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a photo of Adesuwa Agbonile

Adesuwa Agbonile

New Voices '23

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a Nigerian-American audio producer, journalist and writer based in Brooklyn – I love stories that twist my conception of reality and leave me thinking ‘well…what now?’

A piece of yours or project (in any medium) that you'd like to share.

I recently made a short film for the first issue of Glint, a zine I co-founded with my friend. You can watch it at https://glintmag.com/feature. I used my audio production chops to cut together interviews we did with the people we featured, but also got to try my hand at adding visuals to audio which isn’t something I’ve done a lot of! It was a lot of fun to mix the two mediums.

What draws you to storytelling?

I spent a lot of my early life trying to make myself legible in the spaces I was in – and I think story is one of the best ways to do that. I love how stories connect us to each other, and make us see ourselves and our world in new ways. 

What excites you the most about being a New Voices Scholar?

Getting to learn from so many cool, interesting, thoughtful people who are all invested in the work of audio storytelling!

What’s playing on your radio/audio streaming service right now?

In terms of podcasts, Why Won’t You Date Me is the show I have listened to most consistently for the longest; I also recently finished Holy Week, which I loved. In terms of music – Amaarae’s new album Fountain Baby has been on repeat all summer!

What’s the most underrated tool (technical or not) that you use in your creative process?

A pen and paper. I love writing longhand, and I often start off writing podcast scripts by hand, in my journal – I find it really helps me slow my mind down, and clarify what I want to say.

What is something you want to see more of in the industry?

I think I’d like to see people take riskier bets – on stories that are authentic but might not have a built-in audience or seem ‘marketable’, on stories that aren’t like anything anyone has ever heard before. Those are the types of stories that tend to stick with me the longest!

What are your radio/audio inspirations and why?

Matthew Amha! One of my favorite shows of this year was The Africas vs America, a podcast he hosted. I was struck by how careful he was about pointing out how power structures influence the project of telling stories, and how precise he was about telling the story of the Africas and 80s West Philly. I think about that show a lot when trying to create my own work.

Connect with Adesuwa on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.