dream.

I felt like you were going to say Viola Davis, Scottie.

SB: That was my next one. Then it was gonna be Aunjanue Ellis.

SO: My more realistic dream guest would be – and only because I know this person is just so hilarious – is Regina Hall.

xoNecole: I loved yall’s series Get You A Me. What were some dating red flags that you didn’t get to cover in the episodes?

SO: I don't know if we really went into like social media behavior while dating, but I think it's interesting to see how that's become a whole level of thing. Like the soft launch, the close friends, the casual posting of a man's pinky. Like, did you get that man's consent? Did you get that woman's consent?

SB: I think there are more layers to communication that I would like to explore. I think romance is something that we need to cover what that looks like for some people and other people and, you know, it's defined differently.

SO: Another one for me is grooming. I’m not above giving a man tips about his skincare routine. I feel like a lot of men just don't know there's simple things that could help your skin glow too. Like let’s do the little sheet mask. Let’s introduce you to a toner. You know, it's going to help you with the ingrown hairs on your beard. Exfoliating all parts of your body, not just your face.

xoNecole: For my last question: what brings you joy these days?

SB: I have a dog. Her name is Nina, and she brings me so much stress but also so much joy. I love her so much. I am so happy I got this damn dog. First of all, I'm the stan for dogs. That's all I do is watch on TikTok and Instagram is dog videos. I love dogs so much. So much better than people sometimes. So, I do enjoy hanging out with my dog. She loves some jokes. We have jokes, we have fun. And you know, I think that's what brings me the most joy these days.

That and the past three months we were able to take a break from podcasting and really listen to ourselves. And I think that had brought me some joy too –where I am in my life and how happy I am.

I think that brought me some joy to be able to talk to myself in a kinder manner and in a more spirited voice and tone throughout them three months. I think that felt really good to do because I'm not one of those [people who do that regularly]. So I definitely enjoyed being kinder to myself these last few months. I think that's what gave me so much joy.

SO: I feel a lot of joy in the relationships in my life. I think I've been somebody who works so hard that a lot of times I have tunnel vision. I have a lot of long-term, close friendships. I have a lot of people– my family, even Scottie. Just being able to travel to see my friends or even just making those intentional moves to like have in-person moments with my people and my tribe and just the people who make me happy and pour into my personal life in that way has been great. So it's been really great to be able to take the time off and make moves, to see the people I care about and to make memories with them and to have moments with them. And to also, you know, take time to invest into my actual dating life. All of those things have brought me a lot of joy.

A Black man, R. Kelly, stands in a court room, wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands handcuffed behind his back, accompanied by a police officer in a green uniform, bulletproof vest and gun.

*Editors note: this article contains information about sexual assault, child pornography and rape. Please read with care. If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.

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