Aiwan Obinyan: How podcasting amplifies queer voices

Why this successful sound designer and producer uses her platform for ‘telling stories that challenge the status quo’

Upon scrolling through producer and sound designer Aiwan Obinyan’s endless LinkedIn page, you’ll find that she is the person behind many successful podcasts including Mediawatch, Snatched!, Growing Up With Gal-Dem and Reclaimed and Rewritten, as well as many others. Alongside starting the Black Queer-owned production company AiAi Studios in 2013, Obinyan is the senior podcast producer at LGBTQ+ publication Gay Times and the “reluctant host” and producer of AiAi’s first in-house podcast UK Black Pride: A Time Capsule

In this week’s PodPod episode, Obinyan speaks to Rhianna Dhillon and Reem Makari about how she used her company to amplify the stories of people who have been historically marginalised, how she went from silent producer to first-time host of her new podcast UK Black Pride: A Time Capsule, insights into a survey revealing what LGBTQ+ POC want to see in podcasting, and the importance of finding the human connection in podcasting. 

Key takeaways

Use the powers of audio to visualise your story 

“I think when you write for a documentary, you can rely on the images to tell some of the story, but you don't have that benefit with audio,” said Obinyan. “Everything has to be done through the medium of storytelling.

“Now, of course, there are different techniques that you can use,” she added. “So for example, music can guide you, a sound design element can tell you something that's about to happen, but really and truly you have to use audio so that a person listening on their headphones on a commute can follow the story from start to end without any other aid whatsoever.” 

The human connection is the most important when interviewing 

“Watching people host shows, one of the things I learned is that it's really important to connect with the subject matter on as deep a level as you can,” said Obinyan. “...I realise that you need to find a rapport with the guests; I think that's super important and I think you need to bring yourself into that space as much as you can.” 

Your platform can tell people’s stories in their own voice 

(On producing a podcast show with LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees): 

“...No matter how broken their English is, it's important that their story is told in their voice because that's the most authentic, most heartfelt,” said Obinyan. “...I think that's the kind of thing that I wanna be a part of… because we need more of those stories across the board, across our communities all the time. Not one-offs.”

Read the full transcript


UK Black Pride: A Time Capsule

AiAi Studios

MediaWatch - Hosted by GAY TIMES Group

Escape: The Underground Railroad Podcast on Acast

Queer Me Out: Chasing Tales - Hosted by GAY TIMES & W Hotels

BBC Sounds - Small Axe: The Podcast

Reclaimed & Rewritten on Acast

Snatched! - Hosted by GAY TIMES Group

Tag Talks... - Hosted by GAY TIMES Group

Our Place Is Here - stories of migrant domestic workers

The Blindboy Podcast on Acast


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