In the midst of one of the biggest music festivals in the country, two UT students spent all of ACL Fest in the sweltering heat to interview rappers, country stars, indie darlings and other musicians to discuss mental health. The Drag partnered with the Hi How Are You Project, an organization dedicated to removing the stigma around mental health through open dialogue around mental well-being.
UT students Marissa Greene and Anahi Chavero pioneered the podcast as co-hosts last year, interviewing more than a dozen artists over the course of six days. They had candid conversations about mental health, finding joy, and parenting with the likes of Charley Crockett and the lead singer of Black Pumas. The first episode was released on Sept. 29, but “Hi, How Are You?” will continue to drop episodes throughout the month of October.
After last year’s success, The Drag plans on sending another team into the field to cover 2022’s ACL Fest, led by Lauren Koops and Guido Peluffo.
“It’s really tough to make a short and snappy statement about how beyond pumped I am for this project,” Lauren said. “Every moment of preparation feels so important. Like, I never knew that buying Liquid IVs or discussing public transportation plans could feel so liberating. I can’t express how ridiculously honored I am to contribute to this podcast, and to work with such a dedicated team.”
Lauren and Guido have spent the past few weeks preparing to head into the field, along with executive producers Katey Outka, Robert Quigley and Raoul Hernandez, and associate producers Grace Robertson and Tamara Rodriguez.
Open conversations around mental health are often daunting to begin — especially for artists in the spotlight. The Hi How Are You Project aims to bring conversations around well-being and mental health to light in a way that encourages open dialogue in everyday life.
“It feels like (Guido and I) have the same fundamental values surrounding the heart of these conversations, but approach them in really unique ways. I hope that helps us to reach a larger variety of folks and connect more dynamically,” Lauren said.
The Drag team will be at Austin City Limits both weekends, interviewing musicians for season two of the “Hi, How Are You?” podcast.