In 2017, Ken Grand-Pierre started a podcast called The 405 Exchange. Since January (but really since May) the series has grown into a mainstay at the 405, featuring the most candid/in-depth interviews with new artists, as well as your favourite musicians. But we recognize that it can be hard to keep up with a show, especially one that’s close to having released 100 episodes. So to make things easier for you we’ve compiled a list of our ten-standout episodes. This isn’t about best vs. worst, it’s a list to showcase the episodes that best capture the spirit of what the show is all about: conversation, and nothing but.

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1: Jacob Banks (UK)

This Birmingham native amazed us in 2017 with his powerful voice and poignant lyrics. Back in April he released the stellar EP, The Boy Who Cried Freedom, and he’s currently embarking on his project ‘The Village.’ Ken Grand-Pierre calls him ‘The Truth’ and this talk is all about why.


2: K Flay (America)

One of those acts you always root for, and feel that sense of elation after seeing them win. This was the year that K.Flay achieved her dreams, and the best part is she’s still the humble/honest/lovely human being that she’s always been. Ken Grand-Pierre linked up with her while she toured arenas in the states with Imagine Dragons, to discuss the Crush Me Book project and how her brain works.


3: Fishbach (France)

Creativity is more innate for some acts then others, and nothing shows this more than the debut album by Fishbach. A Ta Merci is an album that’s schizophrenic, yet graceful at the same time, which are some of the best ways to describe its creator. Ken Grand-Pierre linked up with her in Brooklyn, during her first ever US trip, to discuss her album over some afternoon cigarettes.


4: Loyle Carner (UK)

The originators of hip-hop probably would’ve never imagined for the spirit of hip-hop to translate so well in the UK. For a person like Loyle Carner to be both so faithful to the genre, while also pushing it forward the way he has, is nothing short of remarkable. The biggest achievement of his debut album, Yesterday’s Gone, is that it’s a wholly honest album. Ken Grand-Pierre linked up with him in Brooklyn to dissect the album and delve into Loyle Carners truth.


5: Dream Wife (UK)

What is it they say? Youth is wasted on the young? What a bullshit saying. Nowadays, you see so many examples that combat that old way of thinking. A prime example are Brighton bred punk/pop group Dream Wife. They’ve had a massive year, and 2018 is going to be even bigger with the release of their debut album. Ken Grand-Pierre linked up with them in Brooklyn to discuss how their band got together, and the ethos of what Dream Wife is all about (also the origin story of the ‘Bad Bitches Club’)


6: Little Dragon (Sweden)

You’d be hard-pressed to think of a band that knows themselves better than Little Dragon. Throughout their career they’ve released beautiful album after album, with their most recent album Season High being full of their brand of artfully bliss pop. New York has become a second home for them, and this year saw the Swedish legends headlining the Apollo Theater for the first time. Ken Grand-Pierre linked up with them a few days before their performance at the Apollo, to discuss how Season High came to be.


7: LPX (America)

Neon Gold has become a staple in the indie world, and that’s definitely largely due to the enthusiasm of studio head, Lizzy Plapinger. After devoting her life to Neon Gold and MSMR, Lizzy found herself going solo this year with her latest project, LPX. It’s a project where she combines dance with power punk; essentially the spirit of having fun. Ken Grand-Pierre linked up with her at Neon Gold’s HQ, to find out how drunken NYC nights inspired LPX.


8: Mura Masa (UK)

The tracklist of Mura Masa’s debut album is filled with the type of collaborators people spend their whole lives trying to work with. The young Guernsey born Alex Crossan proved himself immensely with his album, both as a songwriter and producer. It all seems like it’d make sense as a project, but Ken Grand-Pierre’s in-depth discussion with Crossan goes into just how unlikely success was for Crossan.


9: Mondo Cozmo (America)

One of the goals with these talks is to have musicians be at their most bare and most heartfelt. To showcase a level of openness that you can only find here. This talk with Joshua Keith Ostrander (aka Mondo Cozmo) is a prime example of what the goal of the podcast is. Ostrander has always been a road warrior in the states, a man constantly pushing himself with his projects. With Mondo Cozmo, he found a way to meld a compromise of pop hooks with a wide-array of eclectic sounds. Ken Grand-Pierre has gotten to know Ostrander a bit throughout the year, and this talk is them both reflecting and looking forward.


10: Songhoy Blues (Africa)

The story of Songhoy Blues has been written about numerous times, but to have it told audibly causes the magic of their story to resonate so vividly. After forming in Mali, the band has traveled the world and won crowds over with their distinct dedication towards being lost within their passions. When it comes to Songhoy Blues, it’s clearly only just about the music, which made them such fitting guests for our podcast series. Ken Grand-Pierre linked up with them in downtown Manhattan a few hours before a show they performed at Bowery Ballroom.

Other noteworthy episodes:

Nick Mulvey, Nicole Mago/VERITE, Zola Jesus, Sorcha Richardson, Anik Khan.

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You can subscribe to the 405 Exchange podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Play, and Overcast. You can also listen to the podcast over at Pippa.