Cardiff Character: Morgan Richards

The co-host of Sappenin’ Podcast is riding the podcast wave to success and connecting music fans around the globe along the way

A photo of Morgan Richards of Sappenin' Podcast standing against a colourful graffiti wall in Cardiff.
Morgan dressed head to toe in black as you would expect a heavy rock fan to dress. His long hair was beautifully well-maintained but he only takes it down for photos and ties it back up in a bun straight after

Are podcasts changing the future of journalism? According to an OFCOM report, one in eight people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week; an increase of 24% in the past year. Morgan Huw Richards, co-host of Sappenin’ Podcast, is riding the podcast wave to success as a self-taught music journalist, all from the comfort of his home in Cardiff.

The 23-year-old from a farm outside Barry, now living in central Cardiff, has recently ditched his day job at a sandwich deli to take on freelance journalism full-time. Over the last 12 months his main focus, Sappenin’ Podcast, a rock music show that offers behind-the-scenes access to life as a rock-star, has kept him very busy.

Morgan is incredibly humble considering how much he has achieved being only 23. “I look older than I am. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or if I look stressed,” he says laughing. He has more names to drop than you would expect, but he doesn’t boast at all. In fact, it almost makes him uncomfortable talking about his success.

After dropping out of Sixth Form College in 2012, he put all of his energy into his passion for music journalism. Fast forward seven years and he is about to celebrate the one-year-anniversary of Sappenin’ Podcast with co-host Sean Smith, singer of Welsh rock band The Blackout, one of his teenage heroes.

“The 14-year-old me would have
been very happy about this”

A photo of Morgan Richards recording a voice over for his music podcast titled Sappenin' Podcast, at a studio in Cardiff.
Morgan understands the importance of earning your success. He spent the first year of his time at Radio Cardiff cleaning databases and making tea. Now he can really appreciate being his own boss

From fan to friend
After several years working in radio as a co-host and producer, Morgan decided to try something new but his lack of qualifications made it hard to find a job. He got a 9-5 job for the first time at a deli sandwich shop. “I was a bit lost,” he admits.

Morgan was a fan of The Blackout growing up. “That scene was a big part of my life and I grew into my skin through it,” he says. He made himself known to Sean after years of interviewing him on Radio Cardiff. After the band broke up, Sean asked him to get involved in the podcast. “It was a full-circle thing,” he says, “The 14-year-old me would have been very happy about this!” 

Guests on the show feel like they can open up to the pair and often drop exclusive news during interviews, most noteworthy being the reunion of McFly. The dynamic duo has been quoted by media publications such as OK! Magazine, UniLad and Rocksound. “He’s the funny one and I’m the serious one,” he jokes. “We’re like Yin and Yang, it’s a good balance.”

A photo of Morgan Richards with friend and co-host of Sappenin' Podcast, Sean Smith, at Reading Festival 2019 with fans of the Podcast.
Sappenin’ Podcast recorded a pop-up podcast at Reading Festival 2019 – Credit: Morgan Richards

“The last 12 months have been
some of the best times of my life”

A growing community
Morgan has always appreciated a strong sense of community within the music industry, particularly in Cardiff. He says, “Everyone helps everyone and if there’s someone you don’t know, by the end of the night you are friends!”

When the podcast took off he started a Patreon campaign to raise funds for better equipment but he quickly noticed a strong community forming within their Patreon backers. The show now has nearly 150 subscribers! Members all over the world even meet up to go to gigs together, he explains.

“It is so rewarding to see people sharing their stories of what the podcast has done for them.

“We want to make sure the community grows and we treat them with as much love and respect as we can because we wouldn’t be here without them.”

Morgan Richards discussing the focus and goals of Sappenin’ Podcast – Music: BenSound