Written by Brittany Shawnté
Another great spotlight to start the week!
I'm glad to have the chance to feature them on The Spotlight, especially because I wouldn't have pursued a career in radio if it wasn't for Chloe, one of my first college Resident Advisors.
Last year sometime, the friends decided to crack the mic and throw their hand into the budding medium that is podcasting! Naming the show, Overqualified & Drunk, they describe the show as "raw, extremely jaded and uncut talk between two overqualified and drunk black lesbians living in New York City about spirituality, lesbian love and the two things that bind them together, music and booze."
They first met around late 2010, early 2011 at a bar in Athens, OH through mutual friends but didn't really hang out or anything until 2014. Chloe made the move to NYC and reconnected with Chanel, and they've been friends since. In early 2016, the two were trying to write a TV show pilot based on their lives. Before they could finish one episode, Chloe came up with the idea to tell their stories instead, and Overqualified & Drunk was born!
When asked about their description of what it means to be overqualified, Chloe says to her, it comes from looking at dating as if it's a job interview. "You know how you give your best interview at a place and they tell you, 'It's just not a good fit,' 'You're too good,' or 'you should be looking for something a bit more challenging?' For me that's dating," she said. "I find women who I would bend over backwards for but it seems like that's too much at times. Or my vision of 'happily ever after' is not syncing with theirs. And if I am being honest, sometimes it comes down to pure education and standards at times. Sometimes I can't find someone who appreciates music or history or the black cinematic experience the way that I do. I then feel like I am a constant teacher, so I am overqualified for the job of being their partner." She also mentioned that, other times, she views herself as underqualified because she's so set in her ways that it becomes off putting to potential mates. In terms of what it means to be drunk, Chloe explained that meeting up for drinks is a good way for them to work through their love lives, something that she and Chanel have always done before beginning the podcast.
The reason the podcast works is because of both Chloe and Chanel's chemistry, honesty and and friendship coming across so well. Chanel is the safer one of the duo, while Chloe is more of a loose cannon. Chanel says that, despite her liking to sweeten things up so much out of fear of being rude, that it dilutes the story. She admitted that it helps that Chloe helps keep her more raw. The two stated that they are just alike and different enough that it just works.
Check out an episode below!
When asked about their favorite thing about each other, Chloe revealed of Chanel, "I love how I can catch Chanel in a fib and then pull the truth out. I love how, as free thinking as she says she is, she's still very calculated and she is able to think outside of the moment. I love that she is my musical soulmate in so many ways. We have a good time together when she's really in a place where she can let go and "tear the club up" as I say. She is smart and talented yet honest about how she's still figuring it all out, whatever it is at the time. Serious but mostly doesn't take herself too seriously." Chanel said of Chloe, "Chloe is real and says f--- the consequences. And that's something that I'm always working on. I strive to be honest, but not rude, but I feel like because of Chloe I'm becoming real-er. Chloe knows EVERYTHING. Chloe also FEELS deeply. Not to be morbid, but I know Chloe would give me a bomb ass funeral. Just saying."
Despite the success they have achieved with their podcast, they said it has both hurt and helped their relationships with family, friends and potential mates. Chloe admitted that it's hurt some, but it's also made other people more honest, since the podcast has allowed her to be more open and articulate more than when speaking to them directly. Her friends and family, for the most part, don't listen because they know her personally but are proud of what she's doing. Chanel stated the podcast has allowed her to reflect more on her relationships. Her parents listen and LOVE it because they see it as art.
The ladies just recently partnered with the website SOULE (Seekers of Unity, Love & Equality). It is described as a digital destination for news, opinions, life and culture for LGBTQIA people of color. SOULE uplifts, empowers and inspires pride via the SOULE website and SOULE special events. Chanel said they want to be the "Lesbian Issa Rae," with intents to work on a TV pilot, as well as do live podcast events like their fellow queer podcast peers, The Read and Another Round.
Some of their other influences include Whoopi Goldberg and Wanda Sykes because of their unapologetic attitudes. YouTubers like Foxyhotmess (Jade), Hart, ShanBoody and Ari Fitz are also creatives that they look to for inspiration. Chloe herself would like to become a stronger YouTuber because she feels like she hasn't seen someone in New York really take over the YouTube space. Whatever route the podcast takes, the OD Podcast has support from The Spotlight. Keep shining ladies!!
Social Media/Website Links:
3 Albums/Artists They Both Currently Have In Rotation
H.E.R. — Volume 1 by H.E.R.
Solange — A Seat at the Table
Phyllis Hyman — The Legacy of Phyllis Hyman (Greatest Hits)
Amel Larrieux — Bravebird
Amos Lee — Amos Lee
Erykah Badu— Mama's Gun