FLINT (WJRT) - (09/06/15) - The popularity of podcasts has blown up in the past few years.
They're basically free radio shows you can subscribe to, and they come in almost every topic under the sun. Some podcasts are like a talk show about current events, others are all about music.
Now, two young men in Flint thought they'd try their hand at making one. What they ended up with was a 9-month long effort that became a work of art.
The podcast is called Audio Braid. Here's how creators Alan Harris and Nic Custer describe it.
"Music, poetry, storytelling into an original narrative audio experience," Harris said.
"And how I would say it is basically we're just taking a bunch of experiences from local people," Custer said.
This first episode tells the tale of a young woman who's a member of Raise it Up Youth Arts and Awareness, a local slam poetry group.
Woven into the story of her life's daily struggles is poetry and music.
"Dealing with the struggles and the triumphs that you get from being a youth in Flint as well as trying to be an artist during that whole time," Harris said.
Harris and Custer got a $2,500 grant from the Ruth Mott Foundation for Audio Braid.
"Any proceeds that we get from this episode will go to directly benefit that organization," Harris said.
That grant money not only goes to Raise it Up Youth Arts and Awareness, but also toward the more than 10 voice actors, musicians, logo designers, even venue owners that helped make the podcast come to life.
That is all part of Harris and Custer's vision for Audio Braid.
Besides helping people out financially, and giving them a voice, the duo enjoyed every second of the creative process themselves.
"A lot of these elements just came together very organically. We would go out and we would just ask these general questions to the various individuals we interviewed. Or when you guys made the music, you guys would just come together and start jamming," Custer said.
"And just listening to these artists and these young people, it should give you hope, because they have very mature, insightful ways of looking at the world," Harris said.
Audio Braid is having a launch party next Friday, Sept. 11. It's from 6-9 p.m. at Flint Local 432, in downtown Flint. The event is free, and the duo will be handing out CD's of their podcast.
Next week, you'll also be able to listen to Audio Braid on SoundCloud.