We at Instinct are always in the business of supporting our fellow gay guys in their endeavors. We are the queens of advocating, but we will only share with our readers the tip top of excellent gay content, which is where Unflopped comes in.
Unflopped is a Podcast that pits two forgotten pop gems against eachother, with the hosts Stuart, Sean and Joe going into great detail as to why they deserve a second chance, slugging it out until one song eventually becomes officially Unflopped.
If you've not yet gotten into the podcasting gig, then this is the perfect entry point, especially for those who love their pop bangers. We met up with the hosts of the podcast, Stuart, Sean and Joe for a quick chat, as we have become completely obsessed with the fortnightly pop boxing matches, and lets face it, they're not bad to look at either!
Good afternoon guys, a pleasure to speak with you today! So, for our readers, who am I speaking with?
We are Stuart, Sean and Joe, hosts of the Unflopped podcast.
Straight off, tell us a little bit about the premise of Unflopped.
Stuart: It’s basically a celebration of forgotten pop music. In every episode, Sean and I each choose a flop single from the ‘80s to the present day that we think deserved to do better in the charts. We make a pitch for its rehabilitation from the pop wilderness, telling the story of the artist and the song, what it means to us, why we think it didn’t do well and why it should have done better. Judge Joe (who knows a thing or two about music) does an analysis of each of the tracks, then at the end of the show he picks one winner to be officially unflopped.
Joe: I try and ignore all the history around the track and the artist (as well as bribes from Sean and Stuart). Instead I stick to the song itself - the craft.
The podcast has been quite the success, particularly with the gay community. Why do you think that is?
Stuart: Pop music is such a major part of the queer experience.
Joe: It was certainly a big part of our queer experience…
Stuart: Maybe that’s because pop is often the soundtrack of the gay spaces where we make connections and feel free to express ourselves. You only have to look at some of the biggest pop-stars on the planet like Britney, Beyoncé and Gaga, to see the power of their gay fanbases, but it’s still seen as a bit femmy to love some of those artists, and pop music is often derided as simplistic or juvenile compared to “real” music. We wanted to create a place to celebrate it, free from shame or music snobbery. Plus, there are so many amazing pop songs that didn’t make it to the top ten or become pop classics!
Joe: Totally! I’ve been introduced to so many great songs I didn’t know by these boys.
Stuart: We’ve had an amazing response from LGBT+ people all over the world. We now have listeners in more than 62 countries including places like Kuwait, the UAE and Kenya where being gay is illegal.
Sean: Exactly! While we are primarily a music podcast, the songs intertwine with our personal stories and experiences as gay men, so our listeners get a double hit!
You’re all very opinionated. What’s the biggest thing you have disagreed on in the podcast?
Joe: Opinionated? Us?
Stuart: Well obviously Sean and I regularly disagree with Joe on which track should win the episode! Sean has a brilliant sense of humour but that ends when it comes to any criticism of Britney Spears, and don’t get me started on New Jack Swing, but mostly we’re on the same page when it comes to pop.
Sean: Usually if we’re still torn over a result (*stares at Joe*) we head to our local gay bar in and resolve it over a few pints. We are, after all, Brits!
How did you guys all meet?
Stuart: Joe is the glue that connects us all together.
Joe: Sean and I met on a drunken night at The Joiners Arms (RIP) in London in the early naughties.
Stuart: I met Joe through a mutual friend in 2012 while Sean was living overseas and so he was just this big character that I would hear hilarious stories about. We eventually met and became friends when Sean moved back to London in 2015.
Sean: I don’t remember meeting either of them! Haha, joking although I have to say the naughties were a blurrrr.
Joe: And you think she’s joking…
What made you decide to start this podcast together?
Stuart: I’d been thinking about doing a podcast for a while but my ideas were all really lofty and probably quite boring.
Joe: There’s nothing wrong with ‘lofty’ Stu… *Puts on some Beethoven*…
Stuart: I’d always loved talking about songs with Joe because he studied music and he can explain why a certain track makes you feel a certain way, or how things are put together. Then when we were all away on holiday together for Joe’s birthday, Sean and I had a funny conversation on the beach about Shola Ama’s follow-up singles and this forgotten girl band called Vanilla who had a semi-hit single called “No Way No Way” based on the Muppets theme tune. I hadn’t realised he was a pop-music geek like me. Then one morning a few weeks later I woke up and the idea for the podcast was there in my head, fully formed!
Will we be hearing any special guests on the podcast any time soon?
Stuart: We’ve just recorded a Madonna special to mark Her Majesty’s 60th birthday (out on 10th August) and that episode features our first ever guest – a real Madonna expert. We had a lot of fun recording it so if listeners enjoy it then I’m sure we’ll have more guests in the future.
Madonna’s 60th birthday is coming up, and you’re doing a special Madge episode next. What songs will we be seeing competing?
Stuart: Our lips are sealed! You’ll have to listen to find out. But what was interesting about that one is that she had a pretty unmatched period of chart success – she really didn’t have many flops for the first 25 years of her career.
Let’s do some quick fire questions next! Favourite song?
Stuart: Oh God. Impossible to answer. Depends on my mood, But ‘Better The Devil You Know’ by Kylie is probably my favourite pop song of all time.
Sean: Easy. ‘I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman’ by Britney Spears. I want it played at all my major life events.
Joe: Um… The biggest Diva anthem EVER – ‘Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen’ sung by the Queen of the Night in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. (Something by Kylie probably comes a close second).
Spice Girls or All Saints?
Stuart: All Saints. The songs have aged better.
Sean: Really Stuart?! Has to be the Spice Girls for me. Viva Forever, urm FOREVER!
Joe: You’re both wrong. It’s Girls Aloud. Wait, what?
Whitney or Mariah?
Stuart: I’d go for Mariah’s music but Whitney’s voice. Is that cheating?
Joe: Yes. But that’s my choice too and as the judge, my opinion rules!
Sean: Whitney. Hands down. I had ‘Run To You’ played at my engagement party as my Fiancé (now Husband) and I entered the room.
And finally, what’s next for Unflopped?
Joe: I’m gagging for the movie. But who would play us all?
Sean: We have some great ideas for future episodes - usually driven by our listeners who are constantly in touch about artists and songs they want to hear Unflopped. Our new website will be going live soon….there’s some lol merchandise in the pipeline following a huge demand from our fans. And who knows, we maybe even a LIVE show down the line….watch this space!
Make sure to follow Unflopped on Twitter @Unfloppedpop, and download the podcast on Apple Music here!
Unflopped is available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you find your podcasts.
Images from Twitter @Unfloppedpop