Dynasty Podcasts has been diving into the Chicago music industry for a decade plus now. Created by Jaime Black in 2005, Dynasty spends thousands of hours performing hundreds of interviews. Behind the mic, whether in radio, podcasts or live panels, Jaime Black finds the truth of what's happening in Chicago music straight from the source. In 2012 Dynasty began the live panel version of their show, and on March 1, Jaime Black and co-producer Mikul Wing, who manages the technical side of these panels, will be hosting the 5 year anniversary of their live panel.
Dynasty is a podcast, an audio documentary, a barrage of frames over the course of a decade, capturing what's going on in all aspects of Chicago music. There was a time when Chicago music meant little to the world, and without looking closer you might have agreed. But to Jaime Black and Mikul Wing (founder of Future Factory who performs as 1/3 of wildly succesful Chicago DJ crew Autograf), they were inspired to work in Chicago music early on.
"I knew I wanted to do music work at two points in my life. One when I discovered "Siamese Dream" by The Smashing Pumpkins, and suddenly not everybody was from Seattle, you had 4 weirdos from Chicago and something really caught me attention from that. That was around the same time that radio in Chicago was really, really great, really exciting. You could do a lot on radio that you can't do now, there was a lot of personality and it felt like anything could happen - kind of like how social media is now. That early - mid 90's era where I discovered Smashing Pumpkins and discovering radio, that was really what put me onto wanting to do this kind of work in the first place."
Mikul began with DIY parties at his art gallery , and Jaime got his start in radio at WKQX 101.1 FM, engaging with local creatives in a way similar to the podcast now. Like many entering the music industry, unanswered questions were the norm, which is where part of Dynasty's goal comes in. Having experienced the learning curve, their motive is educational. The nonlinear paths of the music industry here are tough to navigate, so putting those in the know, in front of the camera, provides an opportunity to share knowledge.
"On the panel side, one of the criteria, and it's not the only criteria, is that Mikul and I remember what it was like to be young and maybe not have all the answers on how to set up a party, how to get press, how to make your work a business, all these types of things. We remember what it was like to be confused . One of the things we try to accomplish in selecting panelists is what kind of insight can they impart to someone in college or in high school... getting good people who can really provide insight for young creatives."
Dynasty requires this same level of insight when analyzing their own success. Jaime began his podcast in 2005, only one year after podcasts were introduced to iTunes. As music in Chicago has gone through its transformations, Dynasty followed. Observing the music industry but not removed from it, Dynasty's survival has required the flexibility and risk-taking that got Jaime started podcasting in the first place.
"It's really important for us to always be evolving. On my end, I went from working in broadcast radio, like traditional FM radio you listen to in the car, to podcasting, and then went from podcasting to live podcasting, and then went into teaching. Now, Mikul and I talk a couple times a day about what are we gonna do next, what are some new technologies we're gonna try, what are some partners we should work with. We're always looking, literally everyday, at how we can keep evolving this. On my end, working in radio, I learned very early on that if you don't evolve you get left behind."
The end game; create a space where Chicagoans and Chicago are celebrated. Perpetuate success by spreading word about creatives who are breaching the next level, while informing listeners of insider acumen that they can use themselves. Wednesday's live panel features Brown Girls' Sam Bailey, Lyrical Lemonade's Cole Bennett, Vincent Martell from VAM, and Emily Dahlquist from Canvas, highlighting creatives from the TV, Blog, Art and Events industries, a demonstration of just what Chicago is capable of.
Says Mikul, a born and raised Chicagoan, "people sometimes look at Chicago as a second rate city. I was born here in Chicago and lived here the majority of my life. People always say 'why don't you move to New York or LA, there's so much going on there.' One of the main things we want to highlight is there is a lot of stuff going on in Chicago, going on here in music, technology. It is not a second rate city at all."
Dynasty & Future Factory's 'How To Create Content That Connects' Panel will be held on March 1st, 2017 at The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 7:00PM. The focus will be on finding consumers for your content, once it's out there.