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Chrissy Newton and Marie Nicola Hosts of Alt.Pop.Repeat Podcast

Chrissy Newton and Marie Nicola Hosts of Alt.Pop.Repeat Podcast

Christine Blanchette

Alt.PopRepeat Podcast

Meet Chrissy Newton and Marie Nicola, hosts of the Podcast Alt.Pop.Repeat Podcast. I had the opportunity to interview them in a Q&A about their show and what is next for them.

Chrissy’s Q&A

Q: How did you two meet and start a podcast?

A: Well from what I can remember and Marie might have a totally different story (actually can’t wait to see what she says below, lol) we met circa 2014 when a mutual friend of ours, Anastasia “Nat” Tubanos, introduced us. I knew Nat from the PR world and a few other mutual friends who worked in film and television. At that time, Marie and Anastasia were co-hosting a digital show together called Nat and Marie.

Fast forward 5 years later, Marie and I connected again over Facebook and started hanging out. Over cocktails, her and I chatted a crapload about our personal life (going through similar life events) but we also had this mutual love for subculture, alternative, spirituality, and counterculture worlds.

Over the past few years, I’ve been wanting to do a podcast so I texted Marie up and said, “Hey, do you want to do a podcast together?!!” She was fully into it so we had another cocktail session (lol) at my place and came across the idea of how counterculture really drives & influences pop culture. Voila! That’s how Alt.Pop.Repeat (APR) started.

Q: What was the process like in starting your first podcast?

A: Oh man! It’s all about building your team and having a good concept you feel other people would want to listen too. We started by calling good friends of ours…

Let the credits roll…

We asked audio god and Juno nominated producer (Mike Schlosser a.k.a Pineapple Pants to Marie and I) if he wanted to help us with the audio recording part (so it didn’t sound like Marie and I were recording out of a cave.) Then we called our amazing graphic designer Tara Krystompol (she created the APR logo), Andrew “Fresh Kils”, multi-Juno nominated DJ who created our stellar APR intro song and last but not least, Producer and wine podcast extraordinary Andre Proulx (from Two Guys Talking Wine) who’s actually showing me how to edit this year.

But personally I would like to do a shoutout to Andrew Kenneth Martin who’s a really good friend of mine and mentor on this project, he might not know this but he’s one of best damn counterculture/subculture history buffs out there, the perfect person to fact check and go down YouTube rabbit holes with.

I think I just did an awards thank-you speech (lol) ….

Q: Is there a typical day, and how do you manage healthy eating habits?

A: There is never a normal day in the podcast and PR worlds. During the day I’m running my PR agency, VOCAB Communications, and then in the evening, weekends and sometimes during the month, Marie and I will travel to record the show in LA to interview talent.

I try to manage healthy eating habits by trying (keyword there) to stick to an anti-inflammatory diet, which consists mainly of fish, chicken, vegan meats at times, fruit, veggies, a crapload of almonds, dried fruit and nuts.

Q: How do you both find the stamina in doing a podcast and other obligations?

A: Not too bad right now…. But lots of organizing!

Alt.Pop.Repeat is only released once a month to Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts, Soundcloud, and YouTube. We hope to release more episodes monthly in the next few seasons.

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Shameless promo, our next interview with George Stroumboulopoulos goes live on February 13th where we chat about how the #MeToo/women’s counterculture movement has influenced pop culture today. It’s a goodie!

Q: What has been the feedback been like from your first episode and why that topic?

A: Honestly, Marie and I were floored! Lots of people are loving the concept which is really heartwarming and makes you feel like you’re on the right path.

Q: What is your vision and who is listening to your podcast?

A: Our vision is to use this podcast to help open people’s minds and look at counterculture and pop culture in multiple different ways. Not just from one perspective. We might be using different lexicons but really at the core of everything people sometimes are saying the same things but in different ways. I want to help remind people of that.

APR is for everyone. It’s an open and honest show.

Alt.Pop.Repeat is about tabeling ideas, listening, laughing, and coming out of a 55-minute listening session feeling informed and maybe asking some new questions a listener has never thought of before.

Marie’s Q&A

Q: How did you two meet and start a podcast?
A: One part fate and two parts friendship! The long and short of it was that Chrissy and I reconnected after a long period apart. We were going through something similar at the time and started hanging out. I was looking for a new project to work on, for a while I thought it was developing my “sugar witch” persona into a site, but when Chrissy said she wanted to work on a podcast – I knew that was it. Then we just started brainstorming and alt.pop.repeat was born!
Q: What was the process like in starting your first podcast?
A: Every show is different, because it’s so deeply personal. I’ve been producing since I was 15, I must have brought to market 10+ shows and media projects over the years. And tactically it’s a lot of meeting requests, whatsapp messages, phone calls, spreadsheets and events… late nights… lonely tears on pillows, an inflated ubereats bill – and my apartment looks like a bomb has gone off. Yes, there was a period of over a week where I didn’t shower because it is a lot of work for two people who also have careers.
I’ve heard “is the sacrifice worth it?” and to me, I don’t really have a passion for showering so arguably one could say “Yes” but how is anything a sacrifice when I love what I’m doing – Alt.Pop.Repeat, not not-showering – to be clear!!!
Q: Is there a typical day, and how do you manage healthy eating habits?
A: There is never a typical day. I work in extremes, I’m either super healthy or not at all. And when we’re travelling for the show, I need Chrissy to support me and help keep me away from my “trigger” foods, otherwise it’s hard to get back on track.
So a typical day is wake up, chug lemon water (I hate drinking water), made a coffee with cinnamon. Then I make a “snack pack” of veggies, nuts, and really good charcuterie and cheese to take with me if I’m going to be on the run. I intermittent fast, so I usually don’t start eating until around noon. I also use a meal delivery service so I have prepped meals in my freezer so I avoid ordering in, I and I work out a decent amount with a trainer at Common Ground in Toronto – which is more like hanging out with very fitness obsessed friends than working out working out. Which is fun. But it also helps to motivate me to eat well.
Q: How do you both find the stamina in doing a podcast and other obligations or work duties?
A: AAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! STAMINA!? I don’t know???  Red Bull and Witchcraft?!
But, truthfully, if the gym has taught me anything – that’s short term pain comes with long term gain. So I’ll just do it and if that means I get 4hrs sleep, whatever, this isn’t a forever thing. It’s just a right now thing.
Q: What has been the feedback been like from your first episode and why that topic?
A: Feedback is encouraging. People like it and they like us, which is really motivating. The topic just sort of happened. Jeremy Corbell is really lovely and he also was our first interview for the show. So it seemed fitting. The topic was picked because that’s Jeremy’s area of expertise and #RaidArea51 was on people’s lips. The Navy had just confirmed instances of UFOs – it’s a topic that has grown immeasurably in popularity over the past few years and we wanted to contribute to that in a meaningful way. And I think we did that.
Q: What is your vision and who is listening to your podcast?
A: My vision is that we can get into a groove of identifying the before and after of a turning point for each of our topics and we dive into the interconnectedness of everything from twerking to foodies and punk music to anime. Alt.Pop.Repeat is not just metaphysics and UFOs, it is all about the intersect between the cultures that feed pop culture. I would love to change the way people think of pop culture, there’s a reason why Andy Warhol was so fascinated about it – it is an art, and some consider it lesser than because it isn’t as exclusive as high art. But, it is so significant, that what we experience politically or culturally is directly connected to what we consume pop culturally – that is what we call a “sync”.
And who is listening to Alt.Pop.Repeat? It’s people with a genuine curiosity, a love for art, who are tired of hearing the same ol’ celebrity interview over and over and over again. We represent our audience in our interviews – so if our audience is like me, they are nerdy, love to laugh, always hungry, accidentally outspoken and willing to talk about things that might be considered risky – and to know what I’m talking about you just have to tune in.
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