2018 saw the continued growth of The 405 Exchange Podcast. Throughout the year, host/show creator Ken Grand-Pierre had insightful talks with various creatives about not just their processes, but also their life experiences. This list is a small sample of the talks Grand-Pierre is most proud of, due to the explorations of death, ambition, identity, recovery, love and hope. We look forward to bringing you more talks this year.

1: Victor Solf (France)

Easily put, this is one of the most important talks we’ll ever release. In 2017, Victor Solf lost his best friend, Simon Carpentier to cancer. On this podcast, Ken Grand-Pierre reconnects with Victor to discuss the process of finishing the album he and Simon were working on (as the group, Her) while also being candid about his experience with his loss.

2: Zeke Thomas (America)

The conversations of sexual assault are crucial to our society moving forward. What we don’t often hear is the perspective of black men who’re part of the LGBTQ community. On this talk, Ken Grand-Pierre talks to Zeke Thomas about the aftermath of his assault, and the process of rebuilding his life with the desire to help others.

3: Jade Bird (UK)

One of the most promising acts to emerge in 2018, and to think she’s from Hexham. What makes this talk stand out is how vibrant and open Jade is in regards to her ambitions. She believes in herself, and 2018 gave her great reason to. Within this talk with Ken Grand-Pierre she discusses why music means the world to her.

4: Naaz (Holland)

Within the US and UK, we’re raised to see music as an act of pure rebellion. As a means to fight against what’s expected of us. But what about those who don’t see it as rebellion? Enter Naaz, the Dutch/Kurdish musician who purely sees music as a form of expression. Within this talk, Ken Grand-Pierre delves into her origin story, and why this unlikely artist is exactly what we needed in 2018.

5: We Are Scientists (America)

It’s quite a marvel that after all this time We Are Scientists have still found ways to reinvent themselves. Their latest album, Megaplex, reminded us why we love these guys while also showcasing a new side of their musical prowess. On this episode, Ken Grand-Pierre reconnects with his old friends and goes into how this album came to be.

6: Matt Mays (Canada)

Know what’s a perspective we don’t often get? That of a rugged touring musician who’s been at it for years. One who’s not about promoting a project, but talking about the realities of life on the road, losing close friends, and trying to strive towards being a better human being. On this episode, Ken Grand-Pierre spoke to Matt Mays about his life and the unexpected journeys he’s taken part in.

7: Yungblud (UK)

This kid is a god damn wild card. But along with that, he’s also one of those painfully self-aware human beings, to the point of being quite remarkable. At first glance, most would see Yungblud and find yourself thinking “is this a joke?” But on this episode, Ken Grand-Pierre learns that he’s one of the most honest (and dare we say, vital) young voices out there.

8: The Pierce Brothers (Australia)

Easily put, this is the funniest episode we’ve made in 2018. The Pierce Brothers are two brothers from Australia who make you look at the Gallaghers and wonder “what was up with those guys?” Because you see with The Pierce Brothers how much that brotherly love can permeate into a special form of creativity. From busking to playing in theaters, this episode sees Ken Grand-Pierre going into their origin story and why being on stage is what they were meant to do.

9: Caroline Rose (America)

Some people can only be themselves and nothing else. Caroline Rose is such a human being, and hell are we grateful for her. Her album, Loner, is a beautiful representation of the zany, erratic, and honest heart that she owns. On this episode, Ken Grand-Pierre hangs with Rose at New York’s Public Library, and together they go into how Loner came to be, as well as how she’s making the music she needs to be making.

10: Camrus Johnson (America)

The hardest thing to be in 2018 was a positive human being. The flip side to that is how other people can remind us of the importance of positivity, which is exactly who Camrus Johnson is. This New York-based actor is the type of person who can be anybody’s friend, the type of person who makes you feel seen and heard. On this episode, Ken Grand-Pierre goes into Camrus’ story, his career, and why he finds smiling to be such an important thing.

(Honorable Mention):

11: Phoebe Bridgers (America)

Made right before she sold out a show in Brooklyn. This candid talk offers great insight into the mind of Phoebe Bridgers, and explores why that “sad girl” moniker is far from who she actually is in every day life. A must listen to both those who are and aren’t familiar with Bridgers music.

Check out the Top 10 Podcast Episodes of 2017 here.