Kiel: When did you realize listeners started to respect your podcasting work?
Pete: We were on a panel at the 2012 A3C Festival in Atlanta and afterwards, there were tons of people waiting to meet, talk and take a picture with me. But I really realized it when we were on another panel in a packed room later that evening – me, Combat and Dallas Penn – and we were signing autographs on flyers. And, at that time, we still didn’t really know what the f*ck we were doing. Because to be honest with you, The Combat Jack Show was one of those things where we put the brand before ourselves. We really weren’t worried about shining; we just wanted the brand to shine. Even though I have my own show now, The Combat Jack Show brand continues to shine. I have people to this day come up to me and say, ‘Yo man, I love what you do. The Combat Jack Show kept me through my nightshifts.’ That show was the first long-form podcast for a lot of people in the hip hop world.
Kiel: I’m going to take you back to April 8, 2016 because that’s the date in your tweet that pinned to the top of your account, signifying the date in which you began The Premium Pete Show. Describe that time period for you in regards to starting anew and where you are today with the venture.
Pete: Man, I was nervous; scared of failing; trying to think of every way to talk myself out of it. I was thinking that maybe I’m just a sidekick; that I can do this but maybe I really can’t. Unfortunately, things didn’t really work out between me and Combat at the time, business-wise, so I decided to move on and start my own podcast show. But to be honest with you, during that transition, there was so much love. So many people were like, ‘Yo, where’s Pete.’ ‘We miss Pete.’ ‘Come back, Pete.’ I always try to be the best I can be, but I’m not trying to compete with anybody. It’s okay if I don’t have the most downloaded show or the biggest podcast out there in that realm. I know that my episodes are going to be entertaining, helpful to listeners and hopefully respected.
Kiel: What are some of your most memorable conversations so far on The Premium Pete Show?
Pete: I would say the one I did with this kid from A Bronx Tale; his name is Lillo Brancato, Jr. He played Calogero Anello in the movie. He has had a rough, rough life – he had that role, and then after that, his life went into a spiral. He became a very bad drug addict. He went to jail for 10 years. I had him on the show, and to hear him talk about trying to turn his life around, was very inspiring, considering I’m a big A Bronx Tale fan. Also, my entrepreneurial episodes have been very special to me. As much as my listeners get out of it, so do I. To be able to hear Gary Vaynerchuk talk about his insecurities, to be able to hear Ronnie Fieg talk about his worries and struggles in the beginning – it’s inspiring. Keep in mind, we live in a social media era, where people see someone and are like, ‘I want to be like that person,’ not knowing the lack of sleep, the amount of stress, the risk of money or whatever else these entrepreneurs go through. The audience – and myself – can only become smarter and more knowledgeable from these episodes. Even like Adam Richman, the guy from Man vs. Food – to hear another side of him was very special. On our show, he talked about how the divorce of his mother and father affected him and how he stopped talking to his father over an argument and then they made up, only for his father to die 10 months later. Just hearing from people of all walks of life in a very honest way is very rewarding.
Kiel: Who are some people on your wish list in regards to engaging in conversation on the The Premium Pete Show?
Pete: Robert De Niro. I’ve always looked up to him and love his work. Another one would be Mr. Farrakhan. I want to sit down with Tony Robbins too. I really want to continue to sit down with creators. Maybe even like Jeff Bezos, the guy who created Amazon.