At the tail end of 2019, the hosts of Loose Talk Podcast, Osagie Alonge, Steve Dede and Ayomide Tayo, released a joint statement with Pulse, the news media company where they held executive roles. Their highly successful podcast had come to an end.
At its peak, the podcast irritated many famous musicians. For instance, in 2018, they said a certain A-list singer was broke, choking on a lifestyle they could not afford, and they faced death threats. The podcast’s fans worshipped their quips and insights as music industry insiders, while fans of the musicians they spoke about ground their teeth at the mention of their name.
Social media named them “Giants.” In protest of those who called them the nuisance of the industry and hated their guts, they claimed the title for themselves; The Loose Talk Giants. At the same time, it was sarcastic, as it was a useful tool to troll the haters.
Now the Giants are back for a second act as just Loose Talk, under the podcast network Global Village.
“It was just the right time for us to come back. We had a lot on our minds and I guess we want to pick up the conversation from where we stopped,” Osagie, the podcast moderator, told Technext recently. He now works at the tech company Kippa as the Head of Marketing.
“We’ve grown a lot and we know that our guys, the people who use to listen to us, they’ve grown too,” Steve Dede, who now holds an “editor-in-chief” role at the tech company Fincra said. “You know, I’m really happy we stopped doing the podcast at that time because it was becoming very linear. Now our conversation is really diverse with a lot of experiences,” he added.
The new Loose Talk is less insider insights and more social commentary. So far, since they launched in February, their commentary has been measured, only dancing around the edges of the news cycle.
They have given their takes on everything from Benjamin Mendy’s acquittal, the French footballer accused of rape by multiple women in the UK, to the recently concluded elections and the rise of the ignorant tech influencers talking about things they know not on Twitter, now X..
“The conversations are richer, fuller, more nuanced. We are more verse as individuals. We don’t just speak about music anymore. We speak about politics, commerce, fame, and tech. It is basically us in a more mature space,” Ayomide, the last host, who now writes the substack, The Naija Way, said.
This new interaction of Loose Talk comes with the same yellow and black colours but a new logo, new cover art, original soundtracks by the producer XYZ and a different format. “We like to look at this podcast as a brand new podcast,” Osagie said.
But the hosts still joke about the 90s, getting membership cards at video clubs and the famous shops renting CDs to members. One host once called his partner “wifey” with a straight face.
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Averaging about 20 thousand downloads per episode, according to the hosts, there is real dime to be made from this new Loose Talk. But the hosts say they don’t make money from the weekly show yet.
“This is just three guys coming and saying ‘Guy, how far?’ This is not any major production where we seat down and be crafting and crafting. Everything is already in our heads. We are just moving on auto,” Osagie said.
As podcasts have become more popular, networks like Global Village have been springing up. Individual podcasters have made some money from brand sponsorships and advertising. But as an industry, the Nigerian podcast scene continues to struggle to find a consistent and sustainable income stream.
“Podcasts are going to go into the niche market. That is where they can find financial stability. There are a lot of content ideas, which can scale really fast, and they can attract a lot of business interests,” Ayomide said
“A lot more people should also veer into other niches and move away from pop culture,” Osagie, the moderator, said. “Maybe we shouldn’t be the ones saying this because we are also playing in the pop culture category. We’ve seen that if you move into other niches, it’s easier to attract a brand that is trying to reach that niche,” he added.
The Loose Talk Giants’ take on social media drama
Having won and lost battles on the internet during their first act, the Giants are not actively seeking out wars this time. But they have not abandoned their swords either.
“We are vastly experienced in the field of understanding how something that you say can just be taken out of context. But it is important to present opinions that might not be popular,” Osagie offered. “It’s left for the listeners to pick what side they want to stay on. And also understand that most of these conversations have a lot of nuances which you can’t get on social media because, on social media, everything is very grey.”
“Social media is the first point of call for so many people, which is not supposed to be so. Your opinion is not supposed to be out there like that,” Steve, the host who is now at Fincra, said. “The problem is people are not living experiences. They are just on social media interacting. Social media is their world. When social media is your world, you don’t have a balanced view. And attention becomes a drug because you’ll look for things to tweet to get you attention.”
Ayomide advises young people on social media looking to have meaningful conversations to try not to become “a meme lord.” He says that users have to be responsible and not inflame passions.
What does he think of Elon Musk’s rise as the ultimate meme lord of Twitter, the company he has renamed X in the age of free speech?
“There is going to be a danger with Twitter if it’s only owned by one person, whether the person is liberal or the person is conservative. Elon Musk is just the first of that example,” Ayomide said.
The hosts are currently exploring new opportunities with this new podcast. They want to host live shows and maybe a version of Loose Talk on Patreon. They want to create a show that will be very impactful to the listeners. “We are taking our time,” Osagie said.