Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen Launch Spotify Podcast

Renegades Born in the USA
Courtesy of Rob DeMartin

'Renegades: Born in the USA' will tackle topics including race, fatherhood, marriage and the state of America.

Former President Barack Obama is teaming up with Bruce Springsteen on a new podcast for Spotify.

In Renegades: Born in the USA, the friends will sit down to discuss everything from race to fatherhood to modern manhood to the state of America today.

"On the surface, Bruce and I don't have a lot in common. He's a white guy from a small town in Jersey. I'm a black guy of mixed race born in Hawaii. He's a rock and roll icon. I'm not as cool," Obama says in a video promoting the podcast. But he notes, "In our own ways, Bruce and I have been on parallel journeys."

The eight-episode series is the second podcast project from Higher Ground, the production company launched by Obama and wife Michelle Obama after leaving the White House. Spotify revealed the plan for Renegades at its Stream On virtual presentation on Feb. 22, announcing that the first two episodes are available to both its free and paid users.

Obama and Springsteen first met on the campaign trail in 2008 and struck up an unlikely friendship. The pair bonded over what Obama notes in the podcast's first episode as "a shared sensibility" about life, including work, family and America. Obama, in the intro to the first episode, notes that both he and Springsteen have been "trying to chronicle the stories of its people. Looking for a way to connect our own individual searches for meaning and truth and community with the larger story of America."

Spotify struck a podcasting deal with the Obamas and Higher Ground in 2019. The audio shingle launched its first series, The Michelle Obama Podcast, last year. Spotify has said the series was its most popular original podcast to date.

In the first two episodes of Renegades, Obama and Springsteen discuss their friendship, shared experience growing up as outsiders and early experiences with race and racism. Dollar Shave Club and Comcast have signed on as presenting sponsors for the podcast's first season.

Renegades was one of several podcast announcements from Spotify on Monday morning. The company also said that it had struck a deal with Joe and Anthony Russo and revealed new details of its multi-podcast partnership with Warner Bros.

Watch the video of Obama and Springsteen here.