High school is tough on everyone, even for people who are famous now. Local non-profit Youth on Record’s new podcast series gives listeners a chance to hear from multiple Denver music icons about what it was like for them when they were growing up. The series, called My Youth on Record, is hosted by Shawn King (of DeVotchKa) and features a student co-host each episode, in addition to the guests of honor.

The first season of the podcast features some big names in the Denver music scene. Both members of Big Gigantic, Stephen Brackett of Flobots and Neyla Pekarek who recently announced she would be leaving The Lumineers. Then there’s Ben Roy of Tru TV’s Those Who Can’t and frontman of the Denver-based band The Spells, as well as guitar legend Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine and Profits of Rage.

Neyla Pekarek Photo by Meg Oneill

There will be 10 episodes, including a bonus episode recorded at Grandoozy music festival. The conversation topics range from the difficulties of being a nerd in school to family sing-alongs to what it is like to sing in an all-female barbershop quartet. Through all of the episodes, we see where the artists felt doubt about whether they were heading in the right direction and what happened to help them realize that they should persevere.

Youth on Record is a nonprofit organization focused on using music to inspire Denver’s youth to strive for success, whatever that may mean to each individual. The podcast episodes all touch on how each respective artist feels about the music scene presently, from Big Gigantic’s praise of Youth on Record, to Pekarek’s thoughts on being a female in the male-dominated industry. Big Gigantic has had a strong connection with Youth on Record for many years through their organization A Big Gigantic Difference. The musical duo raised over $50,000 in 2017 to build a new computer lab for Youth on Record to give students the opportunity to access cutting-edge musical technology.

A major aspect of Youth on Record’s mission has always been community. This podcast is a huge step in tightening that community. Throughout the episodes, the artists reveal some intimate stories and feelings. Their openness allows listeners to get to know these artists on a deeper level. 

For more information check out Youth on Record’s website here.