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Podcaster Shines Spotlight on Singer-Songwriters

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Podcaster Ian Krochak of Niverville.

It’s not enough for Ian Krochak to sing and write his own music. He also wants to explore the minds of other singer-songwriters—and he wants to share that exploration with everybody.

Krochak recently started a podcast called The Prairie Town Basement Sessions. In each episode, he delves into the process of songwriters from around the world.

Krochak grew up in Winnipeg in a family brimming with artistic influences. Artists, poets, and photographers were part of his everyday life. As a 50-year-old now, he looks back at his childhood fondly and remembers sitting around the record player listening to the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young.

Speaking of his love of music and storytelling, he says, “I came by it honestly.”

At age 14, Krochak began to learn to play the guitar, and several years later he was playing clubs around Winnipeg. Eventually he and his wife moved to Calgary.

Finally, in 2009, they decided to make Niverville their home.

Singing and writing moved to the backburner for a while as Krochak’s career took off and he and his wife adopted a son from Ethiopia. But about three years ago, he began to immerse himself in music once again.

“During the pandemic it was a necessity to have a creative outlet,” Krochak says. “Breathing life into these songs has been a lifesaver.”

Krochak has released six singles since the pandemic began and says that the whole recording process has been very cathartic.

The pandemic gave him time to start writing again. He describes his own songwriting as being driven by nostalgia, reminiscing about road trips on the prairies and family memories.

The pandemic was also the impetus for him to begin The Prairie Town Basement Sessions. The podcast has allowed him to grow the audience for his music and be inspired by his fellow writers.

“I think [my songwriting] was kind of dormant,” says Krochak. “But the beautiful thing about interviewing all these great songwriters on the podcast is, it’s almost for selfish reasons, because I learn so much from them. There’s such a common denominator in songwriters.”

Krochak has found his fellow songwriters to be so friendly and approachable. As he found new music and commented on it, that artist would often listen to Krochak’s music in turn and comment on that.

He says these commonalities became friendships and kinships… and he wanted to share these conversations with others.

“The podcast was just a natural progression,” he says. “I thought, ‘I just want to actually talk to these people and find out how they’re living and what was the catalyst for them to become songwriters and what’s their process and what do they get out of it, what fuels them.’”

Krochak says that doing the podcast has been an enriching experience.

“I found that not only are these people approachable, but they’re humble. They’re humble and generous and that’s been really uplifting for me.”

Through this process, one of his goals is to create community for singer-songwriters. As he learns from the musicians he interviews, he is also able to give their music a wider audience. Some of his past guests have reached out to him after their episode aired and mentioned that their audience had grown because of their interview.

“That’s the whole point,” he says, “building that community.”

The Prairie Town Basement Sessions are literally recorded in Krochak’s basement in Niverville. He handles all the technical aspects of the recording himself.

“There are things that I’ll continue to refine about the podcast,” Krochak says. “Like maybe make [the episodes] a bit shorter. But one thing I always like to do is to have musical content integrated within the podcast. It’s one thing to tell the story, but it’s another thing to layer in the music that you’re talking about.”

Krochak hopes that the podcast may eventually evolve into a songwriting series. He envisions live shows that showcase the process of writing music and how a song takes shape.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Listen to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/ptbasementsessions

Listen to Krochak’s music: https://www.iankrochakmusic.com

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