A proud day at KNOTORYUS HQ. Our Very Own Dominique Nzeyimana is launching ‘The Most’, a new interview podcast where she speaks to the greats in fashion, music, art and culture in her Brussels loft. Guests who traveled for an extensive sit-down and conversation include the incredible fashion designer and Antwerp Six member Walter Van Beirendonck, published author and thought leader Dalilla Hermans, world-renowned DJ and radio host Lefto and many more. Seeing Dominique’s concept come to life these past couple of months, from “I want to have my own podcast!” to researching mics, to cursing out technical tutorials, excitedly telling me which guests are agreeing to come on, to getting a go from Apple Podcasts, to finally writing this article, has been a most inspiring ride. As a dedicated pod-stan myself (oh, the trials of snorting out loud while commuting, then immediately seizing up with self-consciousness and clutching your headphone microphone to pretend like you’re having a really lolz phone call at 8 AM), it’s a surreal sensation to have my trusted colleague and friend in my ear giving no-skip truth and inspiration pairing true story-telling with the most amazing line-up of guests (trust).
To give you the full what’s what on this exciting new outlet, I talked to Dominique about the podcast game, love for the craft and doing The Most.
(Immi) KNOTORYUS: D, it’s here! It’s real! Can you recap the story of how and why The Most came to be?
DOMINIQUE NZEYIMANA: I’ve been interviewing designers and musicians and all types of artists & creatives for tv and magazines and books and docs and online media for over fifteen years. For me, it just never gets old. Now, when I do TV I have to get myself and my questions edited out since I’m not (and don’t aspire to be) an on-camera presenter and most of the times you can’t confuse the audience like that. With print or online written media, I always tried to make sure while editing the talk as I received it was reflected as much as possible, but something always gets lost. And how cool is it that with podcasting you can actually hear these people talk, whenever you want? Having the voice of some luminary accompany you while you’re folding laundry or driving or hiking! Podcasts have been a saving grace for me, because I tend to be astoundingly grumpy in the morning and I despise household chores. For the past five years or so, when I wake up, I go straight to the shower and after spending about 20 minutes in the bathroom with Marc Maron yapping away, I start waking up and am so much more enjoyable to my family. My husband (who does more than his fair share around the house) and daughter (who doesn’t, but she does have a cameo on the Lefto-episode of the podcast and she’s brilliant) can also always find their clean clothing in cute piles in their closets due to the fact that I can listen to The Read and laugh my ass off an not think about this tedious task that I normally hate doing.
KNOTORYUS: What can we expect from our subscription to The Most?
DOMINIQUE NZEYIMANA: *reads from ‘The Most - The intention’*: “The purpose of this show is to put the most open and honest luminaries, originals, prodigies and mentors in your ears. When my guests step into my loft to have these conversations, they know that we are going to dig a bit deeper, because one of the main reasons why I’m doing this is so that we all can get through these things called life & career, together. I’m not here for the tea or the drama and I regard these conversations and their content as sacred, but the intention of this podcast is to show you that all of our stories are connected.”
One of my guests, who I am not going to name yet, and who I had already interviewed once, said after we were done: “Your questions always force me to stop and really think about my answers.” I thought he meant it in an annoying way, but then he added: “I like that.” What I’ve learned through listening to podcasts is that whatever your worry or pain-point or question of the day is, someone is or has been going through it with you. Although The Most-talks are anything but standardized, I want ultimately for people - young and old and from all backgrounds - to recognize themselves in these stories.
KNOTORYUS: What kind of conversations do you look forward to having?
DOMINIQUE NZEYIMANA: All of them. Every person I invite to come on The Most, I really love.
KNOTORYUS: What do you enjoy most about these kinds of one-on-one talks?
DOMINIQUE NZEYIMANA: The being completely in the moment part of it. I’m here to talk to my guest and my guest is here to tell their stories. Nothing else is happening, besides the conversation. It’s different from doing other interviews, because having headphones on and having each other’s voices come through, makes it almost as if you are thinking out loud and it makes you more present. The whole thing is just very honest and spontaneous. Well, it has been so far.
KNOTORYUS: Why did you choose to record in your loft?
DOMINIQUE NZEYIMANA: It’s quiet here. The KNOTORYUS office is in the centre of Brussels and I love it, but everything is loud in the midst of a big city. Also, although our loft is not that big which I keep mentioning to my guests and they always gracefully deny, it’s just a cool spot carrying good vibes. Lefto commented on that. I adored having Lefto as my first guest by the way. He’s such an amazingly talented, insightful and relentless human being. We talked for an hour, I wish it had been three. As it turned out, he wanted it to go on longer as well.
KNOTORYUS: What’s an important lesson you learned entering the podcasting game?
DOMINIQUE NZEYIMANA: The technical part was incredibly challenging to wrap my head around. I’m good at producing and interviewing, but less so at deep-dives into microphone gains, recording devices, soundwaves, id3-tags and GarageBand. But I took it one step at a time one day at a time. I was so overwhelmed when I started looking into this months ago and look at me now, I’m on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, baby!
KNOTORYUS: How did you pick your guests for Series One? Who was your dream interviewee?
DOMINIQUE NZEYIMANA: I really wanted Walter Van Beirendonck to come on. And even if you had asked me this a couple of years ago, or you would ask me in the future, he would have been my number one answer. And look at the universe, he’s in The Most Series One and we had an incredibly open conversation. It was a bit of a mind-warp seeing my teenage hero - whom I’ve now worked with several times and who remains my favourite designer ever - sitting at my table, ready to talk. I fumbled my opening sentences a couple of times, because although my nerves were quite at ease, my brain was not computing. But the fact that Walter trusted me, I’m super proud of that. We talked about some great things, too. It was a soulful conversation, lots of little gems in there and I can’t wait to drop the episode. I had and still have a couple of people in mind for this first series which will run until December. But you will have to wait and see and the best way not to miss out is to subscribe. Do it right now and do it here. It’s free!
And thank you for listening and supporting The Most! I appreciate you!