Dell and Sonya Curry, parents of Steph, Seth, and Sydel Curry, are launching a new podcast that sees them interviewing those who raised other prominent icons. The podcast, from Cadence13 and TCS Media, is called Raising Fame, and it will start with a “Sports Edition” series interviewing parents and others who raised famous athletes before moving on to entertainment and other industries for future series. Raising Fame: Sports Edition has its first episode out now, featuring the first of two episodes of the Currys talking about raising their own kids; the second episode there will be released Friday, and the third episode is due out Tuesday, Feb. 11, with that one featuring an interview with Russell Wilson’s mother Tammy. Further episodes will come out each Tuesday after that.
Here’s a video trailer for the series:
Raising Fame was created and produced by Tracy Chutorian Semler and Eric Semler of TCS Media; Eric is a former New York Times reporter now running the TCS Capital Management hedge fund and Tracy’s a former CBS producer. They’re known for the Bronx Bombers baseball program they started in the Bronx, which ESPN featured back in 2013. They’ve made some moves into the media realm as well, and this series is particularly notable there. Spencer Brown, the senior vice president of the Radio.com Podcast Network, said in a release that Raising Fame was a fit for Cadence13 and parent company Entercom/Radio.com thanks to the interest in the premise of having the Currys as the interviewers of these other families.
“Dell and Sonya Curry’s own family story and perspective make them the ideal hosts for this edition of this one-of-a-kind podcast series, and we’re thrilled to partner with them and TCS Media to bring these compelling stories to a wide audience of sports fans, families and beyond.”
Ahead of the series launch, the Currys spoke to AA this week about this project and why they got involved. Sonya Curry said she felt it was important to create something to let parents and caregivers connect with each other. She said she hopes this will be useful for a wide range of parents and caregivers, not just those who are raising potential superstar athletes.
“After going through this experience with our boys, I felt we need a community, we need a platform where parents can actually hear from other parents. As you’re embarking on this journey, you can glean some kind of advice or encouragement. Because really, the title’s Raising Fame, but there’s no rulebook for raising fame. We kind of wanted to dispel that, actually; what we really wanted to do was just encourage parents to parent along the way, and what I’d kind of say is to get out of the way of what their children’s destinies are supposed to be. So that’s what’s exciting for me, the community being built out for parents of athletes.”
Dell Curry said some of the appeal for him of this project versus others was the ability to go beyond traditional interviews and provide the parents and caregivers they spoke to the chance to tell their own stories.
“My wife and I were approached about a number of different things, but this one was very interesting because we were interested in just how other celebrities, if you will, were raised. And regular interviews, we’ve done thousands of them and it’s kind of scripted; the interviewer has certain questions that they want to ask, and some of them even have an agenda. This is just for the parents to tell their stories, first about themselves and how they were raised, and then about how they instilled their beliefs and values into their children, not only the celebrity but their siblings as well. So we thought it was very interesting, and it’s been really a lot of fun, it’s been a blast.”
He said they approached these meetings with other parents and caregivers as conversations rather than formal interviews.
“It’s more of a conversation than questions. We’ll start off with a question like ‘Tell us about your background, your childhood,’ and we just go from there. Of course we do background work on the celebrity, on their parents or whoever raised them. But it’s just kind of a sit-down conversation. And people are kind of interested in the things that we went through, and can relate those to a lot of things that they went through. It’s very relatable. And everyone that we’ve interviewed has been very interesting; it’s been a treat. They’re all humble people who had no idea that their sibling, son, daughter, whoever it may be, would be the superstar that they are. They were just raising them to be normal kids in society, to be productive at whatever they do, but things changed at some point.”
He said their own background raising athletes definitely helped in establishing a rapport with the caregivers they spoke to.
“I think the fact that we’re Steph and Seth’s parents, the other parents kind of want to talk to us, bounce some things off us as well. It’s kind of a two-way street there; we’re interested in them and they’re interested in us.”
Raising Fame: Sports Edition will see the Currys talk with a wide range of parents and caregivers who raised star athletes, with athletes featured in this first season including Tom Brady, Vince Carter, Coco Gauff, Rob Gronkowski, Damian Lillard, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Paul, Michael Phelps, Megan Rapinoe, Klay Thompson, Dwyane Wade, Venus and Serena Williams, and Russell Wilson. That covers quite a lot of significantly different sports, but Sonya Curry said there was a lot of crossover amongst the caregivers they talked to regardless of the sport the athlete in question wound up playing professionally.
“The positive things, letting your children be children and trying to create an environment around them that allows that structure, that normalcy, in the home, outside of the sports they’re participating in. Other lessons learned were encouraging your children to do what they want to do and not necessarily what we think they should do. Those were two common things that we’ve been finding.”
Dell Curry said there were common themes, including not raising athletes for celebrity status, but many of these caregivers also took somewhat different approaches.
“There’s some overlap, some differences. No one raised their son or grandson, whoever it is, to be a celebrity. They just raised them as normal kids. They all had a different path in how they got them to be where they’re at. And there are similarities in how the person was raised, a lot of things are similar to how we raised our kids as well, but they’re all wonderful, they’re all different. I think the listeners will get something meaningful out of every podcast, and that was our intent.”
He said one recurring theme they found was that these parents and caregivers weren’t afraid to be tough when needed.
“We want our audience to kind of know that you dare to parent your kids. It’s hard to do that nowadays. In a lot of cases, parents try to be friends instead of being a parent, but these people parented.”
As for raising their own kids, Sonya Curry said their approach involved showing their kids what was out there rather than pressuring them to follow in their father’s footsteps, but urging them to finish what they started once they chose things to explore.
“In the beginning, we tried to introduce them to a lot of things, letting them sign up for different sports in different seasons and doing more than one thing instead of focusing on just one sport, and learning musical instruments and everything. And then, as they began to go through the process themselves, we let them decide, ‘Now that you’ve done this, what do you want to do next? Do you want to do this, do you want to do that?’ But we were also emphasizing at the same time that what you start, you need to finish, and that helped too; if they knew they were just fooling around, they weren’t even going to start. So they had to stick to it. We introduced them to all sorts of different sports along the way and let them see if they liked it or not.”
Curry ran the Christian Montessori School of Lake Norman while her kids were growing up, and they attended that school while she was working there. She said having them there was a great benefit for her.
“For me, it was actually fun, because I knew who was teaching them, I knew what they were getting into. They got rides to school with me, 45 minutes, and home again, another 45 minutes. So we got to spend a lot of time together through sixth grade for them each. And that was special for me. For them, they had me working there, at one point they had their grandmother working there, at another point they had their aunt working there, so for them, I think you would have to ask them how they felt about that…”
As per these interviews, Curry said they all stand out for different reasons, and it was very difficult to decide which ones to feature first.
“We really went back and forth over these past few months, ‘Who do we want to lead with, who do we want to lead with?’ We would leave one interview and go ‘This is the one!’ And then we’d go into the next one and go ‘Holy crap, this one’s good too!’ And these first ones that are coming out, they’re all great, because they all have such different stories. And there were several of them where either Dell, or myself, or the parents themselves were brought to tears just because of their stories.”
Dell Curry said the interviews definitely had an impact on him and Sonya, and they stand out for their differences.
“After every one, our business partners Eric and Tracy, and my wife, we’re all amazed at how different but how enlightening each one is. They all stand out. I’ve been amazed at how different they are, how joyful they are. We go away saying ‘Wow, I had no idea’ about the background and the way that some of these celebrities were raised and the things they went through to get to where they’re at.”
He said he’s had a blast doing Raising Fame so far.
“We didn’t know what to expect going into this project, but it’s been a ton of fun, and we’ve got great people that we work with in Eric and Tracy. It’s really been a first-class operation and we’ve had a lot of fun.”
Sonya Curry also gave credit to the Semlers for pulling this together, and said working on this has been great.
“Our partners, Tracy and Eric, were the brains behind the idea and have just been awesome with how they’ve brought this all together, and with their experience in the Bronx with the baseball program that they have. It’s just been an awesome experience doing this.”
[Raising Fame: Sports Edition on Apple Podcasts]