Rarely do three people come together to create a podcast… Okay, I lied, that probably happens every week nowadays. Although, it’s rare that a new podcast centred around the hosts, rather than its guest features, accumulates over 400,000 listens in the first five months and often trends on Twitter.
3 Shots of Tequila, hosted by Keith Dube, Marvin Abbey and Tazer Black, has achieved exactly that with a ‘fun and light-hearted podcast about any and everything underneath the sun’, to borrow a quote from their soundcloud.
The podcast can’t be simplified to one or two things as it covers a wide range of topics, from wild stories through to more serious issues, like depression and youth culture. There is also a listener-lead dilemma section allowing people to send in their issues, which are then discussed at the end of each episode.
It’s not just three people telling made-up stories or slandering women, but rather, a relatable, funny podcast that challenges people to think in different ways whilst simultaneously trying to work out who Savage Dan is. When you consider that not even Jesus got unanimous love from his 12-man team, the odd bits of shade the podcast receives pales majorly in comparison to the large audience of people that regularly tune in.
3 Shots of Tequila has become a leading podcast amongst 18-35 year-olds, so Bespoke sat down with them to find out more about it.
How did the podcast come about? What made you say ‘let’s do a weekly podcast’?
Keith – It was one of those things where we have a lot to say, so we thought why not share some of our experiences, because we all have a radio background, so this was an opportunity for us to do something different. Podcasts were coming up and we couldn’t really get on a radio show together because we have our individual projects, but we have a lot of opinion on things, and we’ve done the whole Instagram/Twitter thing so we thought, let’s go a step further.
Marvin – I think everyone had an idea separately. Tazer wanted to do something visually, I was doing OnTopic, so I spoke to Keith. Then Tazer and Keith had a conversation and it was just weird, everyone had the same kinda idea, at different times, but we hadn’t spoke about it. So it just made sense to get three different people with the same ideas and three different reaches to bring it together.
Keith – We’re also the right three people. We have different audiences in everything we do, because we tap into three different groups of people. Even though we agree on a lot, we still have different opinions on a lot of things.
Given your social media followings, did you expect the podcast to do as well as it has?
Tazer – Initially, even though we had strong social media presence, because it was something different, I did think it would take a little while for it be accepted. So when we dropped the first episode, it was like wow, I think we got 6200 plays in the first 24 hours.
Marvin – It was mad because we didn’t have any promo or anything. We just dropped it.
So nobody knew the podcast was coming?
Tazer – Na, we just recorded it, then tweeted it. We didn’t do any social media for it beforehand, we just all tweeted a link at the same time, then ran with it. The way it’s been building, we decided to keep it consistent. We drop a new episode every two weeks on a Friday.
I’m glad I space them out then…
Keith – Seeing how things have happened now, it works every two weeks because it gives people time to soak it in.
Marvin – So many people have listened to it but they haven’t. I’m still seeing people listen to episode one. People are bantering me with old jokes, and I’m like, ‘I remember that from four or five podcasts ago’.
Keith – I think what we have over a lot of other podcasts is that we are consistent. Our podcast comes out at the same time, every two weeks, and we’ve never failed to upload an episode since it came out. That’s what messes up a lot of people – they’re not consistent, they might have one episode here, and another one three weeks later, then another one three months after that.
Marvin – We interact with our listeners. Some people will just put a podcast out, and that’s it, listen to it, and then it’s done. Whereas we actually talk to people, we build bridges and crack jokes.
Keith – Realistically, we have sauce. Let’s put all of that aside. Individually, we do our own thing, and everything we do is on point. So it’s not like three random people just decided to do something.
Tazer – Also, what people forget the most is it’s not taking time from our day to engage with people who listen to the podcast, because we’re so honest, and just ourselves. It’s like a therapist at work that goes home and has their downtime, then someone calls him and he’s like ‘I’m at home now’. With us, its 24/7. People hit me up on social media all the time, and it’s always about 3 Shots of Tequila.
For those that don’t know, how did you get a large social media following?
Keith – Being ourselves. That’s literally the only way I can explain what’s happened to us. A lot of people aren’t honest. They’ll come on social media, put on an act to get them followers and what not. We’re just always ourselves.
Marvin – The thing is we didn’t come on social media wanting to be big. A lot of people come on social media now, wanting followers, wanting to make an impression. We just came on there to crack a joke, then you do little things like The Dirty Games We Play, Tazer was on radio for a bit. So everyone’s done separate things to bring more people in.
Keith – It also goes back to the fact that us man have sauce. Before social media we were doing whatever we were doing off the internet. So when you’re that way inclined, it doesn’t matter what platform you do it on, it’ll work anywhere.
Tazer – I used to run a little chat show whilst I was at uni called Opinionated, when I was 18 until I was about 21. We did a uni tour – we went to Northampton, Brunel, Middlesex, Kingston, Roehampton and bare other places. Me and my boys would just get in front of each ACS, and make them think about certain things, and it worked. It wasn’t about making money or anything, we just wanted to do it, so there is a background to 3 Shots.
Keith – I used to blog on Facebook. I’ve got a page on Facebook called Exposed where I used to blog. I think the page has probably got 2000 or something likes from ages ago.
Marvin – That’s the thing as well. We got on it early. Social media now is different to how it was back then. It was more of a community, so when we were on there, you know everyone on your page. Everyone you followed, you engaged with, it was like being in a big school. Now, it’s just bullshit, obviously I’m on it because I’m on it, but there’s people doing reckless stuff for likes. It’s just nonsense.
Your podcast is putting up some serious numbers, which is a lot compared to other podcasts. Why do you think that is?
Marvin – Not sure. Could be the fact that some of them are not real friends but sometimes the banter and laughter feels forced. The banter’s not genuine and the listeners can hear it.
Keith – A lot of people thought 3 guys with followers hooked up to do a podcast, but we’ve been friends for a while. We used to have these talks before the podcasts.
Tazer – We’ve been in the WhatsApp group chat since 2014, chatting every day, without fail.
Keith – We’ve also known each other for years, so it’s something that just worked.
What do you think has given rise to this new wave of podcasting?
Marvin – Everyone wants fame.
So how comes they choose a podcast, over a song, or a YouTube video or another form of media?
Tazer – A podcast is easy to set-up, you just go to the studio, record, upload to SoundCloud then that’s it. A lot of people aren’t accountable for it, you don’t need promo, you don’t need a return, like getting a certain amount of views or anything. Also, imagine talking about something that only you know about, the listener is not gonna be able to relate. We’ve done it in a way where people can listen and can still relate, even if you haven’t been in that scenario before.
How does the situation work with guests? Sometimes I hear random voices, and it’s not you three, or Savage Dan, so how does that work?
Keith – With us, we just bring our friends onto the show. Sometimes I’m just with someone and I bring them on and it just works, because they’re our friends. Our formula is we don’t really bring on randomers, because we don’t know how you can relate to our stuff.
Would you consider bringing on guests? For example, a rapper or an actor?
Tazer – We could, but they’ve gotta be honest. I don’t want a rapper that’s gonna come on and say ‘I don’t wanna talk about this or that’.
Marvin – Or they might get upset if we ask a certain question. It’s long. It could get a bit tense, and kill the podcast’s vibe, so there’s no point.
Tazer – That’s another reason why we didn’t do radio, because I don’t want somebody saying you can’t say this or you can’t say that.
This is probably the most important question of them all – who is Savage Dan? Will we see him at your live show?
Tazer – Funny thing is, I don’t even know who Savage Dan is. I don’t know why everyone keeps asking me who he is, I don’t know who he is.
Marvin – The buzz for Savage Dan is mad. It’s crazy. Girls are wetting their pants for Savage Dan.
Tazer – All I associate with Savage Dan is Ciroc, anal beads and Randy Marsh.
Marvin – It’s madness. Girls like that. I don’t think you understand how many girls are onto this guy.
So he’s a real person?
Marvin – Yeah he’s a real person.
Tazer – But at a live show, he wouldn’t be seen.
Has anyone complained about something you’ve said about them on your podcast?
Marvin – A few girls approached me and said they follow my page. She says to me ‘my friend says all you lot do is talk about girls, and your conquests’. I said to her ‘hold on – have you listened to the podcast?’ She said she hadn’t, so I said so ‘why speculate based on hear-say. See for yourself before you make ignorant blanket statements’.
Keith – Some people have only listened to one episode.
Marvin – Some people don’t listen at all. If you listen, we don’t slander girls. We’re talking about a particular scenario, and not mentioning any names.
Keith – That’s another thing, we haven’t met every single girl in the world, so we can’t speak about every single girl. I think some people want you to explicitly say ‘I don’t mean all girls’, but it’s like I don’t! How can I mean all girls when I haven’t met all of them? One thing people say to us is the podcast only bangs because we have bare followers, as if to say we were just handed accounts with loads of followers. We had to build our following.
What was each of you doing before 3 Shots of Tequila?
Keith – I was on their radio show years ago – OnTopic talk show, then I had my radio show on Radar Radio, I’ve got my writing, books, blogs, then documentaries now.
To watch Keith’s documentary – ‘Being Black, Going Crazy’ – click here
Have you got more documentaries coming soon?
Keith – Yeah there’s a few documentaries in the pipeline, so that’s definitely something I’m working on.
Tazer – I’m from events and clothing. I used to run a clothing line, but stopped that. I’ve worked with a couple of brands, like Benjart and a few others. Events-wise, I’ve been doing events since I was 16, then set up my own company – Faded when I was 21. Got a few sub-brands like Notorious, Old School Sundays, and I’m still doing events now.
For more information about Faded, including tickets and merchandise – click here
It’s weird how the genre of music your events cover is also one that’s quite opposed by a lot of venues, despite the scene being healthy right now…
Tazer – You gotta remember who owns the venues. The reason why the music is so up right now is because of the youngsters. The people with a lot of money aren’t necessarily paying much attention to the scene, so it’s a clash between the people wanting the music to blow, and the corporations not wanting to put on the events and stuff.
Marvin – A big venue like the 02 or Brixton Academy is calm, it’s the smaller venues that suffer. The bigger ones won’t lose their licence, but the smaller ones are a lot more likely to.
Tazer – Also at bigger venue they have more security, so people are gonna come more professionally. When you do events at smaller bars, it gets to a point where they want you to come in so people will spend money, but there’s also a risk of something happening. So they’re walking a thin line. A lot of venues know that thin line is gonna break soon, so they don’t wanna risk it anymore, so that’s what happens.
Marvin – I used to do events. I did radio originally on the same station as Taze and my other friend Rich, then I left that. I do events, I host shows as well. Then, when Keith went to Australia, I did OnTopic talk show, followed that through. So it’s just a progression of whatever I can do at that time. I got a New Year’s eve party on the 31st, might be hosting something in Cancun in July as well, so any opportunity I see, I just take really. I also have an event called #SlowJamKaraoke which is usually on the last Sunday of the month.
How did you feel about the GRM Rated Award nomination? Did you expect to win, or were you just happy to be mentioned?
Marvin – I appreciated the nomination, but kinda knew we weren’t gonna win. Socially, I knew we could win off that, but then also, the other guys nominated are socially strong as well.
Tazer – Poet and Vujanic, the guy from Star Wars – John Boyega.
Marvin – I was most worried about Poet and Vujanic, because they’re popping on Twitter and their YouTube account is one of the biggest, so they’re doing a lot. I knew in my head, if we were gonna win it socially, then they could beat us on the social side. If you haven’t heard of 3 Shots, then you’re gonna vote for Idris [Elba] or John Boyega or whoever it is you know. But we were happy to be recognised.
Say one week you talk about girls, then the next week you cover a similar topic, how do you ensure that it’s interesting both weeks?
Keith – I think because we have so much to say about so many different things, we don’t run out of stuff. You can hear us talk about the same thing four times, but we say four different things every time. We will say different shit every single time.
Tazer – We gotta give credit to Marv because he does come with his structure.
Marvin – Amen.
Keith – Man was waiting for that shout-out!
Tazer – We digress a lot, but there is some structure there. Another thing is, when we first started, I didn’t think people would want to sit down and listen to 90 minutes. Now, the last episode was 2 hours and half – they’re getting longer, but people want to listen.
Keith – Sometimes we can have episodes that are just one hour a half, because we have places to be, then other times, we have to stop ourselves because it’s getting so long.
Marvin – We were gonna use a timer but it never works.
You guys are occupying a unique space, in that, people tune into your show exclusively for you, whereas other similar shows, are driven a lot by the quality of its guests. What’s the plan moving forward?
Tazer – Moving forward, we’re working on live events and could potentially do a uni tour. We just can play with it, because it’s ours, so whatever we decide to do with it, that’s what we’ll do.
Something funny happens and a joke is made about the opening snippet you hear on every episode.
Marvin – Maddest thing is when we did the intro, it was from the first hour we ever recorded. The first hour we just pressed record and started talking but then we said ‘you know what, a lot of this can’t go out, because there won’t be a podcast two’
Keith – A lot of it? None of it could go out.
Tazer – It was raw. We went in.
Marvin – Keith was laughing hard as well throughout that hour.
Tazer – I said we should take a skit from us talking and laughing, then use it for the intro.
So the opening snippet to 3 Shots it taken from that first hour you had to scrap?
Keith – Yeah.
Marvin – I edit the show, so whenever I play that bit, I still buss up laughing, even to this day.
Keith – It’s funnier to us, because we know the background to it. That usually happens in the first hour of most of the podcasts, the first hour is always wild.
The 3 Shots of Tequila guys will be doing their live shows soon hit the links below to cop a ticket
The Live Show
Follow 3 Shots of Tequila on Twitter:
By Ajay Rose