A date with Spotify

and a get-together with the ISWIS podcast

Zainab Balogun O.
8 min readOct 18, 2023

It was a splendid time for an unplanned date & I’ll let you in on it.

Thursday, October 12 could’ve either been a regular day or one where I’m out of the house poking my nose in a place that didn’t directly concern me. I chose the latter because:

  1. Spotify was the host
  2. Even though the event called only podcasters, I could easily pretend to be one, a wannabe & maybe I’d even be convinced to become a podcaster myself &…
  3. For the free food

Getting registered

reg. tags

Registering for the event was easy, I thought there would be a bigger catch but apparently all that’s needed was an interest in the podcasting space. And one thing about me, I do love & listen to good podcasts & so the interest wasn’t lacking at all.

A little backstory: before I even found out about the Spotify for Podcasts event, I had seen an invite to a live show by my favorite Podcast; I Said What I Said(ISWIS). I wasn’t fast enough to register for it though & so I didn’t secure a seat, sadly. My friend, Tori, however, was quick & so she got one.

Back to the main gist

After registering for the Spotify for Podcasters event online, I was emailed the location & that’s when I noticed it was at the same venue as the ISWIS live show I couldn’t get an invite to. That made me even more glad because maybe there was a chance I could sneak into the live show after haha.

Anyway, we (Tori & I) made our way to the Podcasters event on the 12th slated to begin by 10 a.m. We got there early enough so there was plenty of time to connect & take pictures before anything serious started.

our picture made it to their official page :)

10 a.m. — Time to begin

The hall was beautifully decorated. They had couches for seats, each with a branded pillow that I badly wanted to smuggle home. The ambiance was cool & the temperature was just right.

very good lighting too

African time though, because the event didn’t start at exactly 10 as intended. Spent the waiting time absorbing & appreciating the surrounding.

the soft & cute pillow I didn’t smuggle home :|

About 30 mins later, Kaylah Oniwo strolled in smartly dressed to perform host duties. We did some breathing exercises & a little warm-up to get ready for the talk.

event host; Kaylah

Ncebakazi Manzi, Spotify podcast manager at SSA was the 1st speaker & her topic was something about starting & growing a podcast. Perfect for me eh?

Tried taking notes but I ended up overly tapping on my phone rather than listening so I dropped it & just listened, notes will be fine. Ncebakazi made solid points though: creating a trailer episode before diving into the podcast, banking episodes, creating a content calendar, doing colabs & promo swaps, etc.

While that was on, a friend who had seen a picture I posted sent a message asking if I was going to attend the ISWIS show after. Told him I didn’t have a ticket & then he did something shocking.

He sent me an RSVP link to register for the ISWIS show! I mean how? wasn’t it already closed? With my heart in my mouth, I put in my details & immediately got an email to confirm my attendance for the ISWIS show slated for 4 pm. I internally screamed!

I’d already made up my mind to find my way back home after the current talk & now plans have changed. For the better. In a few hours, I’d get to see my ISWIS girls!

Anyhoo, the next agenda involved 4-panel speakers who were podcasters old in the game for a discussion. I only recognized Dami Aros of So Nigerian from Twitter & Tony Doe by name from Linkedin. That went on, it was quite engaging & I’m sure people got value out of it. My future-podcasting-self included :)

Dami Aros with the mic.

The session (first round) ended around 12:30 pm & then it was time for a brunch break.

Brunch was sweets basically. Maybe even too sweet, only the sandwich & chicken disappeared from my plate completely. But it was good regardless.

my glass of juice didn’t make the shot

After eating, I went to snag my souvenir which was a tote bag containing a journal, pen, & a mug. All Spotify branded. cute.

proudly a Spotify ambassador

Now if at this point, I hadn’t secured an impromptu ticket to the ISWIS show later in the day, I’d have made my way home. But I did & so all I needed to do was wait for 4 p.m.

1 pm — 2nd session?

The 2nd session was one with Joey Akan to discuss with a guest on the topic — Afrobeats Intelligence. We didn’t need to have registered ahead for this session so we just strolled in. Anything worthy enough to pass the time while waiting for 4 p.m. was very much welcome.

The session ran until about 3:30 p.m.

ISWIS session drawing closer, and excitement was building up 🚀

Lunch break

Lunch was more of small chops this time. Really delicious small chops if I may add. Cleared about 60% of my plate, careful not to cause a ruckus in my tummy.

3:45 pm— It’s ISWIS time!!

After lunch, Tori advised registering to go in immediately so we could secure front-row seats & she wasn’t wrong at all. We went in early enough & got seats at the very front. Splendid view.

my girls, Jola & FK sitting pretty

Again, African time, because the event didn't begin by exactly 4 pm, we waited 30mins extra before the girls Jola Ayeye & FK Abudu walked in looking absolutely stunning!

FK with the theatrics of how her beautiful shoe broke while entering the venue & so she got it replaced but needed everyone to see how beautiful the shoes were so even in its broken state, placed it in front of her on the stage. “Deeply unserious”

featuring FK’s broken but nice looking shoes & Nissi, the artist

So before the show actually started, we were given cards to ask them questions. I asked a silly one hoping it’d get answered & we’d all share a laugh off it.

OG listeners know who Dehkunle is ;)

Surprised to see it was actually picked to be answered by Jola & her response was; “I assure you humanity will be extinct”. If you say so babes 🤭

Anyway, they answered more questions while joined by guests: Pheelz, Mr producer & Nissi, the artist.

I enjoyed Pheelz’s session more but Nissi’s wasn’t bad either.

Nissi had just released an album ‘Unboxed’ which speaking of, I should give a listen to as I write this.


not a bad body of work

Okay back with Unboxed’s Heavy currently playing

The Q&As went on, jokes were flying around, & everyone was evidently having fun. I had to pause for a bit to be aware & soak in the moment.

ft. “Pheelz Mr Producer”

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end & this was no exception. They rounded up & disappeared backstage & we (Tori & I) thought we’d missed our chance to get pictures.

But we hadn’t & the event wasn’t done yet.

Draw the curtains

Pheelz, the music producer returned to the stage after the girls had left to perform some of his afro beats productions. It was way more interesting than I thought it would be.

He’s not exactly a singer/artist but the songs he’s produced were bangers & I found myself singing along to most of them. He even produced an afrobeat song from scratch on the spot with the company of 3 people from the audience. Everyone vibed to his performance, it was a worthy curtain drawer on the event tbh.

a vibe

6:30 pm — Go home

Spotify: you didn’t think we’d let you leave before serving you dinner did you?

And they did just that.

The last meal for the day was good old rice in multiple flavors. Snagged the Jollof because you can never go wrong with Jollof & it wasn’t disappointing one bit. The first meal I cleared 100% of my plate.

served in a cute mug

After the meal, the next step was supposed to be to home.

Or so I thought until we spotted Jola & FK from afar. No way we’d pass up the chance to take pictures with them.

And we did! It was surreal.

We even chatted with FK for a while & she indulged us mentioning there’d be a bigger live show in December. I absolutely must get tickets, hopefully, I’ll be fast enough this time haha.

Tori & I with Jolz (left) & FK (right), beautiful girls

Past 7 pm — Bowing out

My date with Spotify & the unexpected gathering with I Said What I Said(ISWIS) was an absolutely amazing time. Regrets? zero. If anything I’m glad I poked my head even if I wasn’t a podcaster or a direct audience. I learned a thing or 2 & had fun while at it.

It was a Thursday well spent & a major highlight of my October

If/when I eventually ever start a podcast, I’ll remember this as a catalyst, haha 🤞

sayonara 👋

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Zainab Balogun O.

advocate 4 humanity, quality TV shows & 💤. subscribe to my newsletter, some say it's fun https://zigzagzee.substack.com/