Style & Vibes: A podcast exploring Caribbean art, music, culture & travel

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Caribbean National Weekly announces the return of the Style & Vibes podcast.

After a year-long hiatus, the Style & Vibes podcast is back. The podcast landscape has sorely missed the insightful cultural commentary of Jamaican-American, New York-based host, Mikelah Rose Malcolm, who, with a rotation of guests, tackles topics about Caribbean art, music, culture, and travel.

Born of Necessity

According to Malcolm, Style & Vibes was born out of necessity. “There are so many who love our culture from the outside in,” begins Malcolm on episode zero of her podcast. “I wanted to explore [our culture] from the inside out.” 

The Caribbean is famous around the world, but through half-formed impressions and stereotypes. To some, the Caribbean is endless beaches – a forever paradise. Yet to others, it’s a hotbed for toxicity and violence.

The truth, of course, is both somewhere in the middle and off that spectrum altogether. The Caribbean might as well be a continent for how varied the culture is from nation to nation, and how much that culture evolves with each passing year. “There are so many layers to who we are as a people, and there’s so many people I’ve come in touch with over the years in print and digital journalism, that I really wanted to create a space to have engaging conversations with them,” Malcolm explained.

This mission flows through the entire platform. “The name was the first thing I had ever thought of – it was really indicative of our culture,” she explained on her Don’t Call it a Comeback episode last November. ‘Vibes’ has always been an all-encompassing word within the region to speak about culture and energy. Malcolm further expounded on the naming process. “Style is something we evoke. [It’s] not just how we dress, but it’s how we ‘boassy’. It’s how we dance, and it’s how we approach people.”

Caribbean Cultural Impact

As a marketer and culture connoisseur, she noticed the ways Caribbean culture was the prototype for many developments across the globe. “The impact of the Caribbean culture can be felt worldwide – the music at the stadiums, fashion on the runway, [etc.]” She was having these conversations within her friend groups and taking her thoughts to her blog. It was then her friend, fellow podcaster, and founder of the podcast production company Breadfruit Media, Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown, suggested she start her own show.

She was reluctant at first. “I was really tied to traditional media,” she admitted. “I loved magazines. I loved books, articles and reading. It was hard for me to let go.” For a time she tried to balance both mediums, but it stretched her to her limits. “I was my own writer, my own editor, my own copy editor, my own graphic designer,” she laughed. “I was distributing it, I was creating the content for social media to promote it, I was setting up full campaigns to get it out there.”

What finally pushed her all the way was realizing the strength of podcasting. Malcolm could have longer conversations, cut less of it, and not worry about the constant churn of daily articles needed to keep a written outlet afloat. “I’ve never looked back. I think I can write and contribute as a writer at my own pace, when I’m ready to do that again.”

Style & Vibes can be found on all podcast streaming platforms.

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