Listen up 2021! This month we’re talking to Sarah Bailey, Editor-in-Chief of PORTER Magazine.
Entering our third year of asking friends and colleagues to tell us about the podcasts they listen to in their spare moments, it seems more appropriate than ever as lockdowns and tier systems change our everyday reality. This month Sarah Bailey, Editor-in-Chief of PORTER Magazine shares her favourites.
Sarah joined PORTER Magazine at the start of 2018, but this was far from her first editorial rodeo. She’d previously been deputy editor at Harper’s Bazaar UK and at Harper’s Bazaar US in New York, editor-in-chief at Elle UK and Red magazine. At PORTER magazine and NET-A-PORTER Sarah has set about championing women, most notably with the Incredible Women section and she has dipped her toe into the podcast hosting world herself with ‘Pieces of Me, My Life In Seven Garments’ and the ‘Incredible Women’ podcast series (co-hosted with Alice Casely-Hayford). The Incredible Women franchise also crosses over into one of her podcast choices:
The first season of Cole Cuchna’s superlative podcast, which intricately dissects the lyrical and sonic brilliance of Kendrick Lamar’s album To Pimp A Butterfly over 22 exquisitely crafted episodes, was my defining moment as a podcast listener. I imbibed the whole season during a two-day drive through France with my kids and the experience was so immersive and revelatory, I can only call it life changing. I’d always known Lamar was some kind of poetic genius, however, this series unpacks the song-writing in ways I could never have done myself, without the benefit of Cuchna’s forensic focus and erudition. Milton’s Paradise Lost, Kunta Kinte, Biggie v Tupac… it’s all stirred in there… Just typing this now, I want to dive in all over again…
Desert Island Discs
Before podcasts, there was Radio 4 and, more specifically, Desert Island Discs. It’s a show I have loved so passionately over the years, I can remember where I was listening (in a parked car, in the rain, in north London) listening to Jarvis Cocker narrate his choices. I can quote you sections of Lemn Sissay’s episode, I found it so moving. At its best, there is something so intimate about the format, that the episodes seem to work their way into your bones. It’s brilliantly researched and crafted, of course, and after a lifetime of listening it continues to surprise and inspire me as a storyteller and interviewer myself. The fact that the archive now exists as a podcast series for me to endlessly riffle through… is pure, unalloyed joy.
In Good Company
Host Otegha Uwagba is such a smart, honest and compelling voice in the podcast space. Her candour, curiosity and straight-up career advice offer so much to her listeners. I had the pleasure of interviewing her for NET-A-PORTER’S Incredible Women Live series and I experienced first-hand how thoughtful and generous she is with her ideas and life-wisdoms. I love this liberating new era of talking honestly about the workplace, daring to name female ambition and how failure is part of the journey to success. The interviewees Uwagba chooses – from former Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth to the book agent Abigail Bergstrom – are warm, witty and utterly captivating.
Portrait of Sarah Bailey and Zainab Salbi from the Pieces of Me podcast launch.