Spotify’s Decode has won big at the British Podcast Awards 2022.
The series, which dissects iconic UK rap albums track-by-track, won gold in the categories of Best Entertainment (supported by Create Podcasts) and Smartest Podcast for its first series.
The Spotify Original, based on US format Dissect, launched last year with a series dissecting Dave’s 2019 LP Psychodrama (Neighbourhood), which won both the Mercury Prize and BRIT for Album Of The Year. It has sales to date of 397,328, according to the Official Charts Company.
Decode is presented by award-winning author, poet and MC Kayo Chingonyi, and is produced by Reduced Listening.
“The winner does what podcasts do at their best: it goes really deep into its chosen topic, and through this narrow focus it reveals so much about British culture and society more broadly,” said the British Podcast Awards judges. “The presenter and production are exceptionally good, and the podcast treats its subject matter with a gravitas it rarely receives elsewhere in British media.”
In the series, Chingonyi explains the background and stories behind each track, while analysing the music and structure for tracks. While Dave's Psychodrama is the main topic, Chingonyi uses the album's lyrics and inspiration to offer listeners thought-provoking social commentary. The series explores a range of themes, including criminal justice, race, poverty, sexuality, toxic masculinity and mental health stigma.
The judges praised Decode for being a podcast that “takes hold of you from the moment you press play… Storytelling at its finest”.
It also won silver in the Best New Podcast category at the ceremony in Kennington Park, London on Saturday (July 23).
Dave fashions a vivid portrait of life's lowest lows and highest highs
Kayo Chingony, an assistant professor in the Department of English Studies at Durham University, founded The Poetics of Grime, a platform for discussing the poetic significance of grime lyricism.
Speaking about the first series, Chingony said: “I feel like Decode offers an insight into how Dave's kind of lyricism works on an album like Psychodrama, because we talk about how skilful he is with words not just to tell a story but as a way of revelling in the musicality of language for its own sake. It was fun to talk about those poetic flourishes and how, in a very intentional way, Dave fashions a vivid portrait of life's lowest lows and highest highs.”
Following the awards’ eligibility period, Decode has launched its second series focusing on Skepta’s 2016 album Konnichiwa.
Spotify's Decode won gold in both Best New Show and Best Specialist Music Show at the Audio & Radio Industry Awards (ARIAS) earlier this year.
Read our interview with Neighbourhood Recordings following their victory at the Music Week Awards in the Independent Record Company category.