We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul Carter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paul, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My understanding of balance taken different over the course of my life. But now, I understand balance as as the things I can use to manifest joy and fulfillment. There are an endless number of elements that contribute to my understanding of balance. My political values are important because they ground me in what I believe is just and right. My career in education outside of my podcast grounds me with a sense of how I’m creating opportunities for Black and Latinx folks from my community. The list goes on. But the essential elements of that give balance to my life are love and creativity. Love is about my family, and my partner, Dayana. The love I give my fam and the love I receive from them, helps me channel my creativity. I put the best effort into my podcast when I’m able to spend meaningful time with family and feel whole. And connected to that, I feel whole as a person when I’m being creative. The one major way balance has changed for me is that now I’m more organized. It’s not always easy to balance time I spend with my family and time I spend producing my show. It takes a lot of time to create a show, come up with content, record, and promote. All of this is time that I could be spending with my family or just resting and taking care of myself. On top of that, I work full-time. That means, if I don’t plan my time wisely, it can easily slip away from me. Just like I have a set time dedicated to my job, I have to set aside time that just for fam and just for my podcast. When I’m able to use my time in all areas, I feel a sense of true balance.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Moodring Radio is a music podcast, where we talk about a mood and make a mix for that mood. More than that, it’s an experience that connects one person’s mood to songs that we can all connect with. And that’s the core of Moodring, connection, through music. I’m most proud of how I’ve been able to bring a community together through Moodring. Usually, we host events, and around this time, we’d be celebrating the 3rd year anniversary with a party. Of course, because of the pandemic, we can’t have events like we normally would. But I’ve been staying creative on social media, finding new ways to bring people together. Lately, I’ve been posting brackets with songs from my favorite artists: Kendrick, Frank Ocean, Beyoncé SZA. I’ve gotten people really engaged and talking about music we love, and it’s all because they’re voting on their favorite songs by that artist. It’s definitely been a challenge to stay active, but seeing folks engage is what gives me the energy to keep going. What sets Moodring Radio apart, is that it’s a one of a kind experience. I interview a guess, learn about their mood, and create personalized mix for their mood. But, music is more accessible than ever, and Spotify can create a personalized mix for you in an instant. So, the time I spend interviewing a guest becomes that more meaningful. They could have gotten a playlist from an algorithm, but they got it through human connection. The process of engaging with another individual, one-on-one is special. I’m able to use that experience to create a mix that’s unique to their own mood, but still connects with more people. I want the world to know Moodring is a community, and it’s growing. Half of the episodes I’ve produced since quarantine started were based on ideas that my followers gave me. Being a part of the community means being a co-creator in Moodring Radio content. Our story is only beginning, and everyone who listens and engages is helping to write that story.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’ve got to start any tour of LA in my neighborhood, Leimert Park AKA Little Africa. We’re gonna start with Jamaican food at Ackee Bamboo, and after we eat, we’re gonna listen to drums and check out the vendors in the park. We might stop by the museum, Art + Practice, then get coffee from Hot & Cool Cafe or Harun Coffee. I love chilling in coffee spots to work or just to catch up with friends, and I’d probably take them to a Black owned coffee shop every day they stay with me. We can checkout Hilltop Cafe, Sip & Sonder, South LA Cafe, or get tea at Mingles in Inglewood. And I’ve got endless food for days, from Earle’s on Crenshaw to Simply Wholesome on Slauson, so we’re eating good. If they want to get outdoors, then we’re going to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook AKA The Stairs, for a hike. And anyone visiting LA has to stop by the beach. So we’d probably go to Venice and ride bikes right by the beach. For drinks, we’re going to the Novacane in Huntington Park. The drinks are named after Frank Ocean songs, and there’s a digital jukebox, so we’re gonna play good music all night. And before my friend leaves, I gotta give them a history lesson MY LA. I’d take them by the Marathon, and drive them to every Nipsey mural I know. I’d take them by the Baldwin Hills Mall, and show them the LA I knew growing up, because even though it’s changing, the history will never be erased.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is my Black community. It’s a heavy and hard time, but we remain resilient. I want to shoutout the folks organizing on the front lines. Shoutout especially to the Black Women, Queer Black folk, and Black Trans folk, that are always on the front line organizing. Shoutout to the people who are awakening right now, who are protesting, educating, building power and doing what they can to demand justice. Rest in Power to Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd and the countless Black Lives we’ve lost.