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How Scottie Beam And Sylvia Obell Made A Major Comeback With 'The Scottie & Sylvia Show' On Raedio
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How Scottie Beam And Sylvia Obell Made A Major Comeback With 'The Scottie & Sylvia Show' On Raedio

If you ever needed the blueprint to trusting the process and making a major comeback after a setback, just take a look at the path of media personalities Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell.

While this podcasting duo has had a long-standing friendship over the years, they officially joined forces back in 2020 while co-hosting their popular Netflix podcast, Okay, Now Listen.


The show garnered rave reviews and a devoted community throughout the pandemic, however, in July 2022, the podcast ended. But as timing would have it, these media besties are now launching their latest series, The Scottie & Sylvia Show, with Issa Rae's “audio everywhere” platform, Raedio.

And yes, it’s bigger and better than before.

With so much shifting in our day-to-day lives and so many pop culture moments unfolding right before our screens, Scottie and Sylvia are the perfect pair to provide a refreshing take on today's ever-growing society. Each week, the two will tackle topics such as colorism, imposter syndrome, romance, and vulnerability, featuring celebrity guests and engaging gamified segments that invite listeners into their inspiring friendship.

The podcast partnership came together as organic as Scottie and Sylvia’s bond, only, their missing link was multi-hyphenate media mogul, Issa Rae. As the co-hosts were wrapping up their Netflix podcast, Sylvia — who has a background in journalism — had the opportunity to profile Issa Rae for her Today.com cover story. After the interview, Rae inquired about how things were going with the podcast when Sylvia shared the news of its ending.

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“I knew that a lot was about to change on the landscape again, and I was like, ‘Where can we go and be safe?'" Sylvia says. “I didn’t want to be under the whim of white billionaires anymore. And that’s why Issa was the perfect fit for that.

”What she didn’t know at the time was that Rae was interested in picking up their show under her media company, and after a few discussions, their partnership was born.

"Scottie and Sylvia are so raw and relatable, and I'm such a fan of their effortless, hilarious chemistry," said Issa Rae, CEO of HOORAE. "I'm so grateful they chose Raedio as their podcast home."

xoNecole: Since the moment you all announced the completion of your podcast with Netflix, you all were very adamant about saying, “This is not goodbye…” Can you all touch on how the power of speaking things into existence played a role in your careers thus far? 

Scottie Beam: Listen, sometimes that's all you have: speaking things into existence; because that's what you have to work off of. Your words mean things, and there is power of the tongue. I truly believe in saying things, manifesting things, and then going after them. So when we said we were going to come back, we definitely did, and we made sure it was bigger and better.

Sylvia Obell: I'm a believer. So I've always believed that God had a purpose for my life and that the prayers of ‘the righteous availeth much.’ If I asked for things and they coordinate with God's will, then they will come to pass. What's interesting about this portion of my life is that this wasn't my initial plan or dream; I think it's something that happened to me, which makes it feel more purpose-driven and [like] where I was supposed to be, rather than something I pushed myself into.

The part we manifested, or at least believed in, was that if Netflix wasn't the place for us, we would find the right place.

xoN: Let’s take things back a little, many of us were first introduced to Scottie through Hot 97 and on to 'Black Girl Podcast.' What initially drew you to podcasting in the beginning, and did you ever see it becoming what it’s become today?  

SB: My love for radio. I love radio, I've been in radio before I started podcasting, and with Black Girl Podcast, we figured out that other Black women were talking and that Black women need to be talking to each other. We decided to sit in front of those mics, talk, and see where it goes. That podcast was us talking about experiences, sharing each other's feelings, and being able to relate on so many different levels.

A lot of us feel alone most of the time because we don't have the spaces. But now we get to dominate these spaces and are trying to dominate these spaces, and Black Girl Podcast really did its thing. It's incredible what we were able to do during that time.

xoN: Sylvia, you come from a journalism background, and you’ve always said that you create with Black women in mind first. Why is it important to have and see more Black women represented within the podcasting space?

SO: We deserve to hear our stories and see ourselves in one another and not feel alone and not feel like our experiences are just siloed. Finding community and realizing that there are people who know how you feel, what you're going through, and here's how they got out.

Also, just feeling seen — it’s like the feeling of coconut oil being poured on your soul. Knowing you’re not alone, especially after the pandemic, and because we launched our first podcast during the pandemic, so much of what it was based on was us helping people not feel alone, feel like they're with their friends, and feel like they're a part of our friendship And like that matters.

That's why it's important that we all contribute to that as much as we can, not just me and Scottie, but as many Black women who are able to step up to the table because our experiences are also not a monolith. There's diversity within that diversity. It’s important to get as much representation as possible out there in the podcasting space and in all spaces.

"Sometimes that's all you have: speaking things into existence; because that's what you have to work off of. Your words mean things, and there is power of the tongue."

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xoN: The first episode of your podcast was a really touching moment of reflection on the past year you both have shared “navigating unknown territory.” What was the biggest lesson you all learned from that time? 

SB: Being still is a skill. It's an art that I have not mastered yet, but I had to do [so] in order to find some calm within the chaos. And the chaos, meaning my mind, overthinking everything, trying to reach for perfection, and never seeming to actually get it not. But what I had to do was listen to God and be still.

SO: Knowing who you are outside of your job and your work. Cultivating that part of you, the evolution and growth of you as a personal human being, especially when you have a platform. It's so important that you do the inside work to be somebody who can be responsible on that mic, who can share fruitful thoughts and not just petty ones or shady ones or quips or things that will go viral because they're wreaking havoc. I don't want to wreak havoc, I want to wreak joy.

I want insight, knowledge, and growth. Yes, we're going to laugh, have fun, and be light, but I want to go viral over, like saving somebody from pain or a mistake.

xoN: I truly believe that you all are the bounce-back queens. What do you think is the secret to bouncing back after life’s darkest seasons? 

SB: It's definitely all about learning from the failure instead of just attacking yourself because you failed. And that is the hardest thing that I have to learn, and I’m still learning to do. Also, knowing that you're gonna bounce again, and bounce again, and bounce again. Because life is going to "life" and it’s going to continue to "life" for the rest of your life. So you just have to master the art of living.

SO: Just knowing that that's all life is: bounce back after bounce back. It's not some type of cruel personal thing that's happening to you, that's just the gig of life, and it's just going to keep happening until it's over. So to wish for it to stop happening is to wish for life to stop changing — and this is coming from somebody who hates change. I had to [learn] how to do what did Toni Morrison said, "If you surrender to the air, you could ride it."

"It's definitely all about learning from the failure instead of just attacking yourself because you failed. Because life is going to 'life' and it’s going to continue to 'life' for the rest of your life. So you just have to master the art of living."

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xoN: Issa Rae is a role model for so many of us Black women today. In working with her, what is one lesson or trait that you all have been able to glean from her? 

SB: I learned from Issa Rae how to stand in your talent, stand in your power, and believe in the power that you have. Make sure that you work for it, and it works for you. Make sure that whatever power, talent, and blessing that you have, you lean into it. I am 100% behind that. The humble approach is nice, but sometimes you do have to realize that you are really that girl, so lean into it.

SO:Networking across, not up. From the Awkward Black Girl web series to Insecure, they didn’t have these big stars… they didn't lean on ‘hey, look at me, look at my show,' or beg [them] to be a part of this. There’s power in how many people are to my left and my right; there’s talent, and together we have this power to make this really cool thing that will get that attention naturally.

We just need a platform, and together, we can really take off and continue to extend. That's why Raedio just feels like a perfect fit because they're already about looking in versus outwards to create art. And I think that that's such a beautiful lesson Issa has shown us all.

xoN: For fans that have followed you since the start of your career to the new ones that will be introduced to this new platform, what can listeners of 'The Scottie and Sylvia Show' expect from you all in the new chapter of your podcasting era? 

SO: We're going to be able to talk about more, be more, and do more, all while still keeping that friendship base and all the things that people love from us.

SB: With this new chapter of podcasting, there's also a new chapter of life that we've lived, so we'll be able to share a lot on that, our experiences. I'm so excited to be able to just talk to y'all again, relate to y'all again, and joke with y'all again. We have games, new segments, guests — we have it all, honey! It's just better because we're on Raedio now; so that's gonna be amazing.

Tune in weekly to The Scottie and Sylvia Show now on @TheRaedio's YouTube channel, or listen in on Spotify and Apple Podcast.

Featured image courtesy of Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell

 

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