Move over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — there’s a new podcast power duo in town. Former President Barack Obama’s newest project is a podcast with his friend … who just so happens to be rock icon Bruce Springsteen.
Obama launched a production company with his wife Michelle after his presidency ended. In May 2018, they signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce scripted and unscripted film and television projects through Higher Ground Productions, which aims to lift up diverse voices in the entertainment industry. And in June 2019, the company partnered with Spotify to produce podcasts, which brings us back to Obama and Springsteen.
“Renegades: Born in the USA” dropped on Spotify on Monday, Feb. 22, with two episodes, the first titled “Outsiders: An Unlikely Friendship” and the second “American Skin: Race in the United States.”
On his Twitter page, Springsteen shared a video clip of the two men during the podcast recording, alongside the caption, “Bruce joins President @barackobama for a long and meaningful conversation that touched on so much of what we’re all dealing with these days.”
Bruce joins President @barackobama for a long and meaningful conversation that touched on so much of what we’re all dealing with these days. Listen to the first two episodes of their new podcast Renegades: Born In The USA now on @spotify. https://t.co/D7hvKyCxxQ pic.twitter.com/zFfSLyedWn
— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) February 22, 2021
“President Obama and Bruce Springsteen have formed a deep friendship since they first met on the campaign trail in 2008,” Spotify explained in a statement. “Now, for the first time ever, Higher Ground and Spotify invite listeners to eavesdrop as they discuss their hometowns and role models, explore modern manhood, and confront the painfully divided state of America today and how we can all move forward together.”
In episode 2, Spotify says the co-hosts “reflect on their early experiences with race and racism and the uncomfortable conversations we need to have.” In the 42-minute episode, the hosts talk about Springsteen’s “integrated” E Street Band and the central importance of the late saxophonist Clarence Clemons.
Obama and Springsteen have recorded a total of eight episodes so far, which means another six are on the way. In future episodes, they’ll cover topics like America, marriage and fatherhood.
Of course, the former president isn’t the first Obama to have a podcast. “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” another Higher Ground production, launched exclusively on Spotify in July 2020. And the former First Lady has another exciting project that will be streaming on Netflix soon — her new show “Waffles + Mochi” launches on March 16.