“Imagine a conversation between you and your favorite person, and you both just happen to be audiophiles who feel a deep connection to music artistry. That’s Queue Points.”
This series is all about Libsyn podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
Q & A with DJ Sir Daniel & Jay Ray from Queue Points
When did you start podcasting?
DJ Sir Daniel: My original podcast was 2008 or 2009 when Drama Dupree and I got together and started Better Days Radio, which was a weekly podcast. We talked a lot about entertainment. We also talked about news that was affecting the gay community.
Quite honestly, we were there before podcasts got popular. Matter of fact, Kid Fury [co-host of The Read] was a guest on one of our shows.
Jay Ray: Really? That’s crazy! So, I didn’t start podcasting until 2015. I had been listening to podcasts since like 2009. Podcasting became my car routine because I would get stuck driving in the snow all the time living in Michigan.
I decided to make my first podcast in 2015. It was called Seeing Sounds, and was an interview show talking to artists and creators about their work. The show eventually became a show centering on LGBTQ+ creatives. In between, I have produced a number of podcasts, including managing several in my role as Creative Director for CNP.
I worked as a producer with Sir Daniel on his Shuffle & Repeat Podcast in 2017. It was a lot of fun, and the last two shows that we did were shows with a live audience.
SD: That’s correct. And we had at least three or four really great shows. One I’m most proud is the interview I did with DJ Jazzy Joyce.
Why did you start podcasting?
SD: So the very first time, I don’t know. I think it was just a conversation between Drama and I. We didn’t know exactly what it could have been. There was no such thing as monetizing. There was no such thing as being syndicated on platforms like Spotify and stuff like that.
We just thought we had a unique view. First of all, we’re both Black gay men, chunky large guys, and we wanted to capitalize on that. We wanted to talk about the things that we just didn’t hear being spoken. The stories being left out.
I think a lot of things like that start off as “it’ll just be a fun thing for us to do” to get our name out there and just continue becoming. I don’t know what we wanted to be, but we just knew we wanted our voices heard.
JR: So one of the reasons I started podcasting is I’ve always been interested in having conversations about art and art is such a part of my life. Other people say I have an interesting point of view, so it was a chance for me to expand on that. I started the show as an interview show, because it gave me an excuse to talk to people about their work.
And I also felt like I was helping, which is another part of my personality. I want to feel like I’m helping somebody to do something. And I think now, it’s the same thing with us. Like I get a chance to talk to Sir Daniel on a weekly basis. I get a chance to have interesting conversations about stuff that I believe is meaningful, and we are talking to an audience that has a voice that over the time, has been muted or overlooked.
What is the name of your show and what is it about?
JR: Our show is called Queue Points, and it is a weekly video podcast. We talk about all things Black music and Black music history.
SD: Imagine a conversation between you and your favorite person, and the both of you just happen to be audiophiles who feel a deep connection to music artistry. That’s what Queue Points is.
Queue Points is also an intentional effort to create a time capsule that pays homage to a lot of the foundations of popular music today — music that was built on the backs of Black people. We give props to the people who are unsung, who didn’t necessarily receive the recognition they deserved for a lot of the things that are super popular right now.
JR: I absolutely agree. Over the course of our lifetime we have these experiences with artists and songs that are meaningful. And some of those artists go on to become huge superstars that the world knows, but a lot of them don’t. We remember them, what they created sits in our hearts, in our bellies and in our entire bodies. Queue Points is a way for us to excavate these individuals whose work lives in our bones.
SD: It allows us to give a name to those emotions that we were feeling and give it a historical context, because music was reflecting a lot of what was happening at the time when we were growing up. Nine times out of 10, things that are happening today were being discussed during those times in the music. So, it’s fun to connect those dots.
What’s your podcast set up?
JR: In order to make Queue Points go on a weekly basis, we use ECamm Live to handle all of our production. Restream handles all of our multi-streaming capabilities.
We create our graphics using Canva. All of our editing is done using Descript. We use Descript every day for just about everything to get Queue Points done. We also use Bigvu as our teleprompter when we are doing our Instagram reels and stuff for TikTok.
Our entire website is built using Subhub, which is a membership website that people can log into. We house all of our videos in VadooTV. Last but not least, we use Libsyn as our amazing podcast hosting platform.
For me, I use a Logitech Streamcam, a Zoom ZDM-1 mic and a Scarlett 2i2 USB interface. Everything is powered by a M1 Mac Mini.
SD: Well, my setup is not as fancy, but I do use a Macbook Pro. I use the FaceTime camera on the laptop for my camera. I use a Blue Yeti microphone, and I typically wear Beats by Dre headphones to listen to the conversation.
And as far as the background, because I am a DJ and specialize in vinyl, you will see my vinyl records are a major part of my backdrop. I also use some lights to give it a little razzle-dazzle, and you’ll see some books in the background as well that have a lot to do with music history.
Every week I like to rearrange the records so that you see something different and sometimes the records will reflect the topic of the show or the artists that we’re discussing.
How have you promoted your podcast?
SD: We promote our podcast on various social media platforms individually and under the umbrella of Queue Points. We have Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to talk. Our videos are housed in a live broadcast, and they can be seen on YouTube, as well.
What’s the process for the video responses again?
JR: Oh yeah, I forgot about that. We use Warm Welcome to collect responses to questions from our listeners through text, audio or video. We post responses from our listeners to our social media to promote.
SD: Also, we use MailChimp to maintain contact with our subscribers, and send out various emails to update them about the show.
JR: I think a cool way that we have promoted the show is by having other podcasters on the show to talk about their shows. And collectively and individually we have been on other people’s shows, too, as guests. So that has helped with building our audience as well.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
SD: I wish I would have invested in more equipment before it got too popular, because now everybody’s driven the price up of everything. Podcasting equipment is now super expensive.
Other than that, and it’s nothing that can’t change, but I think you’ve [Jay Ray] done a really good job of linking the show and yourself to other associations, to the podcast community — more specifically, the Black podcast community. I wish I would have tapped into that a lot earlier. On a personal level, I wish I would’ve known my voice a lot earlier, because who knows where this could have gone if I had known my voice early or the power of my voice earlier, but you know, hindsight, right?
JR: It’s interesting that you have had that revelation. I’ve said this to you [Sir Daniel], but I’m still getting comfortable in my voice on the show. To know me is to know that I’m very good behind the scenes. That’s a comfort zone for me, being out front is less so. I wish I had more trust in my voice sooner.
I also wish I had more of a grasp on the marketing pieces when we started. You [Sir Daniel] were really good about getting us out front, but I didn’t have a good handle on that at first.
DJ Sir Daniel and Jay Ray talk about all things Black music and Black music history in their weekly video podcast Queue Points. An intentional effort to create a time capsule that pays homage to a lot of the foundations of popular music today — music built on the backs of Black people— it is a podcast for audiophiles who feel a deep connection to music artistry. Give it a listen today on Apple!
DJ Sir Daniel and Jay Ray had a need to excavate Black music heroes that are unsung, to have conversations with Black artists and Black musicians, paying homage to the deep and meaningful history of Black music. Are you aching to share your road less traveled? Use our Start Your Podcast blog series to start your own podcast today. And, when you are ready, we have the best podcast hosting plans around!