Not all the homework assignments professors make students do are busywork. Some of them can lead to a great success story.
Halen Hubbard has been attending Utah Valley University for the past two years and is going into his junior year. While taking a culture and media communications class here at UVU, he decided to create a podcast for an assignment.
“In the Media and Culture class, the goal is to learn what people want to see and hear,” said UVU Professor Scott McDonald.. “Halen has his own taste in music and its surrounding culture. Rather than drive his work to what may be popular to a large segment of the public, he has worked to develop what he considered the core of the essence of the headbanger sound. That is brave. With every episode, he tries to get the ‘truth’ of the genre. And that is why I am so proud of his efforts.”
Hubbard releases new podcast episodes on Spotify every other Sunday. In one of Hubbard’s most recent episodes, he decided to record while going live on Instagram. In less than a week Hubbard’s fanbase on Instagram, @theheadbangerpodcast, has grown by 200 followers, now at 1,300+ followers. He continues posting rock-n-roll-related memes as well as podcast announcements.
“So far, my favorite episode of ‘The Headbanger Podcast’ is ‘Episode #4: A Night At The Opera,’” said Kayla Miller, a UVU student majoring in elementary education. “This was one of his best episodes, in my opinion. I love that he goes in-depth on the stories of people who make music, not just the music itself. From what I know, music tends to mean more to people when they have an understanding of the people who created it.”
“I’ve always wanted to do a podcast,” Hubbard said. “I love music and I enjoy listening to music podcasts, but none of them felt ‘real’ to me. It felt like I was listening to a lecture on music. I wanted a podcast that felt like how I talked to my friends about music as we sat and listened to an entire vinyl record. I made the podcast for myself so that I could have a podcast that I’ve always wanted to listen to.”
One of “The Headbanger Podcast” episodes consists of Hubbard talking about albums, artists and music history while also making comments about how interesting the music is. However, from time to time there are special episodes that involve bands. Four episodes feature local bands Lemon Tree Grove, One Punch Opie, and Get The Paramedic. “I found the bands from just being part of the community for so long. I have taught guitar for five years which has exposed me to a lot of other musicians around the community. Recently, from growing my Instagram, I’ve had a couple of bands reach out to me from Sweden and other parts of the US,” said Hubbard. “I would like to see this podcast just keep getting bigger and bigger. I would like to expand the podcast to have a video element in the near future. But in the long term, I would like to put on full concerts by the podcast where the bands get to show off their music to a live audience. I’ve also thought of expanding the podcast to different forms of media such as having a regular magazine go along with it and possibly even an internet radio station.”