Angela Carrasco and Katherine Castro are a decidedly Dominican power duo as the fast-talking, unapologetic, quick-witted co-hosts of Talk Fast, Listen Slow, a new podcast that is poised to become your go-to lunch break programming… not that you have a recognizable lunch break right now, working from home in those PJs you’ve been wearing for three days straight.
But Angela and Kat won’t judge you for that. They’re practically your friends.
Listening to TFLS (or, better yet, watching it via YouTube or Instagram), will feel a lot like you’re just hanging out, laughing about some completely messed up ridiculous shit over a cup of coffee with a good buddy. “Or your drink of choice,” Kat corrects me.
She adds, “TFLS is an opportunity to be relaxed, uncensored, for these 15-20 minutes, carefree.”
This carefree space was something the friends had created for themselves when they first became acquainted, two Los Angeles-based Latinas from similar backgrounds who literally have been meeting and laughing over coffees in the comfort of one another’s homes ever since. TFLS just makes these conversations official — and their contents public.
The idea for a podcast came about organically, born out of these conversations and the pair’s instant connection, Kat an actress, writer, and producer with a perspective and skillset that’s way more global than you can imagine, and Angela an ambitious publicist and real estate agent who is ever looking to connect and talk get to the bottom of things. “Angela and I have been talking about [TFLS] for at least two years. Both being Dominican [Angela is half-Cuban], we have so many things in common, and we’re always talking about stuff… and we’re like, ‘Oh my God, we need a podcast! This is a podcast!’ That’s really how it happened.”
This is the first time that the two friends have worked on something together, along with their producer Michael Cameneti who brings it all together into one polished production; TFLS is also, for both of the women, their first podcast ever. “Amateur hour,” one of the two snickers. But I can’t be sure who says it because they’ve already moved on to the next topic, with me trailing as closely behind as I can. Having met them over the phone only moments before, the duo’s chemistry and vibe is utterly attractive, pulling me along with them in their dialogue.
“We’re very excited and we want to transmit that to everyone,” explains Angela, stopping for a moment to reflect on how it feels to be releasing the second episode of Talk Fast, Listen Slow today.
The excitement is not just over their own personal accomplishment as creatives, but also excitement that their show would be fulfilling a vital space in the podcast/broadcast industry. “There’s nothing like it that we could identify with,” says Kat. “It was kind of like, ‘Well, let’s make it. Let’s make something that feels like home.’”
The pair saw that while there is so much content out there for the general market, for white women, and even lots of great programming centered on representing Black women, Latinx representation in the broadcast/podcast industry is utterly lacking. “[Podcasts for] Latinas? It’s very scarce. It’s [usually] very heavy in politics which is great, we need that — but I don’t want to sit here and listen to immigration podcasts right now. It’s so heavy. I haven’t come across very many, if any, with two Latina women talking about life, doing it in a fun quirky way that I want to sit there and be their friends.”
“Two Latinas, and two Caribbeans,” Angela adds.
In the first episode of TFLS, they explain the origins of the podcast’s name, a nod to their Domincan tempo of conversation as well as a quote that Angela attributes to 50 Cent. But the name also encapsulates how the hosts want you to feel when you’re tuning in. “When you go and talk to a girlfriend and you have so much to say because you haven’t seen each other for a week or two — it just all comes out. These things… conversations that you have, you can talk about it fast, you can talk about it in the moment, but then it stays with you,” says Angela.
While the hosts would like their show to be a place where people can let their guard down with them, a deep breath or a belly laugh in strange, difficult times, they’re also sensitive to the reality that their show will be reflecting the anxieties that we’re all facing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their timing with this digital venture couldn’t be any more coincidental — the show’s second episode, filmed weeks ago, discusses the importance of handwashing in a completely different context than the one we’re living in now (and they even mention BELatina, long before we even connected for this feature!) — but they considered it their responsibility as content creators to address the pandemic in one way or another, to take this seemingly divine opportunity to help in some way. After all, that’s what we’ve all been talking about with our friends lately, right?
They intend to adapt their show to the circumstances. “I have been watching all this stuff on Instagram, and everyone’s going live and everyone’s an expert and everyone has so much to give… and sometimes it’s so self-serving,” observes Angela. “We have to be very careful with the way that we approach [TFLS]. The way that we really want to do this is from the heart. We believe that everyone’s in a weird situation. This is not a two-week situation, this is months on end.”
Having filmed three episodes of the podcast already, moving forward into the unknown future they plan to invite life coaches and mental health professionals and the like. “The expert tips will not come from us because we’re not experts on this subject,” she emphasizes. “We can only talk about what works for us, what we do; we’ll be very specific on that space. The lightheartedness comes from us.”
Kat agrees. “How can we bring a little bit of comfort? And also a little bit of laughter. And just make people forget about, for a moment, what’s going on. And bring a little bit of sunshine to their life.”
As the show’s creators, they’ll also be improvising their own approach making TFLS happen; they were supposed to go into the studio to record three more episodes last week, before s#*t hit the fan in the U.S. To the hosts, that means shifting their show to a more engaged, virtual, and immediate format, likely utilizing live social media capabilities (Instagram live, for example) and filming future episodes via Zoom.
For now, audiences can tune in to TFLS as it was originally conceived, which is an absolute treat to watch. After having aired their first episode last Wednesday, the duo has already been inundated with love, comments, and messages from their audience. “People are excited because they don’t see themselves, they don’t hear something like this, currently out,” Kat says.
“We’re getting a lot of support from Latinos, from all of our friends, from Dominicans, from all over the world,” adds Angela.
Both the hosts are not exactly surprised to have gotten so much traction based on the need for Latinx representation in the market, but it’s clear that they are genuinely shocked that their show has demonstrated some universal appeal beyond listeners that look or talk fast like them.
Episode 2 of Talk Fast, Listen Slow is out today. More details below.
On episode 2 of TFLS, Angela and Kat speak with Sexologist Rebecca Álvarez about sex, self discovery and Latino culture.