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Have You Listened To “HIM” Podcast? | JBA Exclusive Interview

Hello you guys! First, let me say I am a stan of the podcast! After the first listen, I am completely hooked. The series only gets better with each episode. So let’s first touch on how did the podcast series originate?

Trey - hi doll, thank you so much for listening and your support Malik came to me a year ago last February and asked me to be a part of a podcast project we honestly all didn’t know each other and met for the first time in my dorm room about 1 hour before our first recording.

Erin - Hi, there! Thank you so much for listening & for your support, it means so much. I’d already been planning to move to NYC when I got out of the Navy, & was approached by Malik in Feb ‘17 about being a part of a podcast he was thinking of creating. Malik & I have known each other since 2011, but I hadn’t yet met Stevie or Trey. I was initially leery of the idea (seemed like a lot of responsibility), but I eventually agreed. I was discharged & moved to NYC in June ‘17. I met Stevie & Trey for the first time the day we recorded our first episode. And fast forward, here we are!

Stevie - Hey my love! I wanna definitely start by saying thank you for this amazing opportunity and all the love and support you give us and the show. So Malik actually reached out to me sometime last year and told me about an idea for a podcast he had and wanted me to be a part of. He told me the show would include me, Malik and two other guys Trey and Erin. I have to be completely honest and say I was very hesitant at first and told Malik I would have to think about it. Eventually, I gave in after much thought about how amazing this could potentially be; I change my mind. There were many conference calls about all he wanted to do with the show and we actually got a chance to find out what we would get into. I’ve known Malik for a while but I didn’t actually meet Trey and Erin until the first day of recording.

Malik - Around February 2017 I had an idea to create a podcast. I knew that I wanted to be a podcast that would feature myself and three other queer men of color. Immediately, I knew who I wanted those three guys to be. I reached out to Trey, Erin, and Stevie. Waiting for their responses made me a nervous wreck, just knowing that if one of them didn’t sign on this project wouldn’t see the light of day.

For my readers who may not be aware of  "HIM", could you guys give us some fun facts about you four gentlemen?

Trey - well let’s see I’m a Philadelphia native and have been in New York for less than a year. I’m a student at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and I’m a HUGE sports fan I actually watch every sport.

Erin - Lil ol’ me? Let’s see, I am a student at Fordham University, I’m a veteran of the United States Navy, I adore fantasy epic book series, & my liquor of choice is whiskey.

Stevie - Chile. I’m a hot mess and good mess all in the breath. I’m a huge music junkie can’t see my life without it. My idea of a good time is listening to music all day and writing in my journal. If the terms “life of the party” and “over the top” could have a baby it would be me. Some would call me social media popular but I don’t even think that. I’m actually regular as hell.

Malik — 29. From Virginia. Living in NYC for a little over 3 years. Full-time student. English major. I love to read.

HIM mainly speaks about black gay culture, but the show tends to cover other topics as well. What keeps you guys going with the show? And also, what inspires all four of you to come together to do the podcast every weekend?

Trey - I think what inspires me is that the community needs voices that aren’t afraid to be transparent and honest. I think what keeps me going is the people that reach out and tell us that certain topics have touched them or the time we had someone from Nigeria write Erin to tell him that the show really moves him.

Erin - Well, the response & support (which I love & am so grateful for) keep me wanting to come back & do more & more. I was initially reluctant to lend my voice to such a public & direct platform, but it’s so important to use any medium we have to promote love, wellness & inclusion within our communities. Wanting to keep that going is what also drives me.

Stevie - The fact that I know whatever we say about the topic at hand is really touching and encouraging people is what keeps me coming back for more. I think the thing that inspires us is honestly each other cause we all have our OWN voices and each of us is learning so many things from one another that we can apply to our own lives. Which I have to say is very rare nowadays. We have such power in what we do and if I can give a helping hand to our community in any way, I’m down.

Malik - I love my team. It is truly an honor to sit across from these three young beautiful men conferring about what’s important to myself and many other queer individuals in this world each and every week. It beyond surreal that when we listen back to the podcast that it is actually me; HIM. We receive so much love on the daily from listeners who have been affected by HIM and it makes me happy and proud, yet it also scares me. The attention/love can be overwhelming.

I have so many favorite episodes from the podcast series. But I would love to know collectively, which top 5 episodes you guys would say are the most iconic?

Trey - I have to be honest while I edit the show every week I haven’t listened to an episode of the show yet, but I would say that my favorite recording sessions have been for episodes 001: “Welcome to Our Safe Space” and 010: “Shattering the Closet”.

Erin - I will lend two of mine to make it easier to select five overall. I loved episode 019 - Eat.Pray.HIM, & episode 010 - Shattering The Closet.

Stevie - I’m gonna be very cliche and say all of them... 🙂 Because they all have taught me and I’m sure the HIM family so much. Can’t wait to create more magic.

Malik — I hate to play favorites, but I’m human I do have favorite episodes. My favs are EP 13: Raw + Uncut, EP 10: Shattering The Closet, and EP 19: Eat, Pray, Him.

With groups of all collaborations from music to talk shows. There’s always some type of tension or competition. But with you guys, Y’all seem to organically authentically friends and Ya’ll blend so well. How do you guys stay grounded as a team and not get blindsided and caught up in any messy drama?

Trey - I think that we all know that each of us holds a piece of the puzzle that makes HIM perfect and while nothing is always rainbows and sunshine all the time we know that we’re better together than apart.

Erin - An open channel of communication is the main thing. It isn’t always super peachy, but we have meetings consistently & we do conference calls & we have a group chat. We’re always talking to each other, so it quickly resolves any disagreements or spats. Plus, we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. We got lucky in that aspect, & it’s great!

Stevie - “It’s the Journey” - Tisha Campbell Voice. But I will definitely say we all have huge personalities that can be a lot to deal with at times, but we are all honestly all here with the same mindset and that’s creating something special for our community and have a VOICE that some really don’t have. Plus, we talk every day to make sure all of us are on the same page and things keep on rolling.

Malik - Chile, we are so teas but we also have a genuine love and respect for each other. We also realize that this podcast and holding this platform isn’t about us. It’s about the community that we serve and keeping that in mind will always keep us on our mark.

There are so many incredible podcasts shows online right now! Which ones do you guys consider faves outside of HIM podcast?

Trey - I love boss hood which keeps me motivated and working to become a bigger and better boss and bodega boys, I mean Desus and Mero are honestly super funny and give me a great escape from the stresses of NYC.

Erin - Ooh, is it super awful to say that I don’t listen to other podcasts much? Chalk it up to focusing on school. I love Jade + XD, though. Check them out! & I’m always looking for new recommendations.

Stevie -Ok, don’t judge me! But, I don’t listen to podcasts like that. I’m always listening to music most of the time.

Malik - Jade + XD, The Read, and The Friend Zone

What's the main message you guys want to deliver to the listeners every week?

Trey - never be afraid, to be honest, make mistakes and just live life on your own accord, once we accept that our failures are our biggest lessons I think we will not to put so much pressure in being right all the time.

Erin - Be cognizant of the feelings of others around you. Empathy goes such a long way & it costs you nothing. We must be a community in more than a name.

Stevie - Stay true to you. Always remember that you’re never in any situations alone. And with dark times there comes light, never give up.

Malik - Be yourself. Take up space. Expand. Learn to love yourself and treat others with kinds and respect.

Where do you guys see the podcast in 5 years?

Trey - 5-years lord that seems so far away but I would love to add to the HIM. Brand from web series and original video content and doing amazing live shows all over the world.

Erin - Oh wow! I’d love to see us doing live shows. Having sponsors (lol). I’m really just biting Trey’s answer, I’d like to see HIM expand beyond podcasting if at all possible!

Stevie - 5 Years? Whew. That’s a longggg time! But I would love to see the show take over the world in the most epic way ever honestly.

Malik - I would love to see HIM on tv. A scripted series based on our lives and living in the city would be Uber-cute.

How can the readers catch all the new episodes?

Trey - honey you can find us on almost every single streaming platform but the official list is (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, RadioPublic, google play music, iHeartRadio app) just search HIM. and you’ll find us.

Erin - We’ve got this handy little super link that’ll get you to any medium you prefer to stream/listen to us on.

Stevie - We are everywhere bay-bay! We are worldwide, well I wouldn’t say worldwide but we are VERY close. The main way to find our content is on our amazing website or you can use our superlink which has all the different platforms we are on.

What’s one piece of advice you guys would give other up and coming, gay podcast hosts? And also how important is it for you gentlemen as gay men of color to have your voices heard when it comes to the gay lifestyle and culture?

Trey - I think the biggest advice I could give is to always have a plan and be honest and believe that your voice and opinion matters.

Erin - Be true. Don’t try to do or say things you don’t align with because it may get you more exposure. Always stay true to who you are at your core. It pays off, endlessly. As for our voices being heard, as long as people take away positive things or learn things from what we discuss, it will always be super important. That’s the reason I signed up for it.

Stevie - Be ready to use your voice as true power. And know that what you are doing is going not only help you but others as well.

Malik - Be yourself. Your story is yours and yours alone. Don’t be forced to sell yourself for likes and listens. If you are having genuine conversations and your intentions are pure, then you already have it in the bag!

Could you guys tell the readers how you guys would define being gay and in color?

Trey - thank you so much. We appreciate the love, the listens, and taking the time out of your busy schedule to conduct this interview!

I define being gay and in color as being true to who you are not having to choose between being black or being gay and just living in your truth and understanding that everything is a learning experience and the more you dedicate to learning about yourself and other the better you become.

Erin - Thanks so much for even wanting to interview us! I’m floored & flattered!

I define being gay, of color & living in your truth as an ever-updating enlightenment & experience. You never stop learning & un-learning. You never stop discovering new things to love about yourself & your people. It’s beautiful & it’s a privilege.

Stevie - Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to not only talk about how amazing our show is but how we doing some really great things for the community. We are so humbled. I define being gay & of color is being the light that will never go out and being able to be your true self. Simple as that.

Malik - Thanks love for the interview. We appreciate the love, the listens, and taking the time out of your busy schedule to conduct this interview. And know that being black and gay will be filled with its many trials and tribulations, but know that queer black life is filled with just as much beauty. Listen to yourself. Follow your heart. Preserve and stay strong.