Introduce Yourself to… Gabrielle Livingstone

Gabrielle Livingstone is a traveler, podcaster, and storyteller from Scotland. Bear Radio’s Denisa Harbuz was initially inspired to interview Gaby after she saw “The Unheard Group” on Instagram. It’s a community that Gabrielle founded for young people who have lost a parent, where they can share stories, look for support and more. We recently spoke with Gabrielle, or Gaby, about her podcast, Gift Of The Gab, her other projects and about her future aspirations.

Hi Gabrielle! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

Yes. Hi, my name is Gabrielle. I am from Glasgow in Scotland, and I’m the host of the Gift of the Gab podcast. Oh, and I’m 22.

You’re 22 and you have your own podcast. That’s exciting! Would you like to share what the motivation behind your podcast is and what made you want to start the project in the first place?

I had another podcast called Hush Hush, which we had for l a good year and a half. I did that with two of my friends and I really loved that podcast, it was my baby. But then my two friends got,“proper jobs” like a journalist and a lawyer and one of them moved away.
After that podcast came to an end it took me a while to start the new one – I was nervous to do it on my own.

My current producer Finley, reached out to me and and asked what had happened to Hush Hush So, I told him about my new podcast idea and he wanted to help. Since then it’s just been me and Finley, and we just had another person join the team. The motivation behind it was similar to that of Hush Hush -just talking about taboo topics, trying to start these uncomfortable conversations and get people more comfortable with talking about harder topics. That, and making people laugh.

And how does it feel to have your own project? Has the workload been different from your other podcast?

Definitely. I didn’t have video before, but now I do. And it’s bloody hard! I’m learning how to edit video at the minute. just about learning as you go, which I think is also really exciting Having a team of three also helps a lot.

How did the whole idea of adding video to your podcast come to you? What do you think that it adds to the podcast and to the connection that you have with your audience? 

I never actually thought about video before Finley came along because for me, podcasting was always just audio and it still is for a lot of podcasters too.But now I see it as such a positive way to promote your podcast and reach other audiences. 

So as much as I can understand people saying it should “just be audio”, I do get a bit frustrated. No, podcasting is not just audio. Look at the benefits of it. I think it really adds that connection for the audience, they can sit and watch you and put a face to the name and watch your guests and their actual interactions.And I think that’s nice. I’m also the kind of person that likes to see what’s going on.

Watching your videos also gives me the feeling that you’re completely natural. You’re not scripting it and you’re just having an open conversation, which I really love about your podcast.

Gaby at Fly Open Air in Edinburgh

Oh, thank you. It’s true. I don’t script anything. I write down some questions in advance, but podcasting, at least to me, is supposed to be natural, like a conversation. I can’t plan for a podcast and write down a script for it. Like, to me that’s just not a podcast.

That is something I do agree with, but a lot of people wouldn’t.

I think it depends what kinda process it is. If it’s storytelling, yeah. But if you’re having an interview, like what’s natural about scripting that? Obviously everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but I feel quite strongly about this.

Coming back to your audience, I was wondering: How do you think your social media is connected to your podcast? Or what role does it play when you’re thinking about your project?

I don’t think that I have a very big audience or anything like a big platform, but I think using Tik Tok and Instagram Reels has really helped me. But I think, like as much as I like promote it on my own Instagram, TikTok is huge. Like, the power of TikTok is insane.

For a lot of people, their projects are kept separate from their personal social media. And then for people like you it’s different. That’s how I found out about your podcast in the first place – because you shared it on your personal account.Your personality is what made me want to listen to it.

That’s nice to hear. Cause I don’t want to come across as fake, I’m just trying to be myself. Do you know what I mean? I think that’s the best way to connect with people. As long as you’re just being yourself. People can see through bullshit. You just need to be authentic.

‘I don’t want to come across as fake…’

So, do you separate your work from your personal life online?

Yeah, I think so. Maybe one day I’ll merge them together because I guess it would just become a brand, hopefully. We’ll see what the future holds. I’m not closed off to anything. 

And speaking of the future, where do you hope to see Gift of the Gab in the future?

‘With a fat Spotify deal…’

With a fat Spotify deal. I mean, like any podcaster would say – ‘to reach a bigger audience’. And hopefully, people are still enjoying it and I could continue to talk about difficult conversations. As long as I help one person, then I’m happy with that. I had someone reach out to me, actually quite a few people reach out to me, but this one really, really hit me hard. I had a girl message me after I posted a podcast on women’s representation in sports, and she said to me that after listening to that episode, she actually joined an all women’s football team. I shed a couple tears. Honestly, that’s the stuff I live for and I hope I keep doing things like that in the future.

Gaby traveling in France

You’ve got seven episodes out now, is that right? Out of those seven episodes, what was your favorite to produce? I have one last question about your podcast. We first met when you were traveling in Barcelona. I don’t know if you were traveling a lot at the time or if you were just there for Barcelona. But has your traveling inspired the way you want to share stories or the content that you want to share on your podcast?

The Women’s Representation in Sports, because I did it with one of my best friends, Jade. And it was really informative and important to talk about, but it was also just such a funny episode. I was laughing so much in it, and so was Finley.. And of course, that led to the message I just mentioned, so that was the most satisfying. I felt so good about it going out because I’m very hard on myself. I want everything to be perfect. And every time something goes on I’m like, oh my God, this must be terrible.But then people are always so nice out there.

I have one last question about your podcast. We first met when you were traveling in Barcelona. I don’t know if you were traveling a lot at the time or if you were just there for Barcelona. But has your traveling inspired the way you want to share stories or the content that you want to share on your podcast?

Oh, definitely. Actually Barcelona was the first stop, and then I was traveling for like two and a half months after that. I really needed that. If we’re gonna get deep; I think every new experience and interaction you have is gonna have an impact on you. It’s always there in every new culture, new experience, every new city you visit. It’s always gonna have an impact on you not just on your personal life, but your creative life. I even met one of my best friends traveling three years ago. And to this day, we’re still best friends and that’s great.

‘If we’re gonna get deep…’

That leads me to my next question: Where do you find yourself at the moment? Like physically, but also let’s say mentally, creatively?

Physically, I’m Glasgow right now, but I’m heading back to Edinburgh in a couple hours. Honestly, I’m just trying to find my feet and work on the podcast and balance that with work life and personal life and find new guests, experience new things, find new jobs. The best I can describe it is like a jigsaw puzzle box that’s fallen on the floor. And I’m just trying to put the pieces back together. That’s currently what I’m going through. But it’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing.

I think it’s pretty brave that you decided to ground yourself, start a project, commit to it, and basically show up every day. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully I’ll  go on with Gift of the Gab. That’s one huge thing. Honestly, I’d really like to start a charity for young people who have been affected by the bereavement of a loved one. Because it is so fucked to experience that at a young age. I think death is such a taboo topic, but one of the most natural parts. So probably with a charity, still doing the podcast and still helping people.  Hopefully I have traveled a lot by then. I’d like to say that I wouldn’t be living in Scotland just because I’d like a change of scenery. Anywhere that has sun. Five years from now, that’s my plan.

And lastly, what is your favorite sound?

My dog. When he sighs. He sighs as if he’s got this really difficult life, like he’s been working his whole life and he’s just come home after a long day.

Gaby talking about her favorite sound

Interview by Denisa Harbuz for Bear Radio

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