Interview with Podcast Host, Alicia Kemp
The Host & Creator of BLK GURL TLK Explains The Inspiration Behind the Podcast
By Bridney C.
Alicia Kemp is a 23-year-old creator, host, and brilliant mind behind the podcast, BLK GURL TLK. Launched in March 2020, the podcast discusses social justice issues, current events, and Black culture.
Alicia considers the theme of the podcast to be "Black as fuck" and created to unite her community by "saying what needs to be said to spark these important conversations." The first two seasons allowed Alicia to talk about personal life stories such as relationships and friendships. Her podcast took a more serious turn during the height of police brutality incidents in the United States.
Adjusting her focus in Season 3, she dived into mature and conversations from mental health to self-love and social justice issues within her community. Her impactful messages promote unity and love for one another while educating her audience about real-life issues.
The name of the podcast was named after the honest conversations Alicia has. She decided to spell it as the slang "Gurl" to better connect with her audience. By spelling it differently, she says she is staying true to her culture and keeping it real with her friends.
"I named it that because the start of the creating process it was real friends, real talk," says Alicia.
By creating her podcast, Alicia strives to be a role model for young Black women to be inspired by besides the "typical Instagram model." She has also brought her friends on as guests, and they helped her co-host a few episodes.
Born in Youngstown, Ohio, and raised in Cleveland, Alicia grew up in an artsy household. Her family played music around the house, and her brothers sketched cartoons. Her other brother was also into music, and her father had her join the church choir, which she was a part of until sophomore year.
Starting at age nine, Alicia discovered the importance of using her voice to bring attention to social justice issues and impact others. Alicia debuted BLK GURL TLK last year during quarantine as a way to connect with her friends. She describes her podcast as being a blessing and enjoys connecting with her audience.
Using just a phone, computer, and a website to record high-quality audio, Alicia went in head-first into recording the first episode with little preparation. Astounded at how much support she received from family and friends, Alicia continued to produce seven more episodes for Season 1.
"Dear Black King and Queen, I poured my heart out to show love, and the response I got back on the episodes was crazy, especially on DEAR BLK KING. The men felt the love, and I'm glad."
Since then, BLK GURL TLK has expanded its audience to Clubhouse, an audio-based social networking app for iPhone users. She founded the BLK GURL TLK club, an exclusive club where listeners and fans can speak directly to Alicia and connect to other users in the chat room.
Her goal of the podcast is to inspire young Black women to be themselves and appreciate their inner beauty. "Don't let society or social media change your idea of who you are supposed to be," says Alicia.
She plans to expand her podcast to other audiences by bringing Latinx guests on the show and having athletes as guests to broaden the discussions. She is also planning to release her merchandise line and collaborating with local summer programs in her community for young girls. With Season 4 currently in development, Alicia wants to be more relatable to her audience by being more open and telling personal stories to connect with her audience.
"Taking risks helps build you. Comfort zones are just boxes, break them to find yourself."
You can listen to BLK GURL TLK here.