Interview: Cody Cooper, FreeTown Radio

Cody Cooper is a senior Communication Studies major at Rowan University. He is the founder of the podcast FreeTown Radio which is a Soundcloud based podcast which creates weekly posts exploring topics such as music, fashion, and other forms of media. What is perhaps most interesting about FreeTown Radio is the inspiration behind its creation. Cooper began producing the podcast after receiving an assignment from a Participatory Media class last semester. I sat down with Cooper to discuss this along with his other inspirations for not only creating, but continuing this project.  

Nah’Ja Washington: What was the initial assignment that was given in your Participatory Media class that inspired you to create FreeTown Radio?

Cody Cooper: Freetown Radio was created through a semester long media project in my Participatory Media course from last winter.. within that assignment we had to create a medium using any platform we desire and choose a source of social media to promote it and I chose to create a podcast on SoundCloud and promote through Instagram and Twitter

NW: Have you ever listened to Podcasts in the past? If so, what podcasts were they?

CC: Yes I have, I still do.. I listen to The Brilliant Idiots podcast, Flagrant 2 podcast, Taxstone podcast, and Joe Rogan podcast

NW: What made you want to continue your podcast long after the class has ended?

CC: Creating a podcast let alone being on the radio was something I always desired to do til this day but I wanted to continue the podcast due to the feedback and views I was receiving not only by my peers but fans and listeners that I’ve over time through the interviews that I conduct and the subject matter I discuss

NW: What type of themes/topics do you explore on FreeTown Radio?

CC: In my podcast I strive to provide a positive outlet for those of the creative spectrum to express their thoughts in an artful way. I have always been captivated by hip-hop, journalism, interviews, photography, and documentaries especially. With that being said, nearly a year ago I’ve established my own podcast to explore the avenues of visual and performing arts and interview those of that nature including rappers, videographers, guitarist, designers and etc. The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths, however, in the near future, I’m building towards establishing a media/news company to exhibit talented artists.

NW: You post weekly to SoundCloud is that a hard medium to use? Tell me about the logistics, how does it work?

CC: When I’m active yes I post an episode weekly to SoundCloud and no the medium is not difficult to use.. a lot of my audience and the artist that I associate myself with are self-efficient which is the sole definition of SoundCloud. It’s a big world on SoundCloud but it breeds self-efficiency in your work, mine just happens to be journalism within podcasting. Everything I do, is done by myself, everything I approach is DIY but always extending an arm If i need help. On SoundCloud it is very attainable and easy to use whether you’re posting or listening to a record. The only thing that I must keep up to date with is my payments every month to have a certified premium account on SoundCloud.. due to having hour-long episodes, that takes up data space on your account so I basically have pay every month in order to have unlimited data to keep my episodes up.. I don’t mind because it’s an investment in my craft

NW: What do you think makes Freetown stand out in comparison to others?

CC: What makes my outlet stand out from others is the type of research I conduct for my interviews.. I wish to provide information for my audience and the interviewee’s audience that they would never know about through their craft

Cooper was very proud of his work, throughout this interview he spoke with pride. The amount of work in which he inputted into the media he produced for his podcast was obvious. Not only by the stern look of hard work and dedication in which he wore on his face throughout the duration of the interview but also on his Instagram and other personal social media accounts. Cooper uses his Instagram (@codycooperrr) as a continuous advertisement for FreeTown. Unlike other college students while searching through Coopers 180 posts on the app I could not find one selfie, not one clear picture of his face, every post ether featured an article of clothing, a music artist, or another picture that was way too cool for me to comprehend. Cooper says that it is very important for him to develop his social media as a platform for his work.

CC: I post what interests me and that’s not necessarily pictures of my face or a drink from Starbucks with some artsy background. If I have 869 people who are going to view my post regardless of what it is, why not make it important to me? I don’t post this stuff to be pretentious, however (make sure you include that he whispers) I just hope that one day I can be an inspiration to those who have inspired me.