‘There Are No Rules’ featuring Simmi Areff: The Podcast Sessions Re-cap – Episode 1

In the pilot episode of The Podcast Sessions, Rutendo Nyamuda speaks to comedian, former radio producer, People of Colour (POC) Podcasts founder, and the host and producer of a podcast called Lesser Known Somebodies, Simmi Areff.  

With a long career under his belt, Simmi Areff has evolved a great deal and has come a long way since his stand-up days in Johannesburg. In recent years, he has been the host of the comedy podcast Lesser Known Somebodies.

Simmi Areff transitioned into the world of podcasting from a career in radio production and stand-up comedy. While working as a producer at East Coast Radio, Simmi’s dream (even now) was to become an on-air personality.

His programme manager, however, just never put Simmi on air. Fast-forward to the Montreal Comedy Festival. Seeing a podcast being recorded live at the Montreal Comedy Festival gave him the push he needed to finally start. Since then, he has never looked back. 

It wasn’t just to fulfil his dream that he started his podcast,  he also wished to build a library of content so he would always have a demo available if any radio station needed one or ten. “So how I started Lesser Known Somebodies – as a vendetta, a garage to radio,” said Simmi as he chuckled. 

Lesser Known Somebodies is a podcast for those with or without a career in the media and entertainment industry. On this show, comedian Simmi Areff has sit-down conversations with journalists, actors, presenters, and entertainers about their ‘lesser-known’ personal experiences in the entertainment industry.

While this show primarily is a comedy podcast, listeners should always be ready to receive insightful and useful nuggets of wisdom from the most respected and loved figures in the entertainment industry.  

In terms of Simmi’s podcast, his radio background as well as his comedic skills and banter give him a distinct advantage, but that doesn’t make creating content any easier. There are a lot of steps in pre- and post-production processes that contribute to each and every podcast episode, including research, extensive recordings, and lengthy editing.

According to him, he should take twice as long to edit a podcast as it takes to record it. “The amount of time it takes to record a podcast, it should take you double the amount to edit it,” said Simmi. To produce and release the finest quality content, taking the time to edit is key. By doing so, your listeners will also consider your content to be valuable. 

Here are some of Simmi’s best kept secrets and tips for podcasting:

  • The Zoom H4n Pro 4-Channel Handy Recorder is your best friend. This is the most cost-effective and highest-quality voice recorder you can buy.
  • Research equipment more thoroughly.  By doing this, you will avoid spending excessive amounts of money on unnecessary equipment.
  • If you can’t afford recording equipment, a simple voice recorder on your phone will get the job done…but only when you record YOURSELF. Furthermore, record in an extremely quiet place. Having background noise is not a good idea. “Use smaller spaces, because it’s just better for sound recording.”
  • DO NOT to use your phone’s voice recorder when recording INTERVIEWS. The quality and dynamics of the audio may be affected by factors such as proximity to the microphone.
  • Audacity is your second-best friend. Even people who aren’t beginners will find that Audacity is an excellent audio editing software.
  • During an interview, take notes. That’ll make post-production editing easier.
  • Consistency is crucial. “If you’re consistent enough, you’ll get pretty far pretty quickly”.
  • Creativity is key. 

This conversation with Simmi proves that following your dream can take many forms. Although the road might be bumpy, has a few potholes, and has sharp bends, eventually, you will make it to your destination.  

Key quotes from this podcast episode:

  • “There’s no rules to this thing. Do what you want to do and be cool with it.” (06:11 – 06:19)
  • “The amount of time it takes to record a podcast, it should take you double the amount to edit it…”  (28:29 – 28:33)
  • “…use smaller spaces, because it’s just better for sound recording.” (28:57 – 29:01)
  • “If you’re consistent enough, you’ll get pretty far pretty quickly” (29:48 – 29:52)
  • “I dig talking to people about podcasts. It’s a cool thing for me. I have all the time in the world for it.” (36:53 – 36:58)

A breakdown the episode on themes/interesting points (with time stamps):

(01:30 – 04:20) From a comedian to a podcaster: what inspired Simmi to begin a podcaster 

(22:32 – 25:20) Equipment to use for recording/recording equipment

(25:21 – 28:36) Tips on audio editing techniques and the editing software to use

(28:37 – 21:20) Improving your recordings/ Tricks on improving quality of your audio

(29:21 – 30:19) Biggest challenges as a podcaster 

(30:20 – 33:56) Podcasts to lookout for/Podcasts Simmi is listening to:

Get in touch with Simmi: