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'Tell Me More' Director Finds Inspiration, Emotion In Stevie Wonder's Music

MICHEL MARTIN: And finally, it's time for the feature we call In Your Ear. That's the part of the program where we typically ask some of the guests what they listen to, but as this program winds down - our last program is scheduled for August 1st, we thought it would be nice to hear what members of our staff are listening to - what they're playing when they aren't producing our groundbreaking show of course. So to start us off, let's hear the musical selections of one of our original and longest serving staff members - our director. Here's what's playing in his ear.

ARGIN HUTCHINS: Hi, I'm Argin Hutchins. I am the director of TELL ME MORE. I've been here from the very beginning - I think it's been seven years. I was here when the show had no name. It was just called rough cuts. And here's what's playing in my ear. It's important that I give credit to one the songs that inspired me to do what I do as a producer, and that song was by Stevie Wonder and it's called "I Believe."


STEVIE WONDER: (Singing) Shattered dreams, worthless years. Here am I encased inside a hollow shell. Life began, then was done, now I stare into a cold and empty well.

HUTCHINS: I get emotional every time I hear this song. Stevie created this excellent song that, you know, made me interested in creating audio, creating content for people to hear because I was thinking to myself like - he can convey this type of emotion through a recorded medium, then maybe I can too.


WONDER: (Singing) I believe when I fall in love with you, it will be forever. I believe when I fall in love with you...

HUTCHINS: The next song I'm listening to is a song by Jimi Hendrix, it's called "Bold As Love." The part that I like the most is about two minutes and 40 seconds in. It starts off very quiet and then you just hear this drum of (unintelligible). And then it just goes off in this kind of explosion.


HUTCHINS: It's almost as if he was creating some sort of like big bang of music.


HUTCHINS: The last song that I'm listening to is from J Cole's album "Born Sinner." And it's called "Runway."


J. COLE: (Singing) It's all pink on the inside [bleep] what color their face is. Wise words from an indecent man, made me reflect on the times that we was three-fifths of them. In chains and powerless, brave souls reduced to cowardice. Slaving in the baking sun for hours just to see the master creep into the shack where your lady at. Nine months later got a baby that's not quite what you expected, but you refuse to neglect it because you know your wifey love you, thus you refuse to accept it. That's the type of [bleep] that turn my granny light-skinned. Rich, white man rule the nation.

HUTCHINS: The song has lots of stories in it. And he very eloquently goes through all these different stories. It's just worth listening to. It makes him very relatable.


COLE: (Singing) Could I run away from 50 million like Dave Chappelle? You know, runaway, runaway, runaway, runaway. I'm holding on desperately. Runaway, runaway, runaway, runaway. I'm holding on.

MARTIN: That was TELL ME MORE Director Argin Hutchins telling us what's playing in his ear. That's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.