TV, film and now podcasts – the Obamas just keep giving us gifts.
Since Michelle and Barack Obama left the White House, they’ve kept busy, and it’s been to our benefit.
Michelle released her memoir Becoming, a compelling look at her life that covered everything from her childhood through to her time in the White House. It quickly became the bestselling autobiography and audiobook of all time
And the Obamas have also been working hard on a number of projects for Netflix that we’re going to love. The couple’s company, Higher Ground Productions, will produce documentaries, dramas and a children’s series about food in their first slate, and even better, the Obamas hired three amazing women to work for Higher Ground Productions.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Obamas will now also be bringing their talents to the world of podcasts.
They’ve created an audio spin-off of Higher Ground – Higher Ground Audio – and signed a multi-year deal Spotify to produce podcasts exclusively for the platform, which will also include them developing ideas and lending their voices to some of the podcasts.
And just like with their Netflix deal, where they’re highlighting people and places that often go ignored, the Obamas will focus on giving a voice to the voiceless.
Michelle said: “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether, and through Spotify, we can share those stories with the world.
“Our hope is that through compelling, inspirational storytelling, Higher Ground Audio will not only produce engaging podcasts, but help people connect emotionally and open up their minds – and their hearts.”
Barack said: “We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation. It helps us build connections with each other and open ourselves up to new ideas.
“We’re excited about Higher Ground Audio because podcasts offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together.”
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Spotify’s chief content office Dawn Ostroff called the Obama “two of the world’s most important voices”.
She added: “Connecting people with original and thoughtful creators – especially those with the ability to highlight underrepresented and indispensable narratives – is at the core of our mission and we are thrilled that not only will the Obamas be producing content, but that they will be lending their voices to this effort.”
We completely agree with Ostroff and have no doubt that the podcasts the Obamas produce will be compelling, essential listening. We can’t wait.
Sarah Shaffi is a freelance journalist and editor. She reads more books a week than is healthy, and balances this out with copious amounts of TV. She writes regularly about popular culture, particularly how it reflects and represents society.