Red Light Special’s Kristin Coral and Rob Markman
Just a couple months ago, music-connoisseur, Rob Markman began a podcast to shed light on a genre other than hip-hop, but one that we all know and love — R&B. Since then, the Red Light Special has sky rocketed and welcomed guests like, Mack Wilds, Melanie Fiona and the great R.Kelly!
Kiss FM (98.7 WRKS) — the radio station previously tasked with delivering “Classic Soul and today’s R&B” to New York City listeners — dissolved three years ago, but a new podcast has rekindled the rhythm & blues flame.
For the past two months, hosts Rob Markman, 35, and Kristin Coral, 24, have recorded the Red Light Special podcast inside of the lower Manhattan Engine Room studio. The idea, sparked by Markman, a veteran hip-hop journalist and the recently appointed manager of artist relations for Genius, has become a digital platform for a genre desperately yearning for a resurgence.
Markman, a Staten Island resident, and Coral, who is from Valley Stream, Long Island, met on Twitter over a year ago, after one of Markman’s retweets helped Coral land a job as a model in Mac Miller’s music video for “The Star Room.” Having mutual contacts and similar musical interests ultimately led to a friendship, and their off-line conversations would soon become the foundation for Red Light Special.
“We used to just talk about music and R&B in particular, so when the idea came up to do this podcast I thought Kristin would be perfect for it,” Markman explained to the Voice, moments before the duo began taping their twelfth episode at the Engine Room. “I’m an R&B head, but you know, I’m a hip-hop journalist… I’ve always had this joke [that] when I retire from hip-hop, I want one of those R&B late night shows where I talk real deep. I don’t know if you ever saw Faith Evans’ ‘Used to Love Me’ video and B.I.G. is taking calls and he’s giving love advice and stuff. I always wanted to be like B.I.G. in that video. The idea was to have an R&B radio show, and that’s not really the format anymore — who knows if that’s realistic? Why wait ‘til I retire? It just morphed into an idea for a podcast.”
“I would always tell Rob, ‘I don’t care what you talk about, I’m going to be there,” Coral said. “I loved that idea, like a late night talk show, what he says Kiss FM used to feel like.”
A candid meeting with Reggie Ossé (better known as Combat Jack) and Loud Speakers Network founder Chris Morrow provided an opportunity for Markman and Coral to launch their project under a brand already proven in the podcast space.
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