Brilliant Voices Teaches Milwaukee Youth How to Start Podcasts for Free

Free Audio Program for Black and Brown Voices

Brilliant Voices is helping Milwaukee Black and Brown youth create their own media companies through podcasting. The free audio program started in 2021 is the social arm of Audio Moguls Media, originally named Optimistic Soundz. Audio Moguls Media is an audio content and tech company developing an ecosystem of audio intellectual property where every song, podcast, and audio becomes a digital asset.

Mwanje Thompson.
Mwanje Thompson. (Picture by Liyah Sumner/Carvd N Stone)

Brilliant Voices teaches students how to create, record, distribute, and monetize podcasts to kickstart a career in media. The program aims to help students learn foundational entrepreneurship and technology skills through real-world experiences.

Founder Mwanje Thompson created his brand to give the youth their power back through storytelling.

“When you share your story, there are so many people out there you can relate and can connect with,” he said.

How to Run an Efficient Podcast

Thompson has been podcasting since 2016 and says it’s an efficient and engaging way to connect with an audience. Thompson, Reese Berrayy, and LaCie came together to start the Young, Black & Opinionated podcast. The three young Black millennials discuss popular topics in today’s society on a weekly basis.

When it comes to running a podcast, Thompson said it’s about consistency.

“It keeps your listeners engaged. When you’re inconsistent you lose a lot of listeners. You lose the opportunity to keep your momentum with your podcast,” said Thompson. “A lot of times listeners work you into their lives…so consistency is important.”

He added that consistency also helps with your analytics and attaining funding.

Youth and Web 3 Technology

Through Brilliant Voices, he’s giving Milwaukee’s youth a chance to not only create but own their content.

“You can create your own mini-community through podcasting,” he said.

Thompson believes podcasting is a chance for our youth to counteract the negative storylines. He’s showing the community that we can change the city one story at a time.

Brilliant Voices recently held its first youth cohort in July that focused on podcasting, entrepreneurship, and Web 3 technology. The justice-involved cohort starts in Fall 2022.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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