Making It: Telling Stories with Maekan

Why do people create and how do they do it? Shure has partnered with Mixcloud, an online platform dedicated to long-form audio, to speak with innovative emerging artists from around the globe for the new multimedia series MAKING IT.

For the third episode, Mixcloud spoke with Alex Maeland and Eugene Kan, founders of the online storytelling platform Maekan.

An audiovisual publication rooted in creative culture, the website might profile the Vietnamese film industry one day only to publish a feature about Detroit’s underground music scene the next.

Pushing the Boundaries

In the podcast, Maeland and Kan describe how they got started, what inspires them and how they are trying to push the boundaries of storytelling.

The two met while working at the fashion blog Hypebeast in Hong Kong before deciding to start a publication on their own terms in Los Angeles a few years ago.

“Maekan was born out of personal place,” says Maeland, explaining that something had been lacking in their professional lives. “The ultimate goal was for us to build a great stage [and then] invite the best and brightest to come and tell their stories.”

Rather than limiting themselves to specific forms of content, the Maekan makers let the story define the medium.

“This probably sounds corny, but there’s something about creating that makes me personally feel the most alive,” says Maeland. “I’m aesthetically driven. Eugene is not. Eugene is the function. I’m the form. That’s probably the simplest way to think about it.”

While Kan has taken on the role of managing editor, Maeland is Maekan’s creative director. Though they have divided responsibilities to ensure the platform runs smoothly, compelling content is what unites them.

“I believe what makes a good story is having a real human element,” explains Kan. “That’s what makes it relatable and that what allows it to move somebody in a positive way.”

A Global Perspective

The site’s remit is purposely broad: From a new chef innovating in LA to a local basketball scene in a provincial city in China, Maekan curates across borders and disciplines.

“I’m always fascinated with the role culture plays on a global level and how we interact with it,” says Kan.

Maeland adds that the diverse Maekan mix makes perfect sense for the right person: “You can be into different types of things. It doesn’t have to be mono-interest. Creativity and inspiration sometimes happen chaotically and unexpectedly.”

Ready, Set … Go

The duo has clear advice for those hoping to start their own creative endeavors: Stop putting it off indefinitely and commit to it completely.

“Often times there’s this illusion in creative industries, but there’s still a lot of hard work that goes into it. Just like it would in a non-glamorous and non-sexy industry,” says Maeland. “Be vulnerable. Be open-minded. At the end of the day, conditions are never perfect for what you want to do.”

Listen to the full podcast below.

MAKING IT explores the creative process of emerging artists in LA, Tokyo, Berlin and London. The four-part series can be found in its entirety on Mixcloud.

MAKING IT was recorded exclusively with Shure MOTIV microphones. This range of digital mics enables content creators to capture professional-quality audio using iOS and USB devices.

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Marc Young

Marc Young

With a background in journalism, Marc is an editor for Shure covering anything and everything that has to do with sound. He tries to compensate for his mediocre guitar-playing skills with his writing. He is based in Berlin, one of the best cities in Europe for music.

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