Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are teaming up for an eight-episode Spotify podcast series, swapping stories about their upbringing and even a White House solo song around a piano.
The first two episodes of Renegades: USA-born, a conversation recorded at Springsteen’s guitar-filled home studio in New Jersey, were made available on Monday.
Spotify has aggressively moved into podcasts over the past three years, and made other programming announcements on Monday. The audio streaming service has already worked with Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground production company, and the former’s first female podcast is the service’s most popular origin.
The seemingly abusive relationship between the former president and the rock star began when Springsteen demonstrated a benefit for Obama during his presidential campaigns. This is a deep conversation that Obama has held since leaving office.
– Spotify (@Spotify) 22 February, 2021
“He’s a rock ‘n’ roll icon,” he said. “I am a lawyer and politician. Not as cold. And as I remind Bruce every chance, he is more than a decade older than me. “
The men recalled a trip to the White House, with Springsteen playing the piano as Broadway and singing Motown’s tunes.
Obama said, “libel was involved.”
Springsteen uses some of those guitars during the podcast. In that first episode, both men recalled that outsiders are growing up and turning to their fields as a way of finding their voice, which involves little “megalomania.” In later episodes, they talk about racism, paternity and marriage.
His wives, Michelle Obama and Patti Scialfa, also confirmed their friendship.
“We still have a basic belief in the American ideal,” Obama said. “Not as nostalgia. But as a compass.”
Born in the Renegades: USA series, the title referenced one of Springsteen’s biggest hits, and could also be a blatant reference to the “Biether” campaign where Obama’s eventual successor, Donald Trump, falsely suggested that Obama’s Origin is outside the country.
Spotify said that on Monday it was working with Higher Ground on another podcast, Tell them I’m, which compiles stories from Muslim voices and will begin throughout Ramadan.
The service also said that it had reached a deal with Warner Bros. and DC Comics earlier for a series of narrative podcasts with Batman Unbordy. Director Ava DuVernay is participating in a new podcast about high-profile cases of police brutality.
Spotify is also upgrading its voice, announcing that it will debut Spotify HiFi later this year, where members with Spotify-connected speakers can sign up for an augmented quality music stream.