“The Cold War ended in 1991. Now its looming spectre has returned to US and Russian politics and media.” And of course, with the FIFA World Cup ruling the headlines this week it seems apt to introduce a new podcast with one foot Mother Russia and the other in the heart of NYC.
Best friends Smith and Lily live in Brooklyn and St Petersburg, respectively. Together they produce a weekly podcast episode for She’s In Russia, discussing everything from Russian rap, literature, local blockchain developments, banya etiquette, trash separation (and recycling, there’s a difference)! Above all, they offer a nuanced, contemporary perspective of Russia that flies contrary to popular media portrayals. It’s a great listen and well researched.
I fired over Smith and Lily a few questions about She’s In Russia and they were incredibly obliging!
🇷🇺 Is podcasting popular locally in Russia?
Podcasting is definitely a thing in Russia. Though maybe not to the extent we see in America. Meduza, one of the predominant independent publications, has a lot of podcasts, here’s one: Медуза в курсе. And here’s a nice podcast about music and stories and conversation, called Glagolev FM.
🎧 What is your tech set up? How does it work internationally?
We each have a mic and record ourselves speaking, then sync the separate tracks during the editing process. We call each other on Telegram (SIR on Telegram). When we have guests, we either use Zencastr or Skype Recorder to record them. Usually, we record morning Brooklyn time and afternoon Petersburg time, though we’ve been known to record at ungodly hours.
💡 Do you have any advice for someone starting a podcast today?
- Teach yourself how to edit, mix, and master. There’s a subset of people who can get away without editing, but we are certainly not in that subset. About a third to a half of what we record gets cut.
- Pick a schedule and stick to it obsessively, even if it seems arbitrary.
- Once the quality of the podcast is at a level you are proud of (probably at least a few months) start emailing people (who write on the internet) about it. Like email 100s of people.
Timing is everything, and this week the pair are celebrating one year of their excellent broadcast. Great news for any new listeners – there is an incredible archive of episodes to dive into. Enjoy SIR? You can, of course, support them via the She’s In Russia Patreon – those socks look very appealing! Also, check out this interview with them in Russia Beyond.