An interview with last year’s Mixcloud Online Radio Awards winner Ear Hustle

Ear Hustle is audio storytelling at its best.

In case you didn’t know, there are now only four days left to submit nominations for the 2018 Mixcloud Online Radio awards. The deadline is fast approaching! If you love online radio, from cutting-edge music shows to the hottest new Podcast, you can nominate yourself or nominate the shows, stations and radio personalities you love.

Submissions for this year’s awards close on Thursday 26 April. Entry is free and you can submit your nominations at

As part of our new series shinning a light on 2017’s winners, we caught up with Maggie Taylor from Radiotopia, the network behind the critically-acclaimed Podcast, Ear Hustle, which last year took home the Rising Star award for Best Online Talk Show.

An illustration by Antwan William, one of the co-creators behind Ear Hustle
An illustration by Antwan William, one of the co-creators behind Ear Hustle.

Ear Hustle has everything you need from a Podcast: it’s gripping, it’s sincere and it reveals tales from a world we all too often forget about: prison life. It was a very worthy winner in last year’s Mixcloud Online Radio Awards, and we were excited to find out more from Maggie about what the Podcast has been up to.

Tell us a bit about the Ear Hustle Podcast.

Ear Hustle brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The Podcast is a partnership between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area artist. The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny, and always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system.

What do you love most about Podcasts and online radio?

What I love most about Podcasts is their accessibility – anyone can listen to Podcasts anywhere, and for free.

What most excites you about the future of Podcasts and online radio?

I’m excited to see more Podcasts by up-and-coming producers. Inclusivity and diversity are also important and I want to see more underrepresented voices, like the men of San Quentin.

What’s next for Ear Hustle?

This season, Ear Hustle will have new additions to the production team. Nigel and Earlonne are bringing on Pat Mesiti-Miller, a producer for Snap Judgment, to help them produce Ear Hustle’s second season. Pat is also working with a group of incarcerated men at San Quentin, teaching them about sound engineering and design.

Stories will cover sex trafficking, death row, creativity in prison and father/son relationships, among other topics. The team has also brought on David Jassy, the incarcerated Swedish musician who contributed to sound design during season one when Antwan Williams’ privileges were limited.

The show is also adding a new segment called Count Time, this will be bonus content at the end of the episode that will allow us to share what I like to think of as tidbits of sound, curious pieces of audio that we want you to hear: jokes, recipes, music, very short stories — just a little extra to make you think.

We’re also are trying to go to different parts of San Quentin.

You can follow Ear Hustle on Mixcloud:

Interested in entering this year’s awards? You can also find out more about the Mixcloud Online Radio Awards with our seven reasons you should enter.