When Black women link up, the magic happens. And Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell are proof.
The best friend duo debuted their “Okay, Now Listen” podcast on Netflix’s Strong Black Lead in 2020, delivering raw conversations ranging from dealing with the stages of heartbreak to bouncing back from career failures. Plus, guests included the likes of Zendaya, Nia Long, Damson Idris, and more.
Signing Off Air
The transparency and emotional support that Beam and Obell gave from behind their mics created solace for their listeners, especially as it aired during the peak and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, on July 7, 2022, the two made an official announcement that “Okay, Now Listen” had come to an end.
“It hurt me a lot deeply because we couldn’t speak on our departure for a long time,” Beam revealed to AfroTech. “So it took a while for us to actually put out the announcement but I wanted the listeners to know immediately just so that they wouldn’t be looking forward to another episode.”
“I feel like I betrayed a little bit of their trust in some way by always trying to stay honest with our listeners,” Beam added.
The two shared the sentiment of not wanting to feel as if they “abandoned” their loyal listeners, who looked to them as their friends and motivational coaches during the COVID-19 lockdown. However, they knew that they wouldn’t be leaving their fans hanging for too long.
“It was never if we would come back, it was always just when,” Obell said about making their return to podcasting.
When Opportunity Meets Preparation
Divine timing miraculously came knocking in June 2022 — a month before it was publicly announced that their podcast was cut short.
For TODAY’s first-ever digital cover story, Obell landed the gig to interview Issa Rae, who she and Beam had previously chatted with on “Okay, Now Listen.” During their time together, Obell says that Issa Rae checked in on the status of their former podcast, which was looking for a new home.
“‘We’re not going to do the podcast with Netflix anymore, but don’t worry about us girl. We’re gonna be alright,’” Obell recalled about giving Issa Rae an update at the time. “It [was] from a, ‘Thanks for checking in but [I] have this bad news that it’s not going to be happening anymore. But don’t worry, we’re going to land on our feet. We got some meetings lined up.’ And then [Issa Rae] literally just was like, ‘How can I get on that list?’”
"Don't Call It A Comeback"
Now, nearly a year later, Beam and Obell have announced their partnership deal with Raedio for “The Scottie & Sylvia Show,” according to a press release shared with AfroTech. The audio and video podcast show will have the essence of “Okay, Now Listen” except with the range to dive deeper into today’s trending and cultural topics.
“Scottie and Sylvia are so raw and relatable and I’m such a fan of their effortless, hilarious chemistry,” Issa Rae shared in a press statement. “I’m so grateful they chose Raedio as their podcast home.”
Obell expresses that she and Beam joining forces with Rae gave them a rare opportunity to have a Black leader at a company where they have been given access to more resources, creative freedom, and knowledge than they would have at other big companies due to business models. Ultimately, Raedio was their ideal home as it met their needs and demands.
As a Black woman in media navigating partnerships, Beam has experienced her fair share of misalignment with companies in the past. Despite what is thrown her way, she always leads with transparency and knowing her value.
“I do not believe in just saying yes and being the yes woman to these brands so that you can get a check,” Beam said. “Absolutely not. We will have a conversation, break down why it is that you wanted me on board and how it can be beneficial for me and you. I think a lot of times people think the benefit is just the money, but no, let’s think more clearly about how this partnership can really help enhance everyone in the space.”
As they keep trekking on their podcasting journey, Beam and Obell have become more conscious of the business side, protecting themselves when signing contracts and effectively pushing their show in the podcasting market. Through all of their lessons, one thing has remained consistent, Beam and Obell’s ability to always look out for each other.
What’s To Come
On their new podcast series, they will have another level of freedom over the topics discussed, sit down with new faces, and share their evolved takes, having since grown after their previous show, “Okay, Now Listen.”
“Pull up every week!,” Obell jokingly emphasized.
Their new podcast “The Scottie & Sylvia Show” debuts on July 6 via YouTube and all streaming platforms.