Creators and Fans Celebrate Their Favorite Shows at the Spotify Podcast Festival in São Paulo

This weekend, creators are heading to São Paulo to celebrate storytelling at the Spotify Podcast Festival. Brazil is our second-largest podcast market for both listening and creating, and it’s filled with talented people using the medium to connect with others, share stories, and invent new scripted tales. 

The festival will help creators and fans engage in new ways. Many personalities from Spotify Original and Exclusive shows, like Mano a Mano, É nóia minha?, and Para dar nome às coisas, will host live recording sessions, along with creators from podcasts including Um Milkshake Chamado Wanda, Modus Operandi, Bom dia, Obvious, Nerdcast, PODDELAS, gostosas também choram com lela brandão, Os Sócios, Inteligência Ltda., and TICARACATICAST

Spotify is also working with the creators of Café da Manhã, PeeWeeCast, Thais Galassi, and Madame Broona’s Horoscopinho Semanal to host bonus sessions for fans, introducing them to new experiences that go beyond traditional podcast listening.

For the Record caught up with Natália Sousa and Mabê Bonafé, two podcast creators who are attending the festival, to learn more about their shows and what they are looking forward to most this weekend.

Natália is a journalist, writer, screenwriter, and the creative mind behind Para Dar Nome às Coisas. On her show, she shares honest stories about fear, failure, courage, starting over, pain, and more.

Mabê is a screenwriter, writer, and cohost of the podcast Modus Operandi. The supernatural show, which she cohosts with Carol Moreira, digs into stories about crime, serial killers, and supernatural cases.

How did you come up with the idea for your podcast?

Natália Sousa looking at the camera laughing

Natália Sousa

Natália: The idea for the podcast started at a Carnaval barbecue. A close friend of mine suggested I do it, and my girlfriend, who works with visual design, loved the idea and we began to develop the concept. The funny thing is that that same week I had just failed a public reading of something I’d written, so I made an episode about failure. Then the podcast started to grow in a pretty crazy way. Feedback from listeners helped me realize that many could identify with the podcast.

Mabê: Carol and I were hooked on true crime documentaries! It all started with the documentary Making a Murderer, which tells the surreal story of a man wrongly imprisoned for 18 years who sues the state and is arrested again a short time later for a different crime. The documentary was full of twists and turns. People became obsessed, and so did we. The true crime genre has been around for a long time, but it seems to have gone through a boom since then, and more documentaries, series, books, and podcasts began to appear. 

We didn’t know other people that we could talk about it with, so in 2018 we decided to create the podcast to allow us to talk about these cases and docs that were emerging. It took a long time to create the podcast, so it only premiered in January 2020.

What are some ways you try to deepen engagement with your fans?

Natália: I really enjoy talking to listeners on social media. I use Instagram the most, and I always post the cover of the episode the day before to raise anticipation about the week’s theme. The other tool that both I, as the creator, and the listeners who follow the podcast love is Spotify’s Q&A box, which helps people to comment on what they think about that specific episode in the app itself. It’s done in an easy and quick way, which increases the chance of them commenting. It’s also encouraging for me to read how the episodes are doing.

Mabê: Over the years we have created a very strong community. We consume a lot of content and also have other common interests. I interact in live streams, in comments, in the entire exchange with the community that allows me to understand more about the audience. There are also the events I attend, such as lectures, literature, and podcast events, which are a great opportunity to interact. It’s even cooler because this is when we have direct interaction [with fans] and we can see the faces of the people who listen to us.

What’s the most challenging part of podcasting?

Mabé Bonafé and Carol Moreira posting in front of the camera

Mabé Bonafé and Carol Moreira

Natália: I guess for me it’s the creativity of coming up with new topics every week. Sometimes it comes easily, other times—not so much. Since I have an editor and a designer who take care of the other parts of the process, it’s up to me to come up with the stories. That’s the most exciting, but also the most challenging.

Mabê: Modus Operandi is a podcast that requires research and careful attention to content that takes time, organization, and production, and that alone is very challenging. But when it comes to podcasts in general, I think the hardest part is getting the structure right so that the episodes always come out correctly. Each episode has a script, artwork, time to record, time to edit, time to review, time to adjust, and all that needs to meet the logistics to ensure that it comes out as frequently as it should.

What’s the most rewarding?

Natália: I think one of the things I say most often is that I have no control over who will stay listening, but they stick around. We created a real community. I’m very grateful to my listeners because that’s the magic of the podcast. From day one I knew I wasn’t alone. It has been healing me and giving me purpose.

Mabê: Making a podcast is basically becoming the soundtrack to many moments in people’s lives, so I think this part is amazing! The number of times people say that we’re their companion on the way to school or work, or that we’re the motivating factor for them to clean their houses! I guess we do help them keep their houses cleaner, then! But seriously, in our case, I believe that shedding light on many cases where the victims have become just a footnote in the story or that the crime was reported through a prejudiced or sensationalist bias and being able to rethink our behaviors as a society is very rewarding.

What are you most looking forward to at the Spotify Podcast Festival?

Natália: It is definitely an opportunity for creators to see people from all over the country who support their work, cheer them on, and it gives them the chance to share how the podcast they created has become a part of their lives. Recording is a solitary moment most of the time—you never know how you’re going to reach people. But at times like this you realize the magic that happens when you turn on the microphone.

Mabê: Podcasting is a solitary activity. We’re recording, just the two of us in a studio, so when we meet people who listen to us in person, it’s a great feeling to be in closer contact. It’s always nice to hear everyone’s story and their relationship with our work. I’m really looking forward to this gathering!