Maverick Life


This week we’re listening to: An exploration that demystifies humanity

This week we’re listening to: An exploration that demystifies humanity
Image: CDD20 / 1408 Bilder / Unsplash

‘Deeply Human’ is a timeless and thought-provoking exploration of what drives human behaviour and what makes us who we are.

This podcast series is an ode to humanity and the complexities of existence, hosted by singer-songwriter Dessa who shares the stage with myriad guests who share their experiences and their expertise in navigating this complicated thing we call life.

Deeply Human

  • Format: Podcast series
  • Year: 2021
  • Listen on: Apple Podcasts or Spotify

Looking at Deeply Human’s list of episodes, it seems like a condensed timeline of life on Earth, from dating to death and everything in between. While it is impossible to even attempt to capture the entirety of human existence in 12 episodes, this show dives deep into what makes humans tick and why we make the decisions we do.

As you go through each episode, it is as if you are listening to someone go through life: What goes on in a teenager’s brain? What do we look for when we date? What exactly is menopause and why don’t we talk about it? What is it like to die, and what does it mean to die well?

The podcast also makes all the mundane and ordinary things about life incredibly fascinating, like why we feel déjà vu and get so very irritated when someone cuts the line in front of you at Home Affairs. And it deconstructs the big, important things too, like sex, love and community.

These conversations, from the topics that are life-changing to the moments that ripple throughout our lives, are all equally important. There is power in talking about things we shy away from, breaking down the taboo barriers. And we are always better off the more we know about ourselves and how we can move through the world. It is intimate and vulnerable, and worth every second.

The show has all the components of an excellent podcast; with an enchanting host and powerful curation of experts and guests who share their own stories. It is a simple formula, but it works perfectly for this type of show and is very well executed. It taps right into the perfect balance within a podcast: enlightening and intriguing, while still comfortable and intimate, which, in a world where it is so easy to close the tab and pull the earphones out, is not an easy task.

The expert list is impressive, including a range of psychologists, anthropologists and doctors. And while the topics are complex, Dessa helps the listener break them down, leaving you with plenty of “aha” moments and a great amount of random facts to deal out to anyone who will listen.

The guests give a vulnerability to hard conversations, bringing a level of intimacy that would otherwise be lost within the colder, harder facts. Dessa brings on old friends, her parents, and others who can contribute on a more personal level, and these people, and their stories, creep into your heart, too.

Dessa is not only a captivating storyteller but also an exemplary host, as she guides her guests through difficult conversations with care and unpacks complicated topics to the listener with ease. Her own anecdotes about the various topics are also scattered throughout the show, giving an added layer of intimacy to the experience, without detracting from the conversations, and encouraging the listener to apply the conversations to their own lives, too.

In this way, the show lives on even after the last episode fades out to an end, and it will stay with you every time you step into a queue or sing along to a sad song.

While the show is professional and well-produced, the editing seems strategically homey; the side comments and giggles in interviews are not cut away and are rather left in, making the listener feel as if they are part of the same conversation happening in their own living room. These are conversations between friends and peers: the experts do not speak down to the listener and it does not feel as if the guests are oversharing, making for an engaging listen.

An honorary mention should go to the editors of the show, for their outstanding manipulation of audio. You may not think that a conversational podcast needs headphones, but if you have a pair lying around, you will be pleasantly surprised and able to appreciate the full range of audio as the conversations rise and swell. DM/ML

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