NEW YORK () – Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen teamed up with eight episodes of the Spotify podcast series, exchanging stories about their upbringing, and even the White House sang around the piano.
The first two episodes of “Renegades: Born in the USA” were released on Monday, an interview recorded at Springsteen’s guitar-filled home studio in New Jersey.
Spotify has been aggressive in podcasts for the past three years and released more program announcements on Monday. The audio streaming service has already collaborated with Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground production company, and the former First Lady’s podcast is the most popular original for the service.
The seemingly unusual relationship between the former president and the rock star began when Springsteen brought benefits to Obama during the presidential campaign. But since he left office, it has blossomed into deeper conversations, Obama said in the first episode.
“It’s a rock ‘n’ roll icon,” he said. “I’m a lawyer and a politician.” Not so cool. And as I like to remind Bruce of every chance I get, he’s more than a decade older than me. “
The men remembered a visit to the White House, which included Springsteen playing the piano while Broadway and Motown tuned.
“Pleases were involved,” Obama said.
Springsteen uses several of these guitars throughout the podcast. In this first episode, both men remembered how they felt like strangers growing up and turning to their fields as a way to find their voices, with a little “megalomania.” In later episodes, he talks about racism, fatherhood and marriage.
Their wives, Michelle Obama and Patti Scialfa, also reunited and formed a friendship.
“We still have a basic belief in the American ideal,” Obama said. “Not like nostalgia.” But like a compass. “
The title of the series “Renegades: Born in the USA” refers to one of Springsteen’s greatest hits and may also be a cunning reference to the “birther” campaign, where Obama’s eventual successor Donald Trump falsely suggested that Obama’s origins were out of the country.
Spotify said Monday that he is working with Higher Ground on another podcast, “Tell Them I Am,” which compiles stories of Muslim voices and will debut throughout Ramadan.
The service also said it had reached an agreement with Warner Brothers and DC Comics on a series of narrative podcasts, the first of which is “Batman Unburied.” Director Ava DuVernay is taking part in a new podcast on significant cases of police brutality.
Spotify is also improving its sound, announcing that this year will be the debut of Spotify HiFi, where members with speakers connected to Spotify can sign up to listen to higher quality music streams.