A feminist podcast created and hosted by Charlie Brades-Price and Rubina Pabani, DAS is funny, relatable and honest. Imagine listening to two friends having the most open conversation, sharing personal experiences and trying to make sense of the insane world we live in. Are you settled? Excellent. Then we can begin.
I met Charlie and Rubina (Rubi) on a Thursday evening just before Christmas. By the time we’d fought our way through the manic shoppers and past the office workers stumbling out from their Christmas parties, we all needed a glass of wine.
Ready to pick their brains, I wanted to know what the podcast means to them and why we should all be listening. Immediately, Charlie summed things up succinctly; DAS is “periods, politics, sex and sandwiches.” Laughing infectiously alongside Rubi, it’s clear to see that the pair have a natural chemistry. Having met whilst working on the BBC3 show Free Speech, they realized they were kindred spirits, sharing the same values and philosophy. Fighting to make their voices heard in a tough industry, they wanted to make something they were completely in control of.
Conceived it all its screaming glory in 2015, DAS has just concluded its second season with the third due to appear in 2019. Whilst it has changed since its inception. Charlie and Rubi have remained the constant and unwavering voices throughout.
What exactly does DAS mean though? This question provokes smiles and numerous tongue in cheek answers; ‘dangerous and sexy’ and ‘dungarees and sass’ are proffered. The truth closer to the mark is quite simply that das is the German word for ‘The’. Strong, defiant and unflinching. Listen to the podcast and this makes perfect sense.
With a mixture of personal chat and interviews, the podcast allows Charlie and Rubi to challenge and discover themselves whilst navigating through a range of topics. Expect to hear about education, power, periods, weddings, politics, hedonism and shame. Perhaps not surprisingly, the episode on sexuality doubled their amount of listeners so far.
It’s empowering to hear female voices being so honest and unashamed in their opinions and it forms the core of the podcast, as Rubi notes “I feel no fear in sharing with [Charlie]" and Charlie quickly agrees “it’s nice to have somewhere where we don’t have to be discreet.”
That’s not to say this all comes easily to them and it’s a relief to hear them admit to having imposter syndrome and moments of not feeling good enough. In an age were perfectionism is thrust down our throats, it’s important for us to share our doubts and insecurities without feeling like it implies some fatal flaw in our character. Thankfully, this honest female voice is at core of DAS.
Charlie and Rubi are keen to provoke conversation and learn from those with different life experiences, so visiting strip clubs and speaking to drag kings is all in a day’s work for the DAS girls. (As a side note, they laugh as Charlie tells me she spent the most money all year in the strip club, but both agree it wasn't a particularly sensual experience. It seems they were more impressed by the strippers’ physical ability, “those women are such athletes.”)
Having read from their childhood diaries at the beginning of season two, I asked them what a teenage DAS would have looked like. Cue more laughter and some cringing at the thought. “Oh my god, probably boys, boys, boys” followed by a debate about whether or not they would actually have been friends. Maybe, maybe not. They were very different kids. The one thing they did agree on was that they wouldn’t have been as patient with one another as teenagers.
DAS is clearly a labour of love, which is what makes it so infectious. Charlie and Rubi's working relationship combines perfectionism and enthusiasm, driven by a determination of wanting “to do something that was absolutely our own, to make half an hour’s worth of programming that we’ve scripted and edited…" Rubi admits “We don’t always see things the same way...we have lots of creative disagreements but that’s how you get to create something better that is owned by both of you. Don’t let the ego take over.” Charlie nods in agreement “Our relationship is unlike any other relationship I have. They have the old boys club, we have the new girls club.”
With the wine reaching its end, I needed to know what Season three of DAS holds for us. Excitedly they both shared their plans, confirming that their voices will remain at the heart of the podcast and that they want to challenge themselves creatively, looking at interesting topics in new ways. With a drive to be less formulaic and to step outside their direct experience, they both agree that “now we’re taking it further.”
In the spirit of independent women speaking their mind, it only seems fitting to let Charlie and Rubi have the final words. So I asked them how they would describe each other to a stranger.
Rubi on Charlie “She is incredibly focused, super smart and one of the warmest, kindest people you’ll meet. You can take her to a strip club or old people’s home and she’ll make friends.”
Charlie on Rubi “She is edgy, a cool edgy. She’s what I think I am and then I look in the mirror and realise I’m not. She’s inspired in the way she sees things, she’s innovative. And a good drunk, a funny drunk.”
Charlie and Rubina will return to your headphones with season three of DAS in 2019.
In the meantime listen to season one and two and keep your eyes peeled for a DAS documentary.
Check out the DAS website