Celebrating 100 Episodes of ‘Unsigned 518’
The “Unsigned 518” podcast has developed into a platform for collaboration and song exposure for musicians in the Capital Region. Since host Andy Scullin is not only a local musician but also a true asset to the creative community, people enjoy the weekly show because it features real bands and artists from the area. The 100th episode of Unsigned 518 is being celebrated this week on Nippertown.com. We talked to Scullin about the history of the podcast and how it has changed the music scene in the area.
A Labor of Love
Andy’s passion for local music is the heart of “Unsigned 518.” “My love of local music and the community it creates was my main inspiration,” he shared. He wants to give artists a place where “they can kind of control their own narrative and be heard in a voice that is 100% theirs.” This is a simple but important goal. This approach has helped musicians, who often have day jobs and pay for their art on their own, get the attention they deserve.
Memorable Episodes and Moments
There is something special about every episode of “Unsigned 518,” but for Andy, there are a few that stand out. He remembers what it was like to talk to Caitlin Barker from Candy Ambulance and get an inside look at how she comes up with her ideas. “I still say that my favorite episode was having Caitlin Barker on the show, as I’ve been a big Candy Ambulance fan since long before this podcast existed. Actually, since long before ShortWave RadioBand (Scullin’s band) even existed. It was really cool to sit down and have a conversation with her about her creative process. Hearing the stories firsthand while sitting in her living room, about the songs that I’m a huge fan of was just amazing.“
Having hip-hop artist JB aka Dirty Moses perform his unreleased song “Prosecco” in Andy’s garage, which was suitably named the Dazzle Den, was another highlight. “One of my favorite moments of the show was when JB aka Dirty Moses came out to the Dazzle Den to record an episode, because I was definitely a fan of JB before I ever met him. He played his song “Prosecco” which had not been released at the time. So, here I was in the Dazzle Den (aka my garage) with multi-award winning hip-hop star, JB aka Dirty Moses, cranking his new song that had not been heard by anyone outside of his inner-circle. That was truly a memorable moment for me.“
Reflecting on Diversity and Unity
Looking back, Andy wishes he had diversified the show’s musical coverage from the start, incorporating more hip-hop, folk, and experimental noise acts. Nevertheless, he is pleased with the progress made. What did you learn most from the first 100 episodes? “The best lesson from the first 100 episodes is if you decide to make an orange hat your logo, brand and identity, you’d better get used to wearing that orange hat.
“No, but seriously what I have learned is that there are so many people in the 518 creating original music, and if we all work together, we will strengthen the scene. All I want is Unity. We are a small demographic and if we create division and are made to choose sides, it will not benefit anyone and will certainly hurt the musicians. I think we are lucky to have such a supportive scene here in the 518, but there is still work to be done if we are to fully unify the artists, musicians and the scene itself.
The future of “Unsigned 518” is bright and ambitious. Andy plans to add a video component, transforming it into a TV talk-show format with musical guests, titled “Unsigned518’s Late Night at the Hive.” Beyond expanding the podcast, Andy envisions growing the Nippertown/Unsigned518 network with new projects and potential sponsorships.
In a way, “Unsigned 518” is more than just a podcast; it is a movement in the area. It’s about celebrating and uniting the diverse talents within the Capital Region, proving that music, when nurtured by a supportive community, can thrive in the most inspiring ways.
New episodes of “Unsigned 518” are released every Tuesday at 11 a.m. on Nippertown.com and available at all your favorite podcast outlets, including Spotify, Amazon and Apple.