One of the benefits to attending an art school is that you are thrown in the pathway of fellow creatives, just like yourself, looking to share their forms of expression, their vision, and their perspectives with the world. It is a place where active, artful minds can cultivate and hone their skills and, hopefully, come out with something or the start of something wonderful! Such as, for example, a podcast.
It is this very connection that put me in the pathway of one such fellow creative, Buck Rivers, 22. A visual effects major (VFX) turned film and visual effects producer, he is the founder of ImagineOnly Productions, a self-described, media network and filmmaking team. Always with a project in the works and a new idea on the mind, Rivers also studies 2D animation and is currently producing the proof-of-concept for the upcoming science fiction adventure film, The Dragons of Melgor.
However, One of Rivers’ and ImagineOnly Productions’ current projects is the ongoing podcast, Bantucentric (@bantucentric on Twitter & Facebook), a comedic, “melanin-stuffed” podcast which focuses on the topics of discussion related to black people and people of color, and their lived experiences.
Rivers co-hosts the show with his best friend, Cheyenne Finch, 22. A youtube sports personality, she is a content producer for Sideline Source, a sports enthusiasts’ network and video channel. Finch, also, has a growing resume that includes working for Fox Sports Media, Dodgers Nation, Spectrum Sports Net, and NBC.
Distributed under Gifted Sounds, a podcasting network, Bantucentric features the two friends as they cover a wide range of topics, in a familiar and hilarious way that only two friends could possibly do:
“A pair of best friends who love to discuss the world and everything in it. They are particularly interested in relationships and feature a relationship-themed topic at the end of the majority of their episodes. They try to make their topics relate to the global Black community in some fashion, but more often than not, they end up talking about whatever is relevant to the time.” – Bantucentric
However, while the podcast is meant to shed light on the black perspective, at its heart it is a passion project between two friends, who have found this is their place to be themselves on air and with their listeners:
“I enjoy doing Bantucentric, because it is a place where I can just be myself with my best friend and invite others to be themselves too. I can have my hands full with many projects at a time, but Bantucentric is the one project where I can work and enjoy myself, uncensored.” – Cheyenne Finch
“Bantucentric is important to me because it is a place for me to express myself with the closest person I have in my life. Cheyenne and my opinions match up enough to get along well in conversation, but differ enough for us to really learn from one another during the show.” – Buck Rivers
Now, 33 episodes in, their 34th episode, premiering December 17th, asks listeners to share their anecdotes dealing with stereotypes. All who are interested are encouraged to write in or record themselves for the podcast submissions and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. New podcasts episodes are released every Monday on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.
As a writer and journalist, attending a school full of ambitious creative minds is a, seemingly, neverending source of stories to tell and share with others. Many of my fellow schoolmates are not simply there to study their chosen crafts but to put their skills into application and bring projects into fruition, with the added hope that it can grow into a promising career. And with our shared connection, I have the rare opportunity to watch their passions grow in their earliest stages and learn about them before others.
It will be exciting to see how far Buck Rivers and Cheyenne Finch are able to carry Bantucentric, and if they can build enough momentum to build a large following for the podcast. And it is a pleasure for me to be there to watch Bantucentric in its infancy and share it with you.
I’m relatively new to listening to podcasts (I know… very late), but are there any podcasts out there you enjoy? Are you working on one yourself? Have you heard of Bantucentric, or are you going to give it a try now? Share your regular, must-listen-to podcasts or just your thoughts in the comments below.