Good people and fellow students, All That Yazz has officially turned one! The chart-topping entertainment podcast launched in early June 2021 and has since become a repository of cultural conversations on music, craft and the showbiz industry. Hosted by Yazz The Student, who also helmed Next Gen Greats as a publication, All That Yazz episodes are a mixture of art analysis and as well as in-depth conversations with special guests. The audio-podcast managed to host 40 guests and get played in over 70 countries within its first year. These guests have consisted of musicians, content creators, actors, journalists, TV producers and more in an effort to provide a more holistic understanding of the vastness of our local creative industry. In commemoration of All That Yazz’ first year, we wanted to share some fun facts on the show. You can listen to the podcast here.
Most Downloaded Episode: Showmax’s Monumental Wife; Adapting The Novel From A Cast Perspective
Episode Synopsis: Fresh off the release of Showmax’s hit telenovela, All That Yazz had two of its leading men, Bonko Khoza & Kwenzokuhle Ngcobo to discuss the show. The podcast episode goes into the show’s casting process & building chemistry as an ensemble to the frenzied reception the show received in the lead-up to and post-release.
Yazz’s Note: I was really excited about this episode because it was going to be the first time I was going to talk to actors for All That Yazz. The interview was arranged through Showmax’s PR and the recording session was only meant to be 40 minutes long via Zoom. I was nervous about it because I wasn’t sure if that was enough time to be able to establish rapport and give enough space for both actors to delve deep into their experiences. When it actually came time to record we actually wound up recording for over 80 minutes and neither actor seemed to mind. In fact, Khoza commented on how he pleased he was that he really got to really speak on the craft and experience with more depth than he’s usually allowed the time to and that made me happy.
Runner-Up: Thato Saul & Mashbeatz’ Pitori Monument, Sour Milk and Wicked Romances… [Note: This episode is currently our most downloaded episode and became so after the first year mark]
Audience Favourite: The Yazz Sessions with Sipho The Gift: LOTUK
Episode Synopsis: Cape Town’s Underground King, Sipho The Gift, joined us for our second Yazz Session to breakdown his acclaim project; LOTUK! The episode finds us exploring the themes of the project, our favourite songs on it & his journey as an indie artist.
Yazz’s Note: Leading up to writing this article, I asked people what their favourite ATY episode was and this was brought up the most. The Yazz Sessions is probably my favourite format to do on ATY right now & it’s also consistently the most well received. The LOTUK Sessions were really special. Sipho The Gift had sent me the project 3 weeks before it was released and we recorded the episode a week before LOTUK came out so the episode could come out the Sunday afterwards. The audience feedback particularly was overwhelmingly warm. As a whole, I don’t really get much feedback in general, besides retweets and a few comments, but this episode sparked multiple conversations. I was DM’d about it on all my social media. People came up to me in real life to talk to me about it, especially the conversation surrounding Adult Contemporary Hip-Hop. This was one of the first episodes that really showed me the impact conversations from All That Yazz were having on people. It’s among my favourite conversations I’ve had on any of my podcasts.
Runner Up: The World of TV Formats & Live Programming with Sive The Black Rose. This was the first episode that had multiple people emailing me about it on top of DMs. I never get emails as feedback! It’s one of our most educational episodes.
All That Yazz Creative Team
The All That Yazz creative team is credited in all of our show notes individually, as well as the songs used within that episode. So you if want one for a specific episode, check those credits.
Host, Guest Management & Post-Production: Yazz The Student (@yazzthestudent on all social media)
Art Direction: oshoku (oshoku on social media). Yazz The Student for Our Moments only.
Technical Support: Kibare Wa Njuguna (mc_kibz on IG and Twitter)
Main Soundtrack: Levitate by Roho featuring Huey (produced by DoouShii). Energy by Feziekk featuring Sandrahhh (produced by Feziekk).
Yazz’s Favourite Episode: The Nature and Value in Cultural Documentation with Fred Kayembe
Episode Synopsis: Fred Kayembe opened our third season of All That Yazz with a conversation that circled around music and cultural documentation. The acclaimed journalist & filmmaker explored his ever-evolving journey with storytelling; from Hype Magazine all the way to Co4lition.
Yazz’s Note: Trying to pick a favourite episode was really hard because of the range of episodes that we’ve had. My favourite conversation at this moment is probably the one I had with Fred Kayembe. A lot of the guests I approach, I do so with my audience primarily in mind. It’s usually triggered by a new project which I use to backdrop the conversation, or key information I really believe would be of value to my audience. Fred Kayembe was one of the few that didn’t have a triggering event besides me just really wanting to talk with this person. It was purely self-indulgent. I see a lot of myself and my career explorations reflected in Kayembe and All That Yazz was the perfect platform to try and pick his brain because I didn’t know him personally. This is one of the most exploratory conversations I’ve ever had on-record and I genuinely did not anticipate the philosophical turns our discussions would take the more our conversation progressed. I’ve been very lucky with the pedigree of guests I’ve had come on All That Yazz to talk about craft; and whilst most I was doing for a wider audience in mind, this particular episode was one of the few that I was predominantly selfish with.
Runner-Ups: Our Moments: Feziekk on Thato Saul’s Members Only/Our Moments: Mohau Mamafha on Music Tripping/Our Moments: Mpilo Might Just on Mars Baby. I really enjoy doing podcasts where I get to sonically world-build. These episode are the episodes I had the most fun with creatively telling the story that were provided. There are a couple from the Our Moments series that I believe are the best things I’ve ever personally edited.
Top Podcast Highlight: All That Yazz with Kevin Smith Live at The BAI Showcase!
Episode Synopsis: Venerated lawyer and artist Kevin Smith joined us of a conversation on Contractual Law and IP within creative fields. We find out how we he got into practicing law and some of the fundamentals creatives should know when approaching contracts and how copyright works.
Yazz’s Note: There’s a lot that’s special about this episode to me. It was our 50th episode and it was our first conversation recorded in front of a live audience. Most of my podcasts episodes are recorded via Zoom, so I’m usually comfortable in my bedroom when recording. I’m rarely in the same space as my guest let alone anyone else when it comes to doing All That Yazz so I was very nervous and excited about doing this live. I honestly wasn’t expecting many people to attend so the fact that we had an engaged audience of over 30 people on a Saturday morning was incredible to me. Kevin Smith’s episode is one of the most informative episode I’ve done on ATY and you could feel it in the energy of the room. Seeing how people were receiving the information in real time was incredibly special because they also got to ask questions. I wish the session was longer and I do hope to have Kevin Smith on the podcast again because we had only began to scratch the surface of our conversation. Doing All That Yazz Live was the highlight because I got to experience our audience in a way I had never done so before and it was on one of our most impactful episodes.
Runner Up: Our Moments. Our Moments is the most creatively fullfilling and challenging podcast series I’ve ever done.