Five Questions with Alt.Pop.Repeat ‘s Chrissy Newton and Marie Nicola

With current self-isolation and social distancing measures, we all have a lot more time at home and sometimes find ourselves struggling to find sources of entertainment. If you enjoy listening to podcasts, Alt.Pop.Repeat is one you must check out, as their exploration of the alternative and underground sides of pop culture will no doubt take your mind off the craziness happening right now!

As part of our Five Questions series, we chatted with Chrissy Newton and Marie Nicola, the creators and hosts of Alt.Pop.Repeat, to learn more about their amazing podcast, what happens behind the scenes and what comes next!

First off, for our readers who do not know you yet, can you introduce yourselves?

Chrissy: For sure!  My name is Chrissy Newton and I am the Co-Creator, Co-Host and Producer of a pop culture podcast called Alt.Pop.Repeat, along with the owner of a PR firm called VOCAB Communications based out of Toronto.

Marie: I am a 5’9”, accidentally outspoken girl next door that identifies as an extroverted introvert and has an unholy obsession with fried chicken, plain Ruffles and Helluva Good Dip. I am the youngest of 4 and I’m told, the night I was born my dad bought my sisters fudgsicles as a treat. I do feel unresolved over not knowing why sales of fudgsicles don’t peak around September. I was raised on Prince Edward Island in a Cape Cod-style home with a dog, named Sam, a hamster, named Gussy, and a cat named, Zowie – which provided inspiration for my nom-de-plume that I used when I was growing weed and writing about it for Green Candy Press. Musically inclined I started playing piano at age 3 and by the time I graduated university – I was an opera singer. Also, while absent of a blood lust, I suspect I am a vampire as I don’t appear to age. Recently I discovered my hair is naturally wavy, and that’s been a lot of fun for me.


Tell us more about Alt.Pop.Repeat! What’s the story behind this podcast, how did it come to life?

Marie: It was just a magical meeting of the minds. Chrissy and I connected after a few years apart and bonded over cocktails and the paranormal. Days later Chrissy calls me up and floats doing a podcast and I was looking for a new project – so it all fell into place!

Chrissy: Things really do happen for a reason. I met Marie, geez around 7 years, as we both run in similar circles. One day we reconnected over FB (good old social media) and decided to go for a drink and catch-up. As we deep dived into our own bag of stories we stumbled across how we both loved anything around astrology, spirituality, geek culture and so many other “unconventional” and conventional topics. A few weeks later, I called up Marie and said, “want to do a podcast together?!”


What’s your process behind each episode? How do you pick your topic, your guest, how does it all come together?

Chrissy: Such a great question. Topics usually come from the two of us chatting up a storm on the phone, as per usual (yup, we still do that) and syncing together counterculture and subculture to pop culture currently. I then go into “chase producer “ (one of the many roles a producer does) mode and look to source out guests who would fit the topics and have the ability to connect and really tell a story through podcasting. So many other elements go into producing a single show like, research, marketing/PR, website management, editing, streaming platforms and social media, etc. So Marie and I divide up tasks and are really fortunate to have an amazing team, such as: André Proulx, Editor/Producer, Tara Krystompol, Art Director and Mike Schlosse who started off as our Sound Engineer.

Marie: It’s a lot of work. Like Chrissy said, we start with a conversation. For me I do it a little backwards where I rattle off people I really want to interview like RuPaul, Kent Monkman, Miss Me Art, Big Freedia, Damien Ecchols… or Justin Roiland – and that usually takes me down a path of consideration on what topics would be the best fit. We’ll talk about it and then we just start chasing. We haven’t gotten any of those people yet, but I’m hopeful because we have gotten some incredible guests so far. But, we do a lot of work… and there’s a lot of moving parts outside of that and a whole team collaborating together to make the best product we can given our time and resources. Even our opening song was created by the Fresh Kils, which I love. I maintain he is one of Canada’s most talented hip hop producers. And even, YouTuber, Steve Saylor (aka- the blind gamer) helps us with our social content.


In past episodes, you’ve covered a wide range of topics with great guests, from UFOs to punk culture and anything in-between. Can you give us a sneak peek of what future episodes will be about and who might be there with you?

Chrissy: Look at your guys getting the scoop! Love it! We have a few episodes around the subculture and counterculture roots of Hip-Hop, Yoga, Astrology and Cannabis to name a few.

Marie: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… We’re manifesting as I type this. I really want to do a show on Twerking – like REALLY want to… but I only want to talk about it with Big Freedia and as of today, we haven’t booked him. But, we will be talking about Cannabis and lots of government conspiracies thrown in the mix for kicks.


Finally, Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

Chrissy: Sooooo many good Canadian bands and artists all over Canada but if I had to pick a few I would definitely choose, Mike Todd (someone give this man a record deal please! He’s that freaking good!), Kendal Thompson (I was actually a fan way before she became a PR client. She has this soulful voice but new age trendiness around her that I just love) and Mike Celia (who I’ve known for a million years now and truly love his music. It’s real, honest and some really easy listening. Love ya big C :-P). We’re really lucky as Canadian’s to have so much talent around us to consume and share.

Marie: Haviah Mighty is up there. She is a stone cold talent. Straight up, if I was playing for the Blue Jays, my walk up song would be Champion. Everyone in the Skydome would jump to their feet and shout in unison “I’m a Champion all day! Born this way! What about you!”. The whole place would be so hype, lack of athletic ability aside, no one will even notice that I’m not even the right gender to be on the team. And, a special shout out to my girl Geneva, who has me singing along with “Probably” all day all night.


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