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a headshot of Danya AbdelHameid

Danya AbdelHameid

New Voices '22

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a podcast producer from the DMV, by way of Sudan – currently based in Philadelphia, PA. I got my start in podcasting back in 2019 when I interned at Science Friday, working with their narrative podcasting team. After that internship, I was set on pursuing podcasting and audio work…and then the pandemic and the national uprisings of summer 2020 happened. And the things that previously had pulled me towards audio/podcasting just didn’t feel like enough anymore, so I took a job in fundraising at a small social justice nonprofit. But, as they say, all roads lead to Rome! Now, two years later I’ve found my path back into audio/podcasting. I love this work and am excited to do more of it, with people and in places that are committed to creating work that is fun (!), experimental in form and content, and accessible.

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

This was actually one of the first things I ever made! I made it back in 2018 for the Southern Oral History Program’s Sonic South audio competition. I really love archives and oral history, so the process involved in making this non-narrated, audio collage-ish piece was really, really fun. (Also proud it was selected as a semi-finalist!) 

What draws you to storytelling?

I love how storytelling is an invitation to experience someone else’s world, in all its nuances and contradictions.

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

It’s been so lovely to meet other producers, writers, etc. who are also starting out in audio and podcasting! We all bring such different backgrounds and experiences to the program, and I’ve enjoyed learning from everyone. Thank you to Casper, Elena, and AIR for organizing the program and sessions with such care!

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

 I’m really enjoying this season of Object of Sound! 

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

Time! Things feel so different after even just a few hours, let alone a few days, weeks, or years removed.

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

I’m very curious about subtitled audio! I grew up speaking a mix of Sudanese Arabic and English around the house, and am generally curious about how language shapes storytelling and narrative. I listen to a bunch of music in languages I don’t speak, so why not podcasts, too? I really love what Radio Atlas is doing in this realm and want to see more subtitled audio! Especially longer narrative and fiction work. 

Who/What are your radio/audio inspirations and why?

 I’m finding myself more and more inspired by things, people, and sounds outside of the radio/audio/podcast world. Maybe it’s the production in a song, the score/music selections of a TV show or film, the transitions/sequencing in a mix some DJ uploaded to their SoundCloud, or even the sound design/narration in a Tik Tok. I’ve learned to listen better since starting to work in this field and that is definitely shaping where and when I find inspiration. 

But in the world of radio/audio, I love James T. Green’s U+1F60C audio zine/podcast/experimental audio project and especially James’ NFT(ease). I love how it plays with form….and wow, the sound design? Amazing. I’ve gone back and listened to this piece so many times. (James, if you’re reading this…hi! I’m probably responsible for like 50% of the streams on NFT(ease)...) 

Anything else you'd like to add?

While I might not be doing nonprofit fundraising work for much longer…I am always down to talk about the overlap between storytelling, fundraising, and grassroots movements. Over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about how to fundraise in a way that is community-focused and challenges the ways that capitalism, white supremacy, and the like shape how we interact with money. What does resource redistribution in podcasting look like? What would an audio solidarity economy look like? What does a community-funded podcast sound like? These are the sorts of questions I am curious about and want to answer with other folks in the audio world! If any of these things also interest you, I’d love to connect.  

Follow Danya on Twitter and LinkedIn.