Def Jam Recordings is set to become the latest record company to make a podcasting play. It has reportedly partnered with the iHeartPodcast Network and Double Elvis Productions to produce a ten-episode scripted series that will fuse a fictional scripted narrative with real artist interviews and exclusive music releases. The podcast is called Here Comes the Break and it is set for release in early 2021.
“We are excited to embark on this pioneering partnership with Double Elvis and iHeart,” said Def Jam General Manager/Executive VP Rich Isaacson. “Their groundbreaking take on the scripted podcast space has proven itself to be an amazing platform for discovery and exposure to new music in unexpected ways. At Def Jam, we try to embrace innovative, creative new paths toward extending our brand footprint and most importantly breaking our artists. Our roster of dynamic, fresh new artists is a perfect fit for this story.”
The podcast will use the fictional New York City teenager named Ruben struggling with family pressure and anxiety issues. With the help of his friends, he anonymously launches a podcast that goes viral and quickly finds his voice as an interviewer and host. That “show within a show” will includes interviews with Def Jam artists. Each episode will focus on one musician and will premiere a new song. The series will include at least one big name from the Def Jam roster, but mostly it will showcase up-and-coming acts. “At Def Jam, we try to embrace innovative, creative new paths toward extending our brand footprint and most importantly breaking our artists,” said Isaacson.
In addition to the music, the podcast will also focus on issues such as self-identity, family, and friendships, to raise awareness about mental health.
Here Comes the Break will be the latest collaboration between iHeart and Double Elvis. The two companies earlier worked together on Disgraceland and the studio has since released the Dear Young Rocker podcast that like its Def Jam collaboration is a first-person, coming of age story about the struggles of young adulthood and the power of music.
“We were blown away by the response to Dear Young Rocker and realized there was a need for more youth-oriented music podcasts that were both entertaining and tackled important issues,” said Double Elvis co-founder Bradly Sadler in a statement. “With Here Comes The Break, we want to provide a platform for young artists to share their talents and stories, and draw in listeners with a unique mix of original music, artist interviews and fictionalized storytelling.”
The show is expected to get promotion on iHeart’s Hip-Hop and CHR radio stations. Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network, said when they heard about the Def Jam project he immediately knew it would be a good fit for the company.“iHeart is passionate about music discovery and artist development, as it’s the lifeblood of our company,” said Byrne. He said the mixing of fictional characters and real musicians and new music is an“incredible” new concept. “We think pushes the edge of this medium, blending fiction with music with podcasting in a very cool new way,” he said.
Releasing weekly this coming winter, Def Jam said at its conclusion the label will release the full soundtrack from the series.