Bruce Wawrzyniak records Now Hear This Entertainment at Crystal Blue Sound Studios in Dover.
Podcast host Bruce Wawrzyniak looks straight laced sitting across from long-haired musician Danny Brooks.
Brooks is wearing camo pants, a torn vest and sunglasses indoors.
Wawrzyniak is wearing a professional button-up shirt with his booking and promotion company name, Now Hear This, embroidered on the chest.
But the orange-blonde highlights in Wawrzyniak’s dark hair hint that he has a rock-and-roll side — or at least an extreme appreciation for music. The highlights look like flames as they flicker in warm lighting from two salt rock lamps on top of a piano at Crystal Blue Sound Studios, in Dover.
Studio owner Dominick Pages cues up the sound board.
Wawrzyniak and Brooks snap their headphones around their ears.
The conversation topics are brutally honest: drug addictions, “lunchpales,” small town Llano, Texas, performing in prisons, agoraphobia, The Stone Pony, blue funks, hard work and, above all, Brooks’ music career as Texassippi Soul Man.
“I always dig as deep as I can to write and craft the best possible song I can,” Brooks says.
He has stopped to do the show on the way to a gig in Fort Lauderdale as part of three and one half months on the road.
Wawrzyniak’s podcast, Now Hear This Entertainment, launched its milestone 100th episode this year, and Wawrzyniak has had a slew of performers from “American Idol,” “The Voice,” “America’s Got Talent” and more. Many he interviews via Skype, and although the sound quality of Skype recordings makes the interview style sound more classic radio — with anomalies like passing cars, horns and ambulance sires in the background — it’s always a treat when Wawrzyniak can meet his subject in the flesh.
“It’s nice to have a guest in person,” Wawrzyniak says. “It’s nice to look across and see someone.”
Wawrzyniak talks with his hands. It’s part of his friendly demeanor and brilliant smile. His mom would tell you he was born talking. Which explains why Wawrzyniak went into the media communication field. After college, the Buffalo native worked some high-level public relations jobs for the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bandits (packing 16,000 seats).
When he moved to Florida, it was a singer at Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon that caught his musical ear. He wanted her to sing the National Anthem for a tournament the International Softball Federation, his then-employer, was hosting.
She declined that job — and others he would line up for her. He pursued — again and again.
He wanted to see her have success, and he wanted her voice to be recognized and appreciated.
When she finally caved and started to pick up more and more bookings, he decided he would like to do the same for other people.
Thus, Now Hear This was born.
The podcast started out as a marketing tool for Now Hear This but bourgeoned into something much more. Wawrzyniak has listeners in 102 countries (Slovakia was the 100th) on five continents. And it’s available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and SoundCloud, as well as being recently approved by Google on the platform its launching on Google Play.
“They have no idea who I am,” Wawrzyniak says of his listeners. “I’m just a voice coming out of their listening device, and it means the world to me.”
Wawrzyniak’s goal is to make sure each episode is varied to help other aspiring performers and artists with tips and tricks of the trade and inspiring stories from those in the industry.
“I don’t want to make it so specific, so it’s not repetitious,” Wawrzyniak says. “When I launched it I did not just want to have the same type of guests every week.”
Wawrzyniak says he does the type of show he would like to book for his clients — a show that is thorough and gets to the heart of each guest.
“There’s so many podcasts out there. You can listen to so many things — radio, other podcasts, nothing,” Wawrzyniak said. “I’m really grateful to the people who listen.”
Contact Amber Jurgensen at [email protected].