With a vision of giving young people from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to express their opinions on a variety of topics, University of Miami seniors Kladius Maynard and Elayna Paulk started “The Bashment.” The podcast is run by students and discusses pop culture, social and political issues, current events, and UM news.
Maynard came up with the idea to start the podcast during winter break. He thought about working on it with Paulk and told her about it on New Year’s Day, as a sort of resolution.
“Every time we converse, we always laugh about what is happening in pop culture. So when I thought about doing the podcast, I knew it would only be successful if I had her join me,” Maynard said.
As a Canadian Jamaican, Paulk felt partnering with Maynard, who is from the British Virgin Islands, would be a great way to share the voice of different cultures.
“We want to allow students similar to us to share their ideas and opinions on this platform we’ve created,” Paulk said. “We are unique and rich in culture and we want to use ‘The Bashment’ as a celebration of our culture. It allows our voices to be heard.”
When brainstorming a name for the podcast, the duo wanted a title that presented all the facets of their lives, from being college students to their West-Indian and Caribbean descents, Maynard explained. They decided on “The Bashment” because it’s the Caribbean word for a party.
“[Bashment is] a party where all kinds of music of different genres and places are played or are mixed together to produce a mashup. We feel that the name speaks to the vision of the podcast where people from different backgrounds can come together, express themselves and have fun,” Maynard said.
The co-hosts planned their first episode on Jan. 14, releasing it on Jan. 21. They are now three episodes in. The two plan the podcasts together and record them on Wednesday nights in the editing suites of the School of Communication. The episodes are then uploaded to the website, thebashment.com.
So far, topics discussed in the podcast have included Stacey Dash and her views on eliminating Black History Month, the Kardashians, Adele, Beyoncé, #OscarsSoWhite and Donald Trump.
“Every episode, we discuss a few issues related to pop culture. We always have a personal segment that lets the audience get to know us better each time, and we rant about a pressing social issue,” Maynard said.
In the most recent episode, the topic was black stereotypes and social media norms that many consider inappropriate. The discussion also touched on feminism and victim-blaming.
To showcase different voices and opinions, the hosts bring dynamic guests to the show. For the third episode, the guest was their friend Barbara Poudzius, a Brazilian American. She was given creative input and the freedom to choose what to talk about.
“We recognize and acknowledge the benefit of diversity on the show and we celebrate persons with divergent and unique opinions,” Maynard said. “We believe that it is really important that we give people our age the opportunity to insert their voice into any conversation, whether they want to come on to laugh and have a fun time or they want to rant about a pressing issue.”
As the pair continues working together, their purpose for the project is simple: to give college students the opportunity to share their unfiltered positions on issues important to them.
“Our primary goal is to appeal to a wide and diverse college audience,” Paulk said.
Anyone interested in joining “The Bashment” or guest hosting should contact Maynard and Paulk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature photo courtesy Pixabay user Jordy.