Call & Response: Chonilla
Call & Response is a series of Q&As with bands, artists and random people we dig that live in Montreal, visit here, or have some dubious connection to the city.
There's a new podcast in town. Sherley and Clove are two Montrealers who've been city-hopping for years but have finally landed back in our fair city. Together, they go by Chonilla and they host a randomly scheduled podcast they describe as a "hilarious talk show about a no-holds barred interracial couple of 15+ yrs in their mid-30's who talks about EVERYTHING from a black white perspective while the kids are asleep." With a setup like that, I was expecting a racy romp, like what you'd get if you put Chris Rock and Andrew Dice Clay in the same room, but the show focuses more on the everyday-ness of their relationship, their lives, and their perspective on local and international events, peppered with a dose of profanity and other mature content. Ultimately though, it's a very candid podcast; as listeners, we're privy to their personal discussions and to the nuances of their relationship. Given that they're trying to spread the word about their show here in their new digs, we thought we'd ask them some of life's most important questions:
You guys just moved back to Montreal? How's life in the new city/studio/digs?
Moving from Deadmonton, I mean Edmonton, has been an adventure with 3 kids. We are thrilled to be back to the city that both our mommas gave birth to us in because it has such interesting vibes, energy, amazing food, great shopping, culture, second hand smoke, crazies, pot holes... this list could go on forever but the bottom line is Montreal never disappoints in providing material for our show. We found a great and inspiring apartment by the river that faces south.
What should people expect when they subscribe to your podcast? How will it change their lives?
You can expect to get to know us as individuals and as a dynamic interracial couple. We sometimes share more than we should on our show but have come to be ok with that. We both understand if you want to create trust and long lasting relationships you need to be open. We see our listeners as friends who will get to know us better on their terms. We hope that it will change mainly our lives (that was the reason we got into this.) We wanted to create a trusting environment that would make it safe for our fans and new friends to share their personal experiences. Everyone's life is exciting. Too often we make the mistake of assuming our lives would be boring if someone were to do a documentary on us. The more we record the more we realize everyone has a fascinating side to them. From sharing frustrations while lining up to get a prescription filled out, to having discussions with long lost friends as they pass through the city. It is always exciting and new.
You record your shows late at night, when your kids are asleep. It's like listeners are part of your personal (sometimes intimate) daily conversations. How do you feel about letting other people into your relationship in that way?
This doesn't bother us at all; it's actually very therapeutic for both of us. It's amazing how much your communication style changes for the better when you know it can be played back later. We think a lot of relationships would be improved if there was some kind of recording device available to the couple as they interact. If anything it makes you take a split second more to think about not only what you are going to say but how you are going to say it. Doing this would put a lot of therapist out of work. Also, if you knew us in real life all the topics and discussion we have on the show would not be a surprise because we are always very open with our friends.
Where is the best time/place to listen to your Podcast?
Anytime and anywhere really. We've had a lot of feedback from listeners that listen to us on the drive in to work but be careful because these same listeners said they almost crashed from laughing so hard. You've been warned. Try not to listen while in a public place because people will think you're crazy from laughing randomly out loud.
What do you love most about Montreal?
We love the arts, the entertaining crazy people, the freedom of expression, the pursuit of good work life balance, all the 'Chonilla' couples we see every day! We represent a larger demographic here at a local level. Montreal is hands down the most exciting place we've ever lived in.
What do you love most about Poutine?
This is a trick question. Is this how you weed out the real 'Montréalais'? What is there not to love about poutine? If Jesus and Satan where to settle their differences over a meal, it would be Poutine, Pepsi and a Joe Louis! (eds. note: we ask this question on every C&R, not as a trick, but to rejoice in everything that is awesome about poutine).
What do you hate most about Poutine?
When a restaurant doesn't use cheese curds... GRRRR! Whad'up with that?
You're often working through issues and topics from your perspective as an interracial couple. What do you hope your podcast adds to larger discussions of race and relationships?
Don't avoid the issue, tackle it head on. And hopefully it will set precedence to talk about race and relationships while embracing each other's differences. By truly looking at all aspects of people for who they really are, from the color of their skin, sexe, spiritual belief (illuminati), plus opinion it opens a window of honesty.
When did you record your first podcast?
Actually our first show was a 'Hawt Mic' episode. Basically we smoke a joint, hit record and just start talking with no specific topics.
What's the best way to spend a Million dollars in 10 minutes?
Let's see... Guns is a good place to start for Clove, A million dollar house, An island, a million dollar bet in roulette, a trust fund to the kids, a million dollar to our siblings.
Are there topics that you don't/won't broach on your show about your relationship/personal lives? Or is it hard to draw the line, given how conversational your show is?
Nothing is off limits, we take it one a case by case basis and respect each other or our guests' wishes.
How did you spend your 16th birthday?
Sherley: I spent it quietly with a friend.
Clove: I have no recollection of said event.