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The Brisbane podcaster asking young creatives how they do it

Illustration by Twylamae

Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

The young and the restless.

Being recommended a new podcast is a complicated thing. On one hand, you’ve definitely got a backlog of a dozen titles you’ve been ‘meaning to get to’. But on the other, you’ve got a serious obsession that needs to be fuelled.

Today’s recommendation to add to your list: themodernyouth, hosted by Romaan Asche.

Asche is a 22-year-old student studying Film Production in Brisbane. Besides aspirations of writing and directing short films, she’s recently discovered a passion for podcasts.

She cites her personal favourites as How I Built This, Creative Rebels, and Views by David Dobrik and Jason Nash. But while stories of creative and entrepreneurial success always fascinated her, she found herself searching for more detail on how exactly these established successful types had reached that point.

“I didn’t understand how they worked hard all the time,” Asche explains, “or I’d think ‘they are 20+ years older than me, I could never get there’.”

This desire to tease out the intricacies of a rags-to-riches journey birthed her idea for a podcast. The concept was relatively simple: interviewing people her own age who were trying to turn their passions into careers.

As you’ll hear in the podcast’s intro, Asche believes “everyone starts from somewhere, and it’s definitely not a glamorous process”. She’s watched friends from school – who would become themodernyouth’s first guests – delve into side hustles, trying to break into various creative industries while still attending uni or working.

Guests on the podcast’s first four episodes include an illustrator, a fashion designer, a filmmaker, and a model. Asche quizzes each of these up-and-comers on what inspired them to get into their respective careers, how they got their starts, and the obstacles they’ve faced along the way.

The goal of these interviews is to pull back the curtain, inspiring other young people to give their dreams a fair go. It’s not necessarily a rule book, outlining steps x, y and z to becoming a model or getting published, but it’s an example of what’s possible. Each guest details how hard they worked, how they’ve wrangled clever connections to help them on their way, and how far they’re still looking to go in their fields.

As the podcast grows, Asche aspires to carve out a community of these ambitious creatives. “I envision a place where new up-and-comers can have an opportunity to show their work, network and grow – possibly for the first time or the 100th. Like one big creative space,” she muses.

There are hints of this in each existing episode, where Asche creates a casual, comfortable and supportive tone. There’s an element of relatability and youthfulness to the conversation, with plenty of giggling, tangents and endearing high school anecdotes. But, a surprising amount of honesty and emotion surfaces as well, as guests recount their struggles with grief, mental illness, body image and self-esteem.

Asche is excited at the thought of expanding themodernyouth, branching out into different industries like science, sport and business to find diverse guests.

“I am always looking through social media, magazines, podcasts and word-of mouth to find inspiration and new things,” she says.

For now, you can listen to her interviews with inspirational creatives on themodernyouth here.

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